Sunday, 23 September, 2018

U.S., North Korean Officials Make Final Preparations For Trump-Kim Summit

Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump will discuss a “permanent and durable peace-keeping mechanism” GETTYKim Jong-un and Donald Trump will discuss a “permanent and durable peace-keeping mechanism”
Andrew Cummings | 15 June, 2018, 02:18

Kim, U.S. officials say, has agreed to put his stockpile of 50 or more weapons on the table for negotiation, but the two countries have offered differing visions of what that would entail. The meeting to be held here.

Worldwide anticipation for Tuesday's summit between the most unconventional American president in modern times and an autocrat who is perhaps the world's most isolated leader has grown quickly since the summit was put together at a lightning pace over the past few weeks.

Those hoping Mr Trump's meeting with the North Korean leader helps bring about peace to the region and wider world will be praying the U.S. president is more diplomatic with Mr Kim than he was with Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau, who he called "very dishonest and weak".

President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un converged on this island city-state Sunday ahead of one of the most unusual and highly anticipated summits in recent world history, a sit-down meant to settle a standoff over Pyongyang's nuclear arsenal.

Two additional North Korean planes were also tracked making their way from Pyongyang, thought to be carrying his entourage, food and other supplies for Kim.

If the United States is satisfied with North Korea's pledge toward denuclearization, Trump and Kim could declare the end of the Korean War in Singapore.

Later, Singapore's prime minister, Lee Hsien Loong, ushered Kim around the palace office to shake hands with officials, pose for pictures and chat from regal cream-colored chairs - all broadcast live to the world from a government Facebook account.

In this image from a video, a Singapore police coast guard vessel patrols the waters off Sentosa.

Kim Jong-un is due to leave on Tuesday afternoon, a source involved in the planning of his visit, said on Sunday. Since the Korean War, Beijing has seen the North as a buffer between itself and the U.S., which maintains almost 80,000 troops in South Korea and Japan. "We believe the Security Council should make efforts to support the diplomatic efforts at the present time", he said.

Trump had been scheduled to fly back to Washington on Wednesday morning after spending Tuesday with the North Korean leader in Singapore.

Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un have arrived in Singapore for their historic summit
GETTYDonald Trump and Kim Jong-un have arrived in Singapore for their historic summit

But Trump said: "We could absolutely sign an agreement and we're looking at it", adding: "Sounds a little bit odd, but that's probably the easy part".

Word does get around, however, and the prospect of a meeting between Kim and Trump had already been on the public's radar.

South Korea estimates the North has 50 kilograms of plutonium, reportedly enough for around 10 bombs, and a "considerable" ability to produce uranium weapons. While North Korea has proved it has been able to create a successful intercontinental ballistic missile, there are questions about the air worthiness of its aircraft for anything other than short journeys. The leaders also offered lofty promises, with the American president pledged to handle a "very risky problem" and Kim forecasting "major change for the world".

Kim and Lee discussed "issues of developing the bilateral relations in an all-round way by invigorating wide-ranging exchange and cooperation while maintaining the excellent relations and deepening the friendly relations between the two countries".

He and Trump are set to meet Tuesday morning in the first summit of its kind between a leader of North Korea and a sitting US president. Mr Kim is likely to ask for a security guarantee and the easing of sanctions in return, say analysts. "It is time to focus on how North Korea oppresses its people", Yeonmi Park, a defector who now lives in NY, told Reuters on June 11.

While the historic gathering in Singapore is the big story of the week, key central bank decisions in the U.S. and Europe will also be closely followed.

The trade-off of North Korea's nuclear weapons in return for global legitimacy for the Pyongyang regime is an approach that previous US Administrations considered and rejected.

They expect the North Koreans to ask for security guarantees including a pledge that the US and South Korea will not invade, and also a request for economic aid. While the United States and Canada fight over dairy trade, the Kim meeting concerns the fate of nuclear weapons.

Despite Kim's apparent eagerness for a summit with Trump, there are doubts that he would fully relinquish his nuclear arsenal, which he may see as the guarantor of his survival.

Dennis Rodman traveling to Singapore for North Korea summit
Pushed about whether US troop numbers would be on the agenda in Singapore , Mattis replied , "I don't believe it is". He said: "We have had substantive and detailed meetings to date, including this morning with the North Koreans".

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