Saturday, 18 August, 2018

Donald Trump & Kim Jong-un arrive at historic summit in Singapore

Donald Trump upbeat ahead of summit with Kim Jong Un North Korean leader visits Singapore sites Donald Trump at Paya Lebar Air Base Singapore
Jeannette Daniel | 14 June, 2018, 03:45

U.S. Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis said he does not believe a reduction of U.S. troop numbers on the Korean Peninsula will be up for discussion when President Donald Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un meet Tuesday in Singapore. In March, Minister of State for External Affairs General V K Singh paid a two-day visit to North Korea, the first ministerial visit from India to North Korea in almost two decades.

Staff-level meetings between the United States and North Korea were going "well and quickly", Trump said in a message on Twitter on Tuesday.

The document he and Kim signed said the North Korean leader "reaffirmed his firm and unwavering commitment to complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula".

Trump and his advisers have said the USA would accept nothing less than full denuclearization before sanctions against the North are lifted, and before North Korea can be fully welcomed into the fold of the broader diplomatic community.

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Kim likely will be eager to strike an agreement that eases sanctions and brings an end to the Korean War, while allowing him to keep at least part of his nuclear arsenal.

During this warming of relations between the two Koreas, March saw Mr Trump stun the world by accepting an invitation to meet Mr Kim.

But a trade representative from Pyongyang issued an order on June 9 that there should be no attempts to smuggle goods between China and North Korea and that officials had to report traders' locations every hour during this period, the source said.

Alluding to the North's concerns that giving up its nuclear weapons could surrender its primary deterrent to forced regime change, Pompeo told reporters that the U.S. was prepared to take action to provide North Korea with "sufficient certainty" that denuclearization "is not something that ends badly for them".

While Trump and Kim shake hands, searching each other's eyes and words for signs of trust or deceit, the rest of the world will be watching, hoping that somehow these two unpredictable leaders can find a way to defuse one of the planet's most risky flashpoints.

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But doubts remain about whether Donald Trump can pull it off.

Beyond the impact on both leaders' political fortunes, the summit could shape the fate of countless people - the citizens of impoverished North Korea, the tens of millions living in the shadow of the North's nuclear threat, and millions more worldwide.

Trump has also said he'd consider inviting Kim to Washington for a second round of talks.

Trump will hold a one-on-one meeting with Kim on the resort island of Sentosa, before they are joined by officials and have lunch together, the White House has said.

After he met Kim's close aide Kim Yong Chol on June 1, Trump said human rights "probably" would be discussed at the summit, and he has committed several times to raise the issue of Japanese nationals abducted by North Korea in the 1970s and 1980s - a longstanding request of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe that he reiterated to the president in person last week. And under a 2016 USA law, relief from US sanctions that target the North Korean government would require progress on human rights, he said. But there were scant details on what new commitments had been secured from Kim, even as Trump announced he would end the regular military exercises the United States conducts with South Korea.

Mr Trump has said the highly anticipated talks represent a "one-time shot" at peace.

The two leaders reached their destination by around 8:30 a.m., local time.

"I can only say this", Pompeo said.

But he has since lowered expectations, backing away from an original demand for North Korea's swift denuclearisation. "If they say a little too much about inflation, that's going to give the market a reason to get concerned".

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