Wednesday, 15 August, 2018

North Korea: US will offer 'unique' security guarantees, says Pompeo

Dennis Rodman Lauds Trump as 'Greatest Negotiator' and Shares an Appropriate Gift He Gave North Korea North Korea leader Kim arrives in Singapore ahead of Trump meeting
Priscilla Morrison | 11 June, 2018, 16:15

Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un were preparing for their historic summit in Singapore as both sides tried to narrow differences before the two leaders come face to face on Tuesday.

Trump has returned to his hotel after meeting with Singapore's Prime Minister Lee.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Mr. Trump and the entire US team was looking forward to Tuesday's summit.

The summit between Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un will be among the most improbable diplomatic encounters in history, featuring principals who could not be more different - but who also share some surprising similarities.

Kim was accompanied at the meeting by vice-chairman of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK) Kim Yong Chol, chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the WPK Ri Su Yong, and Colonel General No Kwang Chol - one of the three promoted in a recent North Korean military shakeup.

US and North Korean officials were in talks in Singapore on Monday in a late bid to narrow differences before their leaders hold an historic summit aimed at finding ways to end a nuclear stand-off on the Korean peninsula.

Kim arrived in Singapore aboard an Air China 747 that, according to flight tracking website Flightradar24, took off from Pyongyang Sunday morning ostensibly bound for Beijing, then changed its flight number midair and headed south.

The coordinated messaging appeared to be designed both to prime the North Korean public for potential change, and also to dispel rumours that Kim did not wish to publicise the trip - his first as leader outside of his own borders or nearby China - for fear of a coup.

Hours earlier, Kim had arrived in a jet and was received by Balakrishnan before heading to St Regis Hotel. It comes as officials are revealing more details about meeting - the first between a United States president and North Korean leader.

Kim began the year by declaring to the world that "a nuclear button is always on the desk of my office", which was widely interpreted as an allusion to his personal control over North Korea's nuclear arsenal.

More news: Prey Launches Surprise Mooncrash DLC With New Trailer

Still, even as he turned his attention to the summit, Trump continued his blistering attacks on Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Monday, saying "Fair Trade is now to be called Fool Trade if it is not Reciprocal".

They discussed Singapore-North Korea relations and developments on the Korean peninsula amidst Kim thanking the Singaporean premier for hosting the summit.

OptimistsLee Hye-ji, a 31-year-old housewife, was "hopeful" about the Trump-Kim meeting, adding she was less interested in denuclearisation than a declaration that the Korean War was over, 65 years after hostilities stopped with a ceasefire rather than a peace treaty.

The shift coincides with a shakeup on the president's national security team - the addition of national security adviser John Bolton, who has been candid about his view that the North Koreans will never voluntarily give up their nuclear weapons, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, a former Kansas congressman with a hawkish reputation.

"I am on a mission of peace and we're going to be carrying the hearts of millions of people from all", he said.

Mr Trump's first year in office was marked by bitter exchanges between himself and Mr Kim - as North Korea conducted several ballistic missile tests in defiance of the worldwide community. The president wants the complete, verifiable and irreversible dismantling of his nuclear weapons program.

"I bet the North will not abandon nuclear weapons", he said, adding that the United States and its allies should use both "carrots and sticks" to force the North to do so.

Mr Kim has also said he wants to focus on building the North Korean economy - and thus wants sanctions relief and worldwide investment.

Among those representing the USA at the lunch were Secretary of Secretary Mike Pompeo, White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and National Security Adviser John Bolton.

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