Sunday, 16 December, 2018

Talks at North Korean summit moving 'more quickly than expected'

Singapore summit: Kim's running bodyguards back in action Trump and Kim meet where fantasy castle built on the hill
Priscilla Morrison | 11 June, 2018, 18:27

Speaking ahead of Tuesday's US-North Korea summit in Singapore, Mr Pompeo said preliminary talks between senior officials were continuing and moving quite rapidly.

Singapore's Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan, who met Mr Trump and Mr Kim separately on Sunday evening, told the BBC that both leaders were feeling "supremely confident" ahead of their meeting. The official wasn't authorized to discuss the plans and insisted on anonymity. Kim, up until his recent high-profile summit with South Korea's president on the southern side of their shared border, has usually hunkered down behind his vast propaganda and security services, or made short trips to autocrat-friendly China.

They are due to see each other at 9 a.m. local time Tuesday (9 p.m. ET Monday), in what is set to be a historic first meeting between a North Korean leader and a sitting USA president.

Noting that the discussions between the U.S. and North Korean delegations working out the logistics of the summit are moving "more quickly than expected", the White House released some details about the meeting. They'll later allows their teams to join them.

Mr Pompeo stressed that economic sanctions would remain in place "until North Korea completely and verifiably eliminates its weapons of mass destruction programmes".

Trump had called Kim "Little Rocket Man" and threatened to unleash "fire and fury like the world has never seen" on North Korea as it conducted several ballistic missile tests in defiance of global warnings. A large limousine with a North Korean flag was surrounded by other black vehicles with tinted window as it sped through the city's streets.

North Korea had also threatened to strike Guam, an American territory in the Pacific Ocean.

Trump and Kim arrived in Singapore hours apart Sunday.

Two days after arguing with western allies at the G-7 summit over trade, President Trump is prepared to declare victory in talks with nuclear-armed North Korea - regardless of what happens. "No", he said, "I don't feel unsafe".

Singapore summit: Kim's running bodyguards back in action

Asked how long it would take for him to work out if Kim was serious about striking some kind of peace deal, Trump replied: "I think within the first minute I'll know".

The White House released the update Monday morning while announcing the rest of President Trump's schedule. He was joined in Singapore by Ambassador Sung Kim, the US envoy to the Philippines, and Ambassador Michael McKinley, a career diplomat Pompeo recently tapped to be his senior adviser.

Experts believe the North is on the brink of being able to target the entire U.S. mainland with its nuclear-armed missiles, and while there's deep skepticism that Kim will quickly give up those hard-won nukes, there's also some hope that diplomacy can replace the animosity between the United States and the North.

The president wants the complete, verifiable and irreversible dismantling of his nuclear weapons program.

Trudeau tweets a "show of strength"?

Lee has said the summit would cost Singapore about 20 million Singapore dollars ($15 million), more than half of which would go on security. Trump and Kim lookalikes held a summit of their own at a local shopping mall, while one bistro is offering a libation known as the Trump-Kim "Bromance:" Beer, tequila, diet Coke and the Korean distilled rice liquor known as soju.

"I think the minimum would be relationship. That's what I do". "They pocket all of it and lose essentially nothing", said Christopher Hill, President George W. Bush's lead nuclear negotiator with the North.

A defiant North Korea carried out its sixth nuclear test in September 2017.

But Chinese experts are also watching the talks for cues on how Trump carries out his self-described art of the deal - and what it means for U.S.

More news: Bitcoin crashed after another crypto exchange got hacked

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