Published: Mon, June 11, 2018
Money | By Michele Stevens

Trump And Kim Arrive In Singapore For Unprecedented Summit

Trump And Kim Arrive In Singapore For Unprecedented Summit

Kim's entourage is staying at the St Regis, less than 10 minutes walk away, with a motorcade that features a dozen North Korean bodyguards in dark suits who jog in Singapore's drenching heat beside his armoured vehicle.

Previous year the North carried out what was by far its most powerful nuclear test to date and launched a flurry of missiles - including two over Japan - while Trump threatened Pyongyang with "fire and fury" and Kim dubbed him a "mentally deranged USA dotard".

Meanwhile Trump touched down aboard Air Force One before meeting with Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. 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.

But the two sides reportedly have struggled to close the gap on the crucial question of North Korea's intentions on denuclearization.

The standard thinking goes that he needs quick help to stabilize and then rebuild an economy that has suffered amid a decades-long pursuit of nuclear bombs, and that the North Koreans see a unique chance to win concessions, legitimacy and protection from a meeting with a highly unconventional US president who's willing to consider options past American leaders would not.

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The summit will be the first meeting between Trump and Kim and mark a turnaround of relations between the two leaders after a long-running exchange of furious threats and insults.

Kim also gets an "obvious and immediate win" by simply meeting with Trump, writes Joseph Yun, who was the top USA diplomat on North Korea until March.

Ahead of the meeting, Trump has dangled the carrot of a normalisation of diplomatic ties between the former foes and even a White House visit for Kim, which would confirm his arrival on the world stage.

Trump has said he doesn't think he needs much preparation for this summit.

Security is tight ahead of the summit between two unpredictable men who in the past have threatened to destroy the other's country during the stand-off over North Korea's nukes. There was also no sign of his sister, Kim Yo Jong, who has accompanied him to Singapore.

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Past nuclear deals have crumbled over North Korea's reluctance to open its doors to outsiders. Traffic was held up in the steamy midday sun and scores of bystanders were penned in by police when Trump went to meet Lee.

The White House and State Department have said little about those talks, though people briefed on them said American negotiators found it difficult to make significant headway with the North Koreans, in part because the White House did not back them up in taking a hard line.

Previous White House administrations had denied Kim, his father and grandfather, the "reward" of a face-to-face meeting with a sitting United States president.

"I feel that Kim Jong-Un wants to do something great for his people". And he won't have that opportunity again.

And based on the tweets that Trump sent Monday morning, it doesn't seem like he left his baggage from the first summit at the door.

Singapore diplomat: 'All systems go' for Trump-Kim summit
Both leaders have arrived in Singapore for their historic meeting. "Prime Minister Lee welcomed Chairman Kim to Singapore ". The North Korean motorcade drives out from Singapore's Changi Airport after Kim Jong Un's arrival in the city-state.

"I am on my way to Singapore where we have a chance to achieve a truly wonderful result for North Korea and the World", Trump wrote in a pair of tweets.

The summit provides "an unprecedented opportunity to change the trajectory of our relationship and bring peace and prosperity" to North Korea, Pompeo told a news conference on the eve of the summit.

Mr Kim's itinerary was reported in detail, which is a rarity for the state's media, according to South Korea's Yonhap news agency.

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