Kim Summit Makes Front Page News in North Korea

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un walks out from the Marina Bay Sands during a city tour in Singapore.

US and North Korean officials held marathon talks on Monday to finalize details of a nuclear agreement ahead of their leaders' summit the following day.

At the time, the Koreans faced criticism for essentially kicking the issue of North Korea's nuclear arsenal down the road to Tuesday's Trump-Kim summit.

Donald Trump is treated to an early birthday cake whilst in Singapore ahead of the historic summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un. "We would like peace, stability and security to be established in the Korean Peninsula", he said, but added that experience in dealing with the United States and Trump had left it with "much pessimism". While it would be "catastrophic" for the United States to forcibly disarm the DPRK, as Defense Secretary James Mattis has acknowledged, no one - not the United States or China or South Korea - thinks North Korea deserves an India deal.

The U.S. president will then address the media before flying out late Tuesday Singapore time.

The US president proclaimed "excitement in the air" as he arrived in Singapore yesterday as officials from both countries met to narrow differences on how to end a nuclear stand-off on the Korean peninsula.

In a meeting that seemed unthinkable just months ago, the leaders met at a Singapore island resort, shaking hands warmly in front of a row of alternating US and North Korean flags.

"The underlying driver is a transformational process of Kim Jong-un leading North Korea into a new place in the region and the world", said John Delury, a professor of Chinese studies at Yonsei University in Seoul.

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Earlier, officials from the two sides held last-minute talks aimed at laying the groundwork for the summit between Trump and Kim, a meeting nearly unthinkable just months ago when the two were exchanging insults and threats that raised fears of war.

Up early in Singapore, Trump tweeted with cautious optimism: "Meetings between staffs and representatives are going well and quickly. but in the end, that doesn't matter".

On Monday evening, Kim's first stop was a waterfront park with futuristic installations, Gardens by the Bay, which boasts the largest glass greenhouse and tallest indoor waterfall in the world.

"President Moon and President Trump agreed Trump and Kim will be able to make a great achievement if the two leaders come together to find a common denominator through frank discussions", Cheong Wa Dae spokesman Kim Eu-kyeom told reporters.

Mr Lee has said the summit would cost Singapore about S$20 million ($A19 million), more than half of which would go on security. The U.S. president turns 72 on June 14. The White House said that first meeting will be followed by an expanded meeting with their advisers as well as a working lunch.

Trump said he had formed a "very special bond" with Kim and that relationship with North Korea would be very different.

The North has faced crippling diplomatic and economic sanctions, which began years before Trump's "maximum pressure" campaign, as it has advanced development of its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

After initial exchanges lasting around 40 minutes, Trump and Kim emerged, walking side-by-side through the colonnaded hotel before entering a meeting room, where they were joined by their most senior officials.

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