Kim, Trump in countdown to historic summit

Kim, Trump in countdown to historic summit

News that U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visited North Korea was front page news with a big photo of him shaking Kim's hand the following day in the ruling party newspaper, the Rodong Sinmun.

After months of nuclear taunts, sports diplomacy and a rollercoaster of a will-they-or-won't-they tango, it all comes down to this: President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump: "Excitement in the air" ahead of Kim meeting Trump doubles down on criticism of EU, Canada Merkel: EU will retaliate against Trump tariffs MORE will meet face-to-face with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore on Tuesday.

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.

The Trump administration also launched the so-called "maximum pressure" campaign that sought to choke North Korea with sanctions.

Hours earlier, Trump had claimed his relationship with Trudeau and the leaders of France and Germany "is a 10" and slammed a CNN reporter as "fake news" for suggesting the US' ties with its closest allies had frayed.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un arrives in Singapore on Sunday.

North Korea wants a staged approach to dismantling its nuclear weapons program and a security guarantee from the United States in return.

The summit has been portrayed as a "get to know you" meeting.

Kim's private plane did travel to Singapore, but is believed to have carried sister Kim Yo Jong and other top-ranking members of the delegation.

Mr. Trump will become the first sitting US president to meet with a North Korean leader when he sits down with Kim in Singapore.

"I think things could work out very nicely".

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Kim and President Trump arrived in Singapore on Sunday ahead of Tuesday's historic summit.

Authorities have beefed up security around the hotels where Trump and Kim (Saint Regis) will be staying in central Singapore.

Singapore has spent $S20 million hosting the summit, half of that on security costs, with Lee saying it was "in our profound interest" to contribute to such an global endeavour.

Curious onlookers wait for the departure of Donald Trump's motorcade from Singapore's presidential palace.

The US leader has whipsawed on expectations for the meeting, signalling that it could be the beginning of a "process" of several meetings, only to call it a "one-time shot" for peace as he embarked for Singapore. It heralded the summit as part of a "changed era".

While it would be good to be optimistic of the summit's outcome, some apprehension still exist as both Trump and Kim are strong leaders with their own mind, the source said.

The summit's venue is the Capella hotel on Sentosa, a resort island off Singapore's port with luxury hotels, a Universal Studios theme park and man-made beaches.

The top United States and North Korean negotiators had earlier emerged from a last-ditch meeting at the Ritz Carlton with pursed lips, and no sign of whether an attempt to narrow the gap between USA and North Korean expectations of what denuclearisation should look like, had worked.

But many, if not all analysts, say that this is highly unlikely, given how hard it has been for Mr Kim to build his program and that the weapons are seen as the major guarantee to his unchecked power.

Another question is whether Trump will take up the issue of human rights - with North Korea accused of a host of state-sanctioned rights abuse including extrajudicial killing, torture and kidnapping.

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