Kim summit: Singapore meeting between U.S. and North Korean leaders nears


Kim summit: Singapore meeting between U.S. and North Korean leaders nears

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un has left his luxurious hotel for a late-night city tour of Singapore, just hours ahead of his historic summit with US President Donald Trump.

President Donald Trump puts his extraordinary gamble with North Korea to the test on Tuesday, sitting for unprecedented talks with the rogue kingdom's despotic leader in what he hopes will amount to a historic breakthrough.

In the same statement, the White House said the talks between USA and North Korean officials were moving "more quickly than expected", though didn't elaborate on what precisely that meant for Trump's stated goal of securing North Korea's complete and verifiable denuclearization.

He reiterated that the goal of the summit remains the same: "the complete, and verifiable, and irreversible denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula".

If it doesn't, it could amp up tensions even more. "We are prepared to take what will be security assurances that are different, unique, than America's been willing to provide previously".

TRT World spoke to Mark Shanahan, a lecturer in politics and worldwide relations at Reading University in England, for more.

Kim's aircraft, the Soviet-era Chammae-1, is believed to have the ability to travel up to 10,000 kilometers (6,214 miles), meaning the 4,600-kilometer (2,858-mile) trip to Singapore is easily within distance.

"Prime Minister Lee welcomed Chairman Kim to Singapore". President Trump has described it as a "get-to-know-you situation" and said "it's going to be a process".

The last-minute change of schedule came as both sides finalized preparations for the meeting.

He left early, and as he flew to Singapore, he tweeted that he was yanking the United States out of the traditional group statement.

Kim's repressive regime largely maintains its power via a brutal system of prison camps in which hundreds of thousands of people are now detained, even for crimes as small as accessing foreign information through a radio or gossiping about the state. In March, Mr Trump shocked the world by accepting an invitation from Mr Kim to meet in person.

The Rodong Sinmun, the mouthpiece of the Workers' Party, also featured his departure in a full-color two-page spread, declaring on the front page that he was leaving in a Chinese plane for a "historic summit" with the USA president. But the White House said he will instead leave at about 8pm on Tuesday - nearly 15 hours earlier. The official wasn't authorized to discuss the plans and insisted on anonymity.

Trump's own White House, in fact, has already laid out the ways in which Kim broke various promises along the way to the summit.

About 15 minutes later, hotel staff formed a cordon at the hotel entrance as USA ambassador to Philippines Sung Kim left the hotel.

Pompeo spoke as top officials from the two countries continued negotiations in Singapore ahead of the meeting between Trump and Kim.

He later strolled along the harbor at the heart of the central business district with Singapore Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan, who tweeted a selfie with Kim. But Trump has lashed out at reporters for suggesting that the meeting with Kim will result in him giving up any negotiating leverage.

The Korean Central News Agency and the Korean Central Television reported Monday that Kim departed from Pyongyang on Sunday morning via a Chinese chartered airplane to hold a summit with his US counterpart in Singapore.

"I think we need to see that this meeting has real potential", said Sen.

The Trump administration's challenge will be to make sure the U.S.is not normalizing the isolated country as a nuclear weapons state, Snyder added.

Concrete barricades have been erected outside St Regis Singapore hotel which is within the zoned security area.

Trump, too, has recently sought to minimise expectations, saying additional meetings may be necessary. They also say by winning the prestige of a meeting with the world's most powerful leader, Mr Kim has already gained a victory.

"It should go fairly well, but people should not expect so much for the first time", Rodman told reporters at the airport.

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. His sessions with Kim amounted to the most robust contact ever between the United States and the North Korean leader, providing critical information about a man about whom little is known.