North Korea gets first big dose of Trump summit news

11 June, 2018, 10:56 | Author: Clarence Schmidt
  • Flight from Pyongyang lands in Singapore ahead of North Korean leader’s arrival

A US official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Monday's meeting appeared aimed at making 11th-hour progress ahead of the summit since Sung Kim's earlier talks did little to narrow a gap between the two sides on the definition of denuclearisation or win agreement on tangible commitments from Pyongyang toward dismantling its nuclear arsenal. The official was not authorized to speak publicly about internal deliberations and insisted on anonymity. Trump canceled the summit last month after both sides exchanged criticism but then revived the summit after tensions cooled.

A Trump administration official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the USA side was entering the talks with a sense of optimism and an equal dose of scepticism given North Korea's long history of developing nuclear weapons. He also has sought to lower expectations for the meeting, saying it may be the start of a longer process.

Back in Pyongyang, North Korea's de facto No. 2 Choe Ryong-hae is reportedly filling in for Kim in his absence.

"Wide-ranging and profound views on the issue of establishing new DPRK-US relations, the issue of building a permanent and durable peace-keeping mechanism on the Korean Peninsula, the issue of actualizing the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula and other issues of mutual concern" will be discussed, state-run KCNA reported early Monday.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has landed in Singapore ahead of a summit with US President Donald Trump that could end a nuclear stand-off between the old foes and transform the secretive, impoverished Asian country.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders says the U.S. ambassador to the Philippines, who has taken the lead on policy negotiations with the North, will hold a working group with a North Korean delegation at 10 a.m. Monday local time, or 10 p.m. Sunday on the U.S. East Coast.

Mr Trump could also consider opening an American embassy in Pyongyang, the report said.

Menendez spoke Sunday on ABC's "This Week" as President Donald Trump arrived in Singapore ahead of Tuesday's talks with Kim. Trump arrived later in the day from a fraught G7 meeting with world leaders in Canada.

Flight from Pyongyang lands in Singapore ahead of North Korean leader’s arrival

Kim met with Lee on Sunday.

Trump and other top USA officials have promised a "bright future" for the North if it quickly relinquishes its nuclear weapons - including economic inducements and a security agreement.

The tests came amid a campaign of "maximum pressure", led by the United States, that tightened economic sanctions against North Korea and raised the possibility of military action.

Pope Francis has prayed that the summit this week between the US and North Korean leaders succeeds in laying the groundwork for peace. Francis said he wanted yet again to send "a special thought in friendship and prayer" to the beloved Korean people.

It's Kim's pursuit of nuclear weapons that gives his meeting with Trump such high stakes. "We were able to complete the preparations for the historic summit, and I would like to thank you for that", Kim, speaking through an interpreter, told Lee.

Kim was the first to arrive in Singapore, landing at Changi airport on a commercial Air China plane, after intense speculation with the public tracking three separate aircraft leaving Pyongyang, the North Korean capital.

Security around Kim's hotel was extremely tight and guests were prohibited from going in and out, hours before Kim's black Mercedes Benz limousine cruised in.

The two leaders are set to meet on Tuesday at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa Island.


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