USA hails progress ahead ahead of Trump-Kim meeting

12 June, 2018, 02:03 | Author: Billie Castillo
  • U.S. President Donald Trump flanked by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and White House Chief of Staff John Kelly attend a lunch with Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and officials at the Istana in Singapore

Still, the sense of anticipation was great in Singapore, with people lining spotless streets holding cellphones high as Trump headed to meet Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

The two leaders are set to meet on Tuesday at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa for talks which could see North Korea dismantle its nuclear arsenal in return for economic help and security guarantees. Trump had earlier tweeted about the "excitement in the air!"

Unlike most other publications, USA Today had a different outlook of the Trump-Kim meeting.

The Monday report from the Korean Central News Agency mentioned the summit agenda, including denuclearization and lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula.

A 2014 United Nations investigation found that conditions in North Korea were so abhorrent and crimes against humanity were occurring on such a broad scale that it likened the North Korean government to the Nazis.

"When I woke up this morning, I saw the news in the newspaper that our respected marshal went to Singapore for the North Korea-US summit", said Han Il-gwang, a Pyongyang resident, displaying typical discretion.

Discussions would focus on "the issue of building a permanent and durable peace-keeping mechanism on the Korean peninsula, the issue of realising the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula and other issues of mutual concern", KCNA said.

In a sign of lingering tensions, the North Koreans have been closely scrutinizing all American staffers who are slated to be in any U.S.

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North Korea has changed its narrative in recent months.

Trump and Kim arrived in Singapore on Sunday, both staying at luxurious and heavily guarded hotels less than half a mile apart, with Trump at the Shangri-La Hotel and Kim at the St. Regis Hotel.

At the conclusion of the summit, President Trump will participate in a media availability before departing tomorrow at approximately 8 p.m. for the United States.

What was initially portrayed by the White House as a summit meant to completely rid the North of its nuclear weapons is now being cast as a chance to "start a dialogue" and for Trump the dealmaker to look into the eyes and take the measure of his nuclear-armed antagonist. "I also think I'll know whether or not it will happen fast". It will certainly be an exciting day and I know that Kim Jong-un will work very hard to do something that has rarely been done before ...

Trump advisers cast his actions as a show of strength before the Kim meeting.

The shift coincides with a shakeup on the president's national security team - the addition of national security adviser John Bolton, who has been candid about his view that the North Koreans will never voluntarily give up their nuclear weapons, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, a former Kansas congressman with a hawkish reputation.

According to USA think tank Stimson Centre's North Korea Leadership Watch website, she has served as an aide and interpreter at key nuclear negotiations in the past, and other high-level DPRK foreign interactions, including an August 2009 trip to Pyongyang by former United States president Bill Clinton. Rodman told reporters at Changi airport that he came to Singapore "to see what's going on" and that he hopes "that things turn out to be well for everyone in the world".

If Trump and Kim fail in Singapore, "the result may be to enhance North Korean dependency on Seoul and Beijing as safety valves against the prospect of renewal of US-(North Korea) confrontation", according to Scott Snyder, a Korea expert at the Council on Foreign Relations.

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