Published: Tue, June 12, 2018
Finance | By Claude Patterson

Donald Trump, Kim Jong Un meeting is just the beginning

Donald Trump, Kim Jong Un meeting is just the beginning

The two leaders walked toward each other and shook hands in front of a row of alternating American and North Korean flags after entering the Capella Hotel on Singapore's Sentosa Island.

"Kim will be remembered as the leader who ushered in a glorious new era of security and prosperity for his people", he said.

As I recently wrote, while certain sanctions on North Korea are discretionary, a key 2016 law specifically obligates the president to sanction people and entities complicit in human rights abuses in North Korea - not just those involved in weapons proliferation - and the Trump administration legally can't suspend sanctions more broadly unless North Korea implements key human rights reforms.

Members of the USA delegation, including U.S. secretary of state Mike Pompeo, right, and John Bolton, national security adviser, left, and North Korean advisers watch a television screen showing the meeting.

"North Korea has previously confirmed to us its willingness to denuclearize, and we are eager to see if those words prove honest", Pompeo said.

But Kim appeared to echo the president's optimism.

Only hours before the White House announcement, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had seemed to lower expectations for the meeting, which Trump had earlier predicted could potentially yield an on-the-spot deal to end the Korean War.

"Something happened from that day, it was a awful thing, it was brutal, but a lot of people started to focus on what was going on, including North Korea".

Providing slightly more detail on the topic at the forefront of everyone's minds, Trump said that denuclearisation would be a process and that he believes it will happen "very quickly" following the signing of the document.

Moon, the son of North Korean war refugees, took office previous year promising to seek engagement with the North only to be stymied by rising tensions amid a steady drumbeat of North Korean missile tests and saber rattling by Pyongyang and Washington.

Donald Trump also said Kim Jong Un has accepted his invitation to visit the White House sometime in the future.

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

O'Keefe said there may be "measured support" from some Republicans in Congress for what Mr. Trump did in Singapore, but skepticism as well.

Henrick Tsjeng, Associate Research Fellow at Singapore's S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS) told The ASEAN Post that he expects a "modestly successful summit".

They walked outside together after the lunch, stopping briefly to look at the USA president's special limousine. I said, boy, look at that view.

"No one has shown more contempt for other nations and for the wellbeing of their own people than the depraved regime in North Korea", Trump said. Mr Kim is reported to be flying out even earlier, at 14:00 local time (6pm NZT).

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