Published: Mon, June 11, 2018
People | By Neil Grant

NKorean leader Kim arrives in Singapore for historic summit with Trump

NKorean leader Kim arrives in Singapore for historic summit with Trump

With all the global attention focused on Singapore and the historic summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Pyongyang must be buzzing with excitement, right? Trump has called it a "one time shot" at peace.

Trump arrived on Sunday evening at the island city-state's Paya Lebar Air Base after traveling from Canada, where he attended a meeting of the Group of Seven industrialized nations.

North Korea's Kim landed in Singapore earlier on Sunday.

The two countries were on the brink of war past year, with their leaders trading insults and threats, until Kim made a dramatic offer in March to meet Trump and discuss nuclear disarmament, which the American president quickly accepted.

Meanwhile, North Korean leader Kim met with Singapore Prime Minister Lee, hours after arriving here.

Kim told Lee: "The entire world is watching the historic summit between the DPRK and the United States of America, and thanks to your honest efforts. we were able to complete the preparation for the historic summit". But North Korea experts argue that human rights needs to be part of the discussion if the North hopes to begin normalizing relations with the USA and the world.

Speaking just before embarking on his marathon journey to Singapore for the pair's historic summit, Trump bristled with confidence as he boasted that contacts between their respective negotiating teams had been positive. Despite North Korea being one of the world's poorest countries, enormous resources were spent on the ballistic missile and nuclear programmes.

Former U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage expected little progress on the key issue of defining denuclearization.

"The success will be in the shutter clicks of the cameras", he said. The only sane reaction is to hope that they do both get along.

"We're here just for fun, they might not be the real leaders but it's okay". "But I really feel confident".

March 8: South Korean envoys meet Mr Trump in Washington and deliver an invitation from Mr Kim to meet; Mr Trump accepts.

In response to US pressure, Thailand said annual trade with North Korea fell by 94 percent, although some North Korean businesses have continued to operate in the country, including two restaurants in Bangkok.

At stake at the summit are North Korea's nuclear weapons and peace on the Korean Peninsula.

It is unclear, however, under what terms North Korea would agree to in an effort to reduce its nuclear arsenal.

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. He said a successful summit would create more room for the two Korean leaders to move forward on inter-Korean reconciliation and cooperation. He then launched a charm offensive with South Korea, using the Winter Olympics to send high-level officials to meet the South's president, Moon Jae-in.

The upcoming summit has been at the center of worldwide attention amid hopes that it will yield a major breakthrough in the decades-long efforts to denuclearize the North and establish a peace regime on the divided Korean Peninsula.

Pyongyang has taken some steps to show sincerity, returning USA detainees and blowing up its nuclear test site.

Julie Giguere, MD of worldwide interpretation and translation specialists Asian Absolute, said making a good first impression will be key and Mr Trump would need to mind his manners. "So this isn't a question of preparation".

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