Published: Thu, June 14, 2018
People | By Neil Grant

Trump, Kim arrive for US-North Korea summit

Trump, Kim arrive for US-North Korea summit

U.S. President Donald Trump arrived in Singapore Sunday evening for a summit meeting with Kim Jong Un, top leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK). It will be the first meeting between a sitting US president and a DPRK top leader.

Although gaps remain over what denuclearisation would entail, Trump sounded a positive note in a lunch meeting with Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. Trump is expected to meet Lee on Monday.

For the pariah state, denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula is a situation in which North Korea gives up nukes if the US ends its alliances in Asia, its policy of extended deterrence and ground troops on the peninsula, Victor Cha, a Georgetown University professor and senior advisor at the Center for Strategic and International Studies said at a Washington event on Monday. This area has been designated by Singaporean authorities as "special event areas".

North Korean vice minister of foreign affairs Choi Sun-hee (third from left) arrives at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Singapore to continue talks with the American ambassador to the Philippines, Sung Kim.

His sister and close aide Kim Yo Jong is also in Singapore, and is believed to have travelled separately on the ageing Soviet-made Ilyushin-62 that is Kim's personal aircraft.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says Monday's preparatory talks were moving quite rapidly and "and we anticipate that they will come to their logical conclusion even more quickly than we anticipated".

The summit, which was on a brink of being canceled multiple times, may bring a certain amount of diplomatic and political benefits for both leaders.

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

In the lead up to the summit, North Korea rejected any unilateral nuclear disarmament, and KCNA's reference to denuclearization of the peninsula has historically meant that Pyongyang wants the United States to remove its "nuclear umbrella" protecting South Korea and Japan.

The fighting ended on July 27, 1953, but the war technically continues today because instead of a difficult-to-negotiate peace treaty, military officers for the US -led United Nations, North Korea and China signed an armistice that halted the fighting.

He would not say whether that included the possibility of withdrawing US troops from the Korean Peninsula, but said the context of the discussions was "radically different than ever before". He told Lee: "We've got very interesting meeting in particular tomorrow, and I just think it's going to work out very nicely".

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