Published: Tue, June 12, 2018
People | By Neil Grant

Trump's struggle to manage expectations as he meets with Kim Jong Un

Trump's struggle to manage expectations as he meets with Kim Jong Un

"Or we could have a failed summit that really takes us in the other direction".

Even so, the summit continues to be a sensitive topic in North Korea and it is hard - even more so than usual - to get people to express opinions about it.

Choe Son-hui is North Korea's Vice-Foreign Minister and was leading talks on behalf of North Korea with the United States in Panmunjom in the lead-up to the summit. Media houses and analysts have had a lot to say on the 12 June summit, attempting to explain and highlight its significance.

The North has presented Kim's sudden diplomatic overtures to the country's neighbours and the U.S. as a logical next step and completion of his plan to develop a credible nuclear deterrent in response to what Pyongyang says is a policy of "nuclear blackmail" by Washington.

"President Moon and President Trump agreed Trump and Kim will be able to make a great achievement if the two leaders come together to find a common denominator through frank discussions", the Cheong Wa Dae spokesman said.

Andrew Kim was spotted by an Associated Press reporter Monday afternoon at the Shangri-La Hotel in Singapore, where Trump is staying. You ever hear that one?

The cover of this week's edition of The Economis.

Less than a week before the summit, Trump dismissed questions about his readiness, saying, "I don't think I have to prepare very much". In this week's edition of the magazine, The Economist depicts Trump swinging on a wrecking ball-Miley Cyrus-style-and in its report warns that Trump's strategy may work in favour of his "America First" policy but risks a lonely America in the long run.

Trump had called Kim "Little Rocket Man" and threatened to unleash "fire and fury like the world has never seen" on North Korea as it conducted several ballistic missile tests in defiance of global warnings.

China, both Koreas and the United States would have to sign off on any legally binding treaty, so it is unlikely Kim and Trump will do more than express an intention to end the war. Trump had earlier tweeted about the "excitement in the air!"

The North Korean leadership, including Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Choe Son Hui has also taunted Washington, calling Vice President Mike Pence a "political dummy".

Regardless, Trump seemed determined to keep his meeting with Kim low-key, dangling the possibility of a future summit in the US if things go well this week. "Prime Minister Lee and Chairman Kim discussed Singapore-DPRK relations, developments in the DPRK and regional developments, including the recent positive developments on the Korean Peninsula", the statement reads.

The commemorative coin issued ahead of the US-North Korea summit.

"The nuclear testing has got them to the point where they now get this meeting", he said.

Trump, after meeting recently with a North Korean envoy at the White House, said the summit will likely be part of "a process".

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

Sanctions on North Korea would remain in place until that had happened, Pompeo said.

The US side however reportedly believes that an immediate tangible outcome is unlikely following the meet.

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