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

White House: North Korea talks moving 'more quickly than expected'


The foreign minister of Singapore tweeted out a picture of the cake presented to Trump at the luncheon today in Singapore.

They discussed Singapore-North Korea relations and developments on the Korean peninsula amidst Kim thanking the Singaporean premier for hosting the summit.

The Singapore government offered itself as a neutral site for the first-ever meeting between a sitting U.S. president and a North Korean leader.

Singapore is one of the few countries that have diplomatic relations with both the USA and North Korea.

"We don't know how developed North Korea's secure communications capabilities are, so whether Kim Jong Un will be within easy reach of his National Command Authority during his stay in Singapore is an open question", said Andrew O'Neil, a North Korea nuclear policy expert at Griffith University in Queensland, Australia.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un with Singapore's prime minister, Lee Hsien Loong, at the Istana in Singapore on Sunday. It is believed that Trump and Kim will begin with a two-hour one-on-one session with translators, before an expanded meeting that includes advisers.

Trump and Kim may well end up branding tomorrow's summit a success.

The Trump administration is pushing for Pyongyang to dismantle its nuclear weapons program, an action South Korea has said Kim is willing to take.

"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". Before the announcement, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo seemed to hint that the outcome of the talks might not be what Trump has promised in the past. "I feel that Kim Jong Un wants to do something great for his people and he has that opportunity".

The summit, the first time a sitting United States president meets a North Korean leader, was almost called off just two weeks before the event.

Sporadic provocations by the North have continued while Pyongyang has made increasing advances in its nuclear arsenal, which it says it needs to defend against the risk of a US invasion.

Before flying home, Trump planned to speak to reporters in Singapore after concluding the summit, the White House said. "And he has that opportunity, and he won't have that opportunity again", Trump said.

Trump traveled to Singapore from Canada, where he attended a meeting with other world leaders. The highly-anticipated talks had been put at risk when, on May 24, Trump announced he was canceling the meeting with Kim due to Pyongyang's hostile rhetoric.

Not only have Korean Central TV, KCNA news agency and newspaper Rodong Sinmun published reports on the trip to Singapore, they have also told North Koreans the exact goal of the visit - to meet the president of the United States.

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