Monday, 18 June, 2018

Kim Jong-un's attempt at public relations makeover ahead of summit

Kim Jong Un’s Bevy Of Bodyguards Are Back — And Yes, They’re Still Running Trump Will Leave Summit With North Korea Early
Preston Stone | 11 June, 2018, 22:23

North Koreans have received news that the country's leader, Kim Jong-un, has arrived in Singapore for what the state-run media described as a historic meeting with the U.S. president, Donald Trump.

Trump, 71, landed at Paya Lebar Airbase on board Air Force One after cutting short his time at the G7 summit in Canada.

Concrete barricades have been erected outside St Regis Singapore hotel which is within the zoned security area. The only logical explanation for Rodman's visit to Singapore would have to do with the fact that he has been closely associated with Jong Un and Trump in the past.

In Singapore, the island city-state hosting the summit, the sense of anticipation was palpable, with people lining spotless streets Monday waving cellphones as Trump headed to meet Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

He thanked Singapore's organisation of the summit as if it was "their own family affair".

Even so, the summit continues to be a highly sensitive topic in North Korea and it is hard - even more so than usual - to get people to express their opinions about it. He told reporters he thinks he will know nearly immediately whether a deal can be made, saying: "I will know, just my touch, my feel".

Though Trump has been criticized for his failure to demand more concessions from North Korea before agreeing to a face-to-face meeting, which experts say gives Kim the sort of legitimacy on the global stage he desires, downplaying expectations does two things.

Even Mr Kim's two recent trips overseas to neighbouring China were not reported to the North Korean population until he had returned home. It's possible the two leaders could agree to open liaison offices in each other's capitals.

"The tweet showed Balakrishnan, Kim and Singapore's education minister Ong Ye Kung smiling broadly at the camera along with the caption: "#jalanjalan #guesswhere?"

White House adviser: Trudeau remarks ‘betrayal’
Trump in Singapore today escalated his war of words with Canada and the European Union in a pair of tweets. But the Canadian prime minister still said a few things that didn't go down well inside Air Force One.

North Korea had also threatened to strike Guam, an American territory in the Pacific Ocean.

The process could turn on what Trump is willing to offer Kim for ending his pursuit of nuclear weapons and submitting to intrusive inspections.

In March, Trump surprised the world by accepting an invitation from Kim to meet in person.

Larry Kudlow, Trump's economic adviser, said Sunday on CNN that Trudeau's criticism had damaged Trump's prestige before the summit - and that's why Trump reacted so strongly.

What was initially portrayed by the White House as a summit meant to completely rid the North of its nuclear weapons is now being cast as a chance to "start a dialogue" and for Trump the dealmaker to look into the eyes and take the measure of his nuclear-armed antagonist.

Pompeo says USA sanctions on the North will remain in place until the North denuclearizes, but he has warned that if diplomacy fails to move in the right direction, the sanctions "will increase".

Kim Jong Un departed Pyongyang Sunday in an Air China Boeing 747 plane for a 10-hour flight to Singapore. And he won't have that opportunity again.

Some analysts said a Kim commitment to specific negotiations on denuclearisation could well be enough for Tuesday's summit to be a success.

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