Thursday, 21 June, 2018

North Korea: US will offer 'unique' security guarantees, says Pompeo

Professor Taewoo Kim from Konyang University Image Professor Taewoo Kim is worried South Korea could be left exposed
Preston Stone | 11 June, 2018, 16:46

President Trump's first meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will be held one-on-one, according to a White House official.

And until denuclearisation takes place, sanctions against North Korea would remain in place, he stressed.

The running bodyguards of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un - which made an appearance for the first time during the inter-Korean summit in April this year - are now back in action, this time in Singapore.

A Trump administration official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the USA side was entering the talks with a sense of optimism and an equal dose of scepticism given North Korea's long history of developing nuclear weapons.

But Trump said: "We could absolutely sign an agreement and we're looking at it", adding: "Sounds a little bit odd, but that's probably the easy part".

A complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization "is the only outcome that the United States will accept", Pompeo told reporters on Monday evening in Singapore.

Ahead of his arrival, Trump acknowledged he is heading into "unknown territory" for the meeting Tuesday.

In my meetings with North Korea's foreign ministry, its officials have repeatedly emphasized that only a leader-to-leader dialogue could break the nuclear impasse.

In a tweet on Monday, he said: "Great to be in Singapore, excitement in the air!"

"It's never been done before", Trump said of a U.S.

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In an interview with BBC (who really got our geography wrong yesterday), Minister of Foreign Affairs Vivian Balakrishnan confirmed what everyone was guessing a week ago: Singapore is indeed picking up the hotel tab for the North Korean contingent here.

An entrance glows outside the Capella Hotel on Sentosa Island in Singapore June 5, 2018. All it'll take is for Trump to fire off a jibe at Kim or vice versa for the entire summit to come to an unsavoury end, leaving understandably ticked-off Singaporeans with a wholly unnecessary bill for SG 20 million ($15 million).

North Korea has so far presented Kim's sudden diplomatic overtures to his neighbors and to the United States as a logical next step following what Kim has claimed is the completion of his plan to develop a credible nuclear deterrent to what Pyongyang has long claimed is a policy of hostility and "nuclear blackmail" by Washington.

But he has since lowered expectations, backing away from an original demand for North Korea's swift denuclearization.

Before leaving for the ill-fated G7 Summit, Trump had underlined his resolve vis-à-vis a productive meeting with Kim by stating that the summit would be "much more than a photo-op".

Kim arrived in a Air China 747 that touched down at Changi Airport on Sunday afternoon, Singapore's Straits Times said.

Special Operations Command (SOC) police officers patrol Orchard Road on June 10 ahead of the Trump-Kim summit in Singapore. He has not left his country since taking office in 2011 other than to visit China and the South Korean side of the Demilitarised Zone on the border. There was also no sign of his sister, Kim Yo Jong, who has accompanied him to Singapore.

Trump insisted last week that the summit will "not be just a photo op", saying it will help forge a "good relationship" that would lead to a "process" toward the "ultimate making of a deal".

Likely to attend the summit with Trump are Pompeo, Bolton and White House chief of staff John Kelly.

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