Tuesday, 19 June, 2018

Trump casts North Korea summit as 'one-time shot' for Kim

Flight from Pyongyang lands in Singapore ahead of North Korean leader’s arrival Trump, Kim arrive in Singapore ahead of high-stakes summit
Sammy Stanley | 11 June, 2018, 08:36

Both US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un are due to arrive in Singapore on Sunday.

Hong Kong-based impersonator Howard X, who has attracted worldwide attention in recent months for his impression of Kim, appeared on stage with Trump lookalike Dennis Alan.

He said on Thursday that he didn't think he had to prepare very much for the summit and that "it's about attitude".

While both sides have repeatedly spoken on the need for "complete denuclearization" on the Korean Peninsula, Kim indicated that he would be ready to give up his nukes only if all of his security concerns are met. Trump has previously sought to assure the North Korean leader that Washington will not seek to wreck his rule by turning his country into the next Libya. Kim arrived on an Air China jet, NPR's Elise Hu reports.

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.

While a dozen North Korean journalists flanked by dozens of North Korean security men worked to capture Kim's every movement, guests in the hotel lobby were repeatedly told by Singapore police and hotel staff not to take pictures of any North Koreans, especially Kim.

There was heightened security at the St. Regis hotel in central Singapore, one of the hotels where the leaders were expected to stay.

"Thank you for all the donations you have been making to North Korea, well, me".

Travelling with him were top officials including foreign minister Ri Yong Ho, defence minister No Kwang Chol and Kim Yong Chol, a close aide who has been instrumental in the diplomacy that culminated in Tuesday's summit.

US President Donald Trump is set to discuss North Korea's nuclear weapons at an unprecedented summit with Kim Jong Un
US President Donald Trump is set to discuss North Korea’s nuclear weapons at an unprecedented summit with Kim Jong Un

Pope Francis has prayed that the summit this week between the USA and North Korean leaders succeeds in laying the groundwork for peace.

Trump and Kim plan to meet in Singapore on Tuesday.

"From our point of view it's important that the meeting take place, and that the meeting sets developments on a new trajectory - one that will be conducive to the security and stability of the region", he said.

On the U.S. side, joining Trump was a delegation of high-level officials, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Adviser John Bolton.

Later, Kim met with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at Lee's office in the sprawling palace known as the Istana.

After North Korea carried out a series of long-range missile tests that potentially put the USA mainland in range of a nuclear strike, Trump promised to respond with "fire and fury".

US and North Korean officials met Monday at the Ritz Carlton in this island city-state to negotiate before the first sit-down between a USA president and a North Korean leader, which is meant to settle a standoff over Pyongyang's nuclear arsenal.

In advance of the summit, the US president's favorability rating in South Korea rose 8 points, to 32 percent. The impersonator, who would give only his stage name Howard X, said he was held by immigration authorities for two hours before being released and told to steer clear of summit venues.

Kim's personality profile then may well focus into the strategy for the summit, as will Trump's own attitude on the encounter. Moon later proposed a tri-lateral meeting to put a formal end to the Korean war after the summit.

Rafael Nadal speaks out after 11th French Open win
Nadal, in an on-court interview, also said he's sure that runner-up Thiem will win the tournament in "the next couple of years". However, it was not all smooth sailing for Nadal on Sunday, as he started suffering cramps on his left hand in the third set.

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