Thursday, 21 June, 2018

Kim takes night tour of Singapore ahead of summit with Trump

This image provided by Yonhap News TV shows North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Singapore This image provided by Yonhap News TV shows North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Singapore
Sammy Stanley | 14 June, 2018, 05:45

Others complained about the traffic jams in downtown Singapore. Mr Kim has called him "mentally deranged" and a "dotard".

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.

It would be the first meeting between a sitting US president and a North Korean leader since the end of the 1950-53 Korean War. After greeting each other - an image sure to be devoured around the world - the two leaders planned to sit for a one-on-one meeting that a US official said could last up to two hours, with only translators joining them.

Kim smiled broadly in the meeting Sunday evening. Days earlier, in the North Korean village of Panmunjom, negotiations between diplomats from Washington and Pyongyang stalled when North Korea's vice-foreign minister Choe Son-hui said that denuclearization "should not be on the table for the Singapore summit" - a demand that would nullify the meeting's goal from the White House's perspective.

Pompeo traveled twice to Pyongyang in recent months to lay the groundwork for Trump's meeting, becoming the most senior member of Trump's team to spend time with Kim face to face.

Mr Trump's first year in office was marked by bitter exchanges between himself and Mr Kim - as North Korea conducted several ballistic missile tests in defiance of the worldwide community.

Experts believe the North is close to being able to target the entire US mainland with its nuclear-armed missiles, and while there's deep skepticism that Kim will quickly give up those hard-won nukes, there's also some hope that diplomacy can replace the animosity between the USA and the North.

Trump kept open the possibility of ensuing meetings with Kim following the one in Singapore, which he said will hopefully start "something big".

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Sung Kim, the USA ambassador to the Philippines who has taken the lead on policy negotiations with the North, will hold a "working group" with a North Korean delegation.

From the truce village of Panmunjeom and Singapore, top nuclear envoys from North Korea and the USA have engaged in a series of discussions aimed at resolving their nuclear standoff and decades-old animosity.

Federal Reserve raises interest rates
In the United Kingdom , the Bank has stopped actively buying financial assets and interest rates are up a little from their lows. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell spoke, March 21, following the Federal Open Market Committee meeting in Washington.

It was not immediately clear what specific progress, if any, had been made in preliminary discussions between United States and North Korean officials.

Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong shared that sentiment, saying Sunday that the $15 million cost to the host country was money well spent.

On the question of sanctions, Secretary of State added that it would remain unless North Korea completely and verifiably denuclearises. It heralded the summit as part of a "changed era". "Kim!" as the leader left the Marina Bay Sands during a city tour.

Mr Trump withdrew the USA from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, which the Obama administration had reached with Iran, Britain, France, Germany, China and Russian Federation.

Beyond denuclearization, the two leaders will also approach the issue of officially ending the Korean War, normalizing relations between the two countries and a framework for reaching a denuclearization deal.

As Trump sought to build a bridge with Kim, he was smashing longtime alliances with Western allies with his abrasive performance at the G-7 and angry tweets directed at Trudeau and sent from aboard Air Force One as Trump flew from Quebec to Singapore. The term, taken alone, means very different things to North Korea and the United States. But there is no doubt that the United States could demolish North Korea in minutes with nuclear weapons stationed in the Pacific. "North Korea relationship, which can be attributed to their vision".

Moon has expressed hope that the summit will lead to a three-way declaration also including Seoul to formally end the 1950-53 Korean War.

The North may see a treaty - and its presumed safety assurances from Washington - as its best way of preserving the Kim family dynasty.

Mr Kim has also said he wants to focus on building the North Korean economy - and thus wants sanctions relief and worldwide investment.

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