Tuesday, 19 June, 2018

North Korea's Kim lands in Singapore, on cusp of making history

Flight from Pyongyang lands in Singapore ahead of North Korean leader’s arrival Trump, Kim arrive in Singapore ahead of high-stakes summit
Laurie Berry | 11 June, 2018, 07:22

Washington hopes the summit will kick-start a process that eventually sees Kim give up his nuclear weapons, read the BBC report, adding that the U.S. wants North Korea to get rid of its nuclear weapons in an irreversible manner that can be verified internationally.

Chen Ziyang, 28, who was queueing for a picture, said the impersonators had "almost 99 percent resemblance to the real Kim and Trump".

A few hours after that, Balakrishnan was on hand when Trump stepped off Air Force One.

Kim met Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong shortly after his arrival, driving from the St Regis Hotel where he is staying, through the famous Orchard Road shopping district, which was closed off for his tightly guarded motorcade.

Formally ending the Korean War - 65 years after hostilities ceased with the signing of an armistice - will also be on the table at the first-ever meeting between a North Korean leader and a sitting American president.

Authorities in Singapore imposed tight security around the summit venue and related luxury hotels, including installing extra pot plants outside one contender for Kim's accommodation to obstruct reporters' views.

A source told the South China Morning Post earlier that China could send fighter jets to escort Kim on the journey through its airspace.

The pair are now both in Singapore where the meeting will take place.

Moon Jae-in acted as a successful facilitator in making this summit happen, while Trump wants to make a deal.

It is unclear, however, under what terms North Korea would agree to in an effort to reduce its nuclear arsenal.

Trump has said he hopes to make a legacy-defining deal for the North to give up its nuclear weapons, though he has recently sought to manage expectations, saying that it may take more than one meeting.

Ironically, Trump then started a trade war with Canada and the European Union during recent G-7 meetings.

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"The worry we have is the president will be so eager for quote "an agreement" that it won't protect the security, first and foremost, of the United States", Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., told NPR on Tuesday.

April 18: Mr Trump confirms that Mike Pompeo, then the Central Intelligence Agency chief, had met Mr Kim secretly in North Korea and said "a good relationship was formed" heading into the anticipated summit.

But in their joint appearance, the mercurial USA president also displayed his instinct to make the sensitive, technical diplomatic effort into a dramatic world-stopping event.

"As the venue and time of the summit have already been announced, security for Kim Jong Un will be tighter than for any other VIPs", said the professor, who was the first academic to establish a university major in South Korea on guarding and protection.

Kim's popularity in South Korea also increased significantly after the inter-Korean summit in April, where he was seen by many as nonthreatening and open to compromise.

White House aides described Trump in the days after receiving the initial Kim invitation as being obsessed by visions of winning the Nobel Peace Prize and of using the skills he laid out in his book "The Art of the Deal" to put his mark on the global order.

"We will not be surprised by any scenario", said the official.

The North, experts believe, stands on the brink of being able to target the entire USA 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 United States and the North.

"Our relations with North Korea depend on the worldwide situation, and particularly on the UN Security Council's resolutions and its decisions", said Mr Lee.

"I feel that Kim Jong Un wants to do something great for his people and he has that opportunity and he won't have that opportunity again". North Korea has long demanded a treaty that may be aimed at getting U.S. troops off the Korean Peninsula and, eventually, paving the way for a North Korean-led unified Korea.

"But I've said it many times, who knows?" Just meeting with Trump will also give Kim recognition as the leader of a "normal" country and as an equal of the USA leader.

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