Tuesday, 16 October, 2018

White House: North Korea talks moving 'more quickly than expected'

Trump is right to lower expectations for Singapore summit Modal Trigger Donald Trump Getty Images
Laurie Berry | 11 June, 2018, 18:28

Highly unusually, North Korea's state-run media are already reporting on Mr Kim's trip to Singapore to meet Mr Trump.

"We were able to complete the preparations for the historic summit, and I would like to thank you for that", Kim, speaking through an interpreter, told Lee.

He said that those talks "in fact are moving quite rapidly and will come to a logical conclusion more quickly than anticipated". He was received by Singapore's Foreign Affairs Minister Vivian Balakrishnan. But Trump cautioned that Kim "won't have that opportunity again" if the talks do not go well - describing this opportunity for diplomacy with the United States as a "one-time shot".

Trump and Kim arrived in Singapore on Sunday, both staying at luxurious and heavily guarded hotels about a kilometre and a half apart, with Trump at the Shangri-La Hotel and Kim at the St. Regis Hotel.

North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un shakes hands with Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the Istana in Singapore on June 10.

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

Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un have discussed bilateral relations and the situation on the Korean Peninsula, the city-state's Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

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 worldwide stage he desires, downplaying expectations does two things.

Although gaps remain over what denuclearisation would entail, Mr Trump sounded a positive note at the lunch meeting, telling Mr Lee, "we've got a very interesting meeting in particular tomorrow, and I think things can work out very nicely".

Germany Defeat Saudi Arabia 2-1 in Pre-World Cup Friendly
There was frustration for Germany coach Joachim Low, as Ilkay Gundogan's every touch was booed for the second game in a row. Pleasingly from a German perspective, captain Manuel Neuer kept a clean sheet in his 45-minute spell in goal.

The US wants North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons, but North Korea is widely expected to resist that and it is unclear what it might ask for in return.

A State Department spokesperson said the USA and North Korean delegations have held a second meeting in advance of the summit.

"It's unknown territory in the truest sense but I really feel confident", Trump said.

But US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the two-hour meeting on Monday morning was "substantive and detailed". He has been to Beijing twice and has briefly crossed the frontier at the Demilitarised Zone with South Korea to meet its president. He has also raised the possibility of further summits and an agreement ending the Korea War by replacing the armistice signed in 1953 with a peace treaty.

"Despite his young age, he seems to be shrewd", he said, adding that he believes Kim realises his crusade to develop a nuclear arsenal to ensure his regime's survival has "hit a dead end" under intensifying sanctions.

In a post on Twitter during his flight, Trump reiterated his optimism that the summit with the North Korean leader will be a success.

Asian stocks moved gingerly on Monday as a weekend G7 summit fanned trade conflict fears after US President Donald Trump backed out of a joint communique in a blow to the group's efforts to show a united front.

His New Year speech - the one that kick-started this diplomatic process - was all about North Korea's strategy of building the economy having achieved the goal of becoming a nuclear power.

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