Tuesday, 23 October, 2018

North Korea summit: Human rights not on the agenda

The menu for a working lunch served to U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un and their delegations during their summit at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa island in Singapore Trump and Kim make history with a handshake
Laurie Berry | 12 June, 2018, 09:24

Trump said Tuesday after meeting Kim that he's feeling "really great".

"It's awesome, when I said those things, when I said those damn things, when I went back home I got so many death threats", a tearful Rodman told CNN's Chris Cuomo while wearing a "Make America Great Again" hat. "And we'll see how far we get, but I'm very optimistic", he continued.

On his stroll, Kim had been briefed on urban development plans. "We will solve a big problem, a big dilemma that until this point has been unable to be solved", Trump said.

While the president has more recently sought to temper expectations of what he may be able to achieve with the summit, he has also said the interaction amounts to a crucial test in determining whether Kim is genuine in committing to rid his country of its nuclear program.

Trump, who is seeking to persuade Kim to abandon his nuclear weapons program, called it "my honor" as he became the first sitting USA president to sit down with a North Korean leader.

USA and North Korean officials met Monday at the Ritz Carlton in this island city-state to negotiate before the first sit-down between a United States president and a North Korean leader, which is meant to settle a standoff over Pyongyang's nuclear arsenal. "You have to work with those people to make sure that they're not encouraged to go out and sell their skills to others", Albright said. "And it's my honor to be involved". An American reporter asked Trump how he was feeling, followed by a North Korean reporter asking a question to Kim.

The circus-like atmosphere might be amusing if the stakes weren't so high.

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Kim leaned to his left in a casual manner toward the US President.

The former Central Intelligence Agency chief said US sanctions will remain in place until Washington verifies the North's denuclearization efforts. Seoul lives under constant threat of an attack by North Korea, and the country's leadership has been adamantly promoting diplomatic talks in order to avoid a full-blown conflict, especially as Pyongyang appeared closer to developing a nuclear weapon that could fit on an intercontinental ballistic missile.

In Trump's and Kim's meeting on Tuesday, reporters were allowed access for just a few minutes at the beginning.

From there, the two will engage in more talks with advisers joining them through a working lunch.

Human-rights advocates who lauded Trump when he hosted eight North Korean defectors at the White House days after his State of the Union speech are now uneasy about his engagement with Kim, whom the president recently praised as "very honourable".

It is also unclear whether USA officials will raise human rights issues in meetings with the North Koreans. They only ever met with former USA presidents, a symptom of six decades of hostility between the U.S. and North Korea, which remains a pariah in the eyes of the West not just for its nuclear and missile threats but for flouting global norms of diplomatic behaviour.

This is a developing story.

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