Saturday, 23 June, 2018

Singapore mud-sling: Trump vs Kim insults

Trump Kim converge on Singapore ahead of high-stakes summit Kim And Company Arrive In Singapore Via A Procession Of Chinese And North Korean Jets (Updated)
Kenny Thornton | 14 June, 2018, 04:37

The eyes of the world upon them, President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un headed on Tuesday into their historic summit balancing the elusive promise of peace against the specter of a growing nuclear threat.

The summit destination is Capella Hotel on Singapore's Sentosa Island.

Tuesday's summit will be the first between a North Korean leader and a sitting American president.

He met Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to thank him for hosting the summit, adding: "If the summit becomes a success, the Singaporean efforts will go down in history". On Sunday, as the worldwide media swarmed Singapore and Kim arrived on a special Air China flight, just hours before Trump, there was still no word.

Mr Trump's first year in office was marked by bitter exchanges with Mr Kim as North Korea conducted several ballistic missile tests in defiance of global warnings.

Kim and the Singaporean premier discussed "issues of developing the bilateral relations in an all-round way by invigorating wide-ranging exchange and cooperation while maintaining the excellent relations and deepening the friendly relations between the two countries".

But the value of the event - long sought by the North, and which Trump apparently impulsively agreed to in March, reportedly without consulting his advisers - has been called into question by many seasoned experts.

Trump was joined at the meeting with Lee by US officials including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and National Security Adviser John Bolton.

It is an extraordinary turnaround from the rhetoric of previous year, when Trump threatened the North with "fire and fury" and Kim dubbed him a "mentally deranged U.S. dotard".

Freeland calls tariffs 'absurd' after meeting U.S. Senate committee
Asked if he was apologising for the comments, Navarro said: "Yeah, absolutely". "That's going to cost him a lot of money ". Bloomberg reports that a 25 per cent tariff on imported vehicles could lead consumers to do one of three things.

Officials remain uncertain what will come out of Tuesday's unprecedented summit, the first of its kind between a sitting US president and the leader of North Korea.

President Trump traveled to the summit - which will be the first-ever meeting between a USA president and a North Korean leader - from a G7 meeting in Quebec, Canada. "Why would Kim. believe any commitments President Trump makes when he arbitrarily tears up an agreement with which the other party is complying?" said Antony Blinken, who was deputy secretary of state under Barack Obama.

The North has faced crippling diplomatic and economic sanctions as it has advanced development of its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

Olivia Enos, policy analyst with the Asian Studies Center at The Heritage Foundation in Washington, said "a successful summit would move beyond mere statements about denuclearization".

Later, Kim's plane landed at Changi airport.

"North Korea's increased dialogue with other countries is a positive step, but before the world gets too excited they should remember that Kim Jong Un still presides over perhaps the most repressive system in the world", he said.

The fighting ended on July 27, 1953, but the war technically continues today because instead of a difficult-to-negotiate peace treaty, military officers for the US -led United Nations, North Korea and China signed an armistice that halted the fighting.

Any public gathering without a police permit is illegal in Singapore - making it ideal for a high-security nuclear summit but less so for nudging Kim toward open democracy.

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