Trump, Pompeo Positive Ahead of NKorean Summit; Officials Meet to Close Differences

Posted June 13, 2018

North Koreans got their first big dose of news on Monday that their leader Kim Jong-un had arrived in Singapore for what even the state-run media was calling a historic meeting with US President Donald Trump.

The meeting was the first between a sitting US president and a North Korean leader. It will be the first-ever meeting between the leaders of the US and North Korea.

The Trump-Kim summit, which will be held at the Capella Hotel on Tuesday morning, will mark the first time a North Korean leader has met with a sitting USA president. And he must resist the kind of impetuousness he displayed on his way to Singapore when he abruptly withdrew US support for a joint communique negotiated with other nations at the Group of Seven meeting in Canada.

Singapore, doing its bit to promote peace, has said it expects to spend about S$20 million ($15 million) on hosting the summit, including the North Koreans' hotel bill, Singapore's foreign minister told the BBC.

The UN World Food Programme says a quarter of North Korean children under five, who attend nurseries that it supports, suffer from chronic malnutrition.

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But he has since lowered expectations, saying the talks would be more about starting a relationship with Kim for a negotiating process that would take more than one summit.

Trump initially touted the potential for a grand bargain with North Korea to rid itself of a nuclear missile program that has advanced rapidly to threaten the United States. This is just an elaborate get-to-know-you session, albeit between the two most famous leaders in the world, and nuclear armed at that.

Accompanied by senior officials, the leaders of both countries had just dined on avocado salad, fresh octopus, short rib and braised cod and, Mr. Trump said, "we're going right now for a signing".

Alluding to the North's concerns that giving up its nuclear weapons could surrender its primary deterrent to forced regime change, Pompeo told reporters that the US was prepared to take action to provide North Korea with "sufficient certainty" that denuclearization "is not something that ends badly for them".

North Korea's definition of "complete denuclearisation" reportedly covers the removal of the U.S. nuclear umbrella from the Korean Peninsula as a security guarantee, in return for the permanent dismantling of North Korea's nuclear program.

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"The fact that we have been chosen as the site of the meeting... says something about Singapore's relations with the parties - with America, with North Korea - (and) also our standing in the global community", said Lee.

0109 Kim says they have overcome a lot of obstacles to make this meeting happen.

Pompeo said the summit should set the framework for "the hard work that will follow", insisting that North Korea had to move toward complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearisation.

He also spoke of how happy he was that Trump had agreed to meeting with Kim, which no USA president has done before.

The President is well-prepared for tomorrow's engagement with Chairman Kim.

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Trump's bombshell announcement that he was backing out of the G7 communique, made after he left the summit in Canada early, torpedoed what appeared to be a fragile consensus on the trade dispute between Washington and its top allies.