Sunday, 24 June, 2018

Kim summit: North Korea hails 'new era' of relations with the US

Intelligence Chiefs Testify To Senate Committee On World Wide Threats Flight from Pyongyang lands in Singapore ahead of North Korean leader’s arrival
Gerardo Duncan | 11 June, 2018, 10:54

He was received by Singapore's Foreign Affairs Minister Vivian Balakrishnan.

Security around Kim's hotel was extremely tight and guests were prohibited from going in and out, hours before Kim's black Mercedes Benz limousine cruised in.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's sister Yo-jong gets into a van at the St. Regis Hotel in Singapore on Sunday.

Kim smiled broadly Sunday evening as he met with Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

He made the point that Singapore was likely to recoup some of the costs of hosting the summit over time.

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

The understated photo op belied the intensive behind-the-scenes negotiations that continued between the USA and North Korean delegations less than 24 hours before Trump was scheduled to meet Kim at the Capella Hotel on the resort island of Sentosa, just off Singapore's southern coast.

Tomorrow's meeting will be the first between a sitting USA president and a leader of North Korea, whose nuclear and ballistic missile ambitions have raised global concerns and seen tensions soar. The test will be whether a deal has "verifiable elements of a denuclearization", to prove whether the North has dismantled its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

Trump, speaking in Canada on Saturday, said any agreement at the summit would be "spur of the moment", underscoring the uncertain outcome of what he called a "mission of peace". "This says something about Singapore's relations with America and North Korea, and also our standing in the global community". The North Korean delegation, which was led by Choe Son Hui, the vice foreign minister, also was mum as it arrived a few minutes later.

Trump hopes the landmark talks will kick-start a process that eventually see Kim give up his nuclear weapons in an irreversible manner that can be verified internationally.

After his meeting with Lee, Trump was scheduled to visit diplomats at the U.S. Embassy here, but he had nothing else listed on his public schedule.

But last month, Trump abruptly cancelled the Singapore summit, citing the "tremendous anger and open hostility" by Pyongyang.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Sung Kim, the U.S. ambassador to the Philippines who has taken the lead on policy negotiations with the North, will hold a "working group" with a North Korean delegation to discuss final preparations for the meeting.

Kim Jong-un impersonator, Howard X from Australia, and Donald Trump impersonator Dennis Alan in Singapore.

Kim had "expressed his deep thanks to the Singaporean government for its honest cooperation of providing all conditions and best conveniences for the historic DRPK-US summit meeting", KCNA reported.

"I am on my way to Singapore where we have a chance to achieve a truly wonderful result for North Korea and the World", Trump wrote in a pair of tweets. "I know that Singapore is a very hot country so I wish that our respected Marshal stays healthy and comes back in good health". Create peace and great prosperity for his land.

Singapore will spend about 20 million dollars to host the historic summit between Trump and Kim, Prime Minister Loong revealed.

Believed to be 34, Kim is one of the youngest heads of state in the world and looks an unlikely candidate to be making history of the kind that has eluded his father and grandfather, both past leaders of North Korea.

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