N. Korean Leader Meets Singapore's Prime Minister

Cheryl Sanders
June 14, 2018

President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un arrived in Singapore Sunday ahead of a highly anticipated summit. Excited crowds flooded the streets after the 2015 nuclear deal that Iran struck with world powers, including the US under President Barack Obama.

A "changed era" had come about, it said.

Alluding to the North's concerns that giving up its nuclear weapons could surrender its primary deterrent to forced regime change, Secretary of State Mike 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".

Kim brought a significant security presence to Singapore, including three airplanes and a convoy of armored vehicles.

Trump arrived five hours later.

Earlier, Trump tweeted it was "great to be in Singapore, excitement is in the air".

It was another once-unthinkable scene.

It's unclear what Trump and Kim might decide Tuesday.

Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un have arrived in Singapore for their historic summit
GETTYDonald Trump and Kim Jong-un have arrived in Singapore for their historic summit

There has been no indication Rodman would be involved in any official talks at the summit, which is aimed at getting North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons and missiles in exchange for economic incentives and security guarantees.

Kim smiled broadly in the meeting Sunday evening.

As Kim's black Mercedes arrived at the St Regis hotel in downtown Singapore, it was flanked by bodyguards in identical black suits jogging alongside the vehicle.

Prime Minister Lee is set to meet Trump on Monday.

"The entire world is watching this historic summit", Kim told Lee during their welcome meeting.

"When I woke up this morning I saw the news in the newspaper that our respected Marshal went to Singapore for the North Korea-U.S. summit", said Han Il Gwang, a Pyongyang resident, displaying typical discretion when speaking to an Associated Press Television crew.

During the flight, the president spent time meeting with his staff, reading materials, and preparing for his meetings in Singapore.

His public schedule Monday was light.

"If China does not participate, and U.S".

While the summit reaffirms the U.S.'s close ties with Singapore - long one of America's best partners in South Asia - local officials have in recent weeks criticized Trump's efforts to reverse what he says are unfair trade practices.

Trump and his entourage met the Singaporean prime minister for lunch on Monday. "It's never going to be there again", Trump said on Saturday.

The North Korean autocrat's every move will be followed by 3,000 journalists who have converged on Singapore, and by gawkers around the world, up until he shakes hands with Trump on Tuesday.

Singapore, famed for its litter-free streets, lush gardens and strict regulations, raced to spruce up.

Another question is whether Trump will take up the issue of human rights - with North Korea accused of a host of state-sanctioned rights abuse including extrajudicial killing, torture and kidnapping.

Past nuclear deals have crumbled over North Korea's reluctance to open its doors to outsiders.

The trip is also monumental for Kim, the third member of his family to rule, on a personal level.

Kim had arrived hours earlier in a plane loaned by China, which for decades has been North Korea's only major ally.

Trump and Kim landed in a city teeming with media and onlookers of all stripes, from foreign policy analysts like Kelly and Enos to former basketball star Dennis Rodman, who claims to be a friend of the two leaders.

Many experts on North Korea, one of the most insular and unpredictable countries in the world, remain sceptical Kim will ever completely abandon its cherished nuclear weapons.

Trump will also meet staff from the United States embassy in Singapore on Monday afternoon, the White House said on Sunday.

As a result, pageantry, symbolism and body language are expected to play a central role.

Dennis Rodman, the eccentric former National Basketball Association player who calls Kim a friend, announced plans to attend while promoting a digital currency for the cannabis industry. Trump has offered few details of what a framework for that process would look like.

Some images of Trump and Kim were even more lifelike.

Other reports by iNewsToday