Trump, Kim arrive in Singapore ahead of high-stakes summit

Cheryl Sanders
June 11, 2018

Trump, who is staying in a separate hotel, the Shangri-La, is due to meet Lee on Monday.

"Welcomed Chairman Kim Jong Un, who has just arrived in Singapore", Vivian Balakrishnan said on Twitter on Sunday, with a picture of him shaking hands with the North Korean leader who was wearing glasses and a dark Maoist suit.

"The officers have done a good job under very pressed circumstances", he said, pointing to the short notice given to prepare for the meeting.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's flight to Singapore was a tightly planned maneuver using a decoy to throw attackers off the scent.

U.S. President Donald Trump waves upon his arrival at Paya Lebar Air Base in Singapore before his summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un

She said Sung Kim, the USA ambassador to the Philippines, who has taken the lead on policy negotiations with the North, was set to hold a working group with a North Korean delegation at 10 a.m. Monday. "Both the American as well as the North Koreans are pleased with the arrangements, we're all set to go and things will start happening within the next 24 hours", he said. Kim arrived on an Air China jet, NPR's Elise Hu reports. While Kim and his delegation are now staying at the St. Regis Hotel amid heavy security.

Air Force One touched down at a military air base, travelling from Canada, where Trump had attended a meeting of the Group of Seven nations.

"This is a leader who really is an unknown personality", Trump added of Kim.

Though the White House has not released an official list of topics for the meeting, it is expected that the question of North Korea's denuclearization will be at the forefront of the discussions.

The first word Kim is in Singapore for Tuesday's summit came early Monday morning.

"North Korea has no reason to believe that the US would be willing or able to defend it from China", said Hugh White, an Australian defense strategist.

Trump and other top USA officials have promised a "bright future" for the North if it quickly relinquishes its nuclear weapons - including economic inducements and a security agreement.

Their meeting, which will be held at the city-state's Capella Hotel, will mark the first time a North Korean leader has met with a sitting United States president.

USA allies are anxious that Trump could upend decades of global precedent, NPR's Mara Liasson reported on Weekend Edition Sunday.

"We were able to complete the preparations for the historic summit, and I would like to thank you for that", Kim, speaking through an interpreter, told Lee. Again accusing the longtime US ally of unfair trade practices, Trump added: "Then Justin acts hurt when called out!"

The meeting was initially meant to rid North Korea of its nuclear weapons, but the talks have been portrayed by Trump in recent days more as a get-to-know-you session.

"He is willing to offer his support for his friends, President Trump and Marshall Kim Jong Un", Prince said. Some experts, including CBS News' Bob Carlin, have said it could take as long as 15 years for North Korea to completely wind down its nuclear and missile program, which is estimated to include enough material for 25 to 30 nuclear weapons. She led a North Korean delegation to the Winter Olympics in South Korea.

Both countries want North Korea's nuclear capabilities addressed.

Other reports by iNewsToday