Saturday, 18 August, 2018

Kim Singapore summit: All the latest updates

US troops based in South Korea Image There are 28,500 US personnel on the Korean Peninsula
Orlando Vargas | 11 June, 2018, 16:43

The US president and North Korean leader are staying in separate hotels, not far from each other, and will meet on Tuesday at a hotel on Sentosa, a popular tourist island a few hundred metres off the main island of Singapore.

But in the lead up to the historic summit, several analysts have pointed out that the Trump administration doesn't have a clear plan for how it will approach the discussions, and that both sides of the negotiating table have very different ideas about what "denuclearization" means.

Whether they could agree to a draft document will likely determine whether Kim and Trump can sign a tangible "outcome" at the summit. But Trump cautioned that Kim "won't have that opportunity again" if the talks do not go well - describing this opportunity for diplomacy with the United States as a "one-time shot".

People crowded around poster stands at train stations around the capital, Pyongyang, to read the news, and gathered at noon on Monday in front of the city's main train station to watch a large screen display of images of Kim disembarking from the special Air China flight that took him to Singapore. He has been to Beijing twice and has briefly crossed the frontier at the Demilitarized Zone with South Korea to meet its president.

Differing reports stated that Kim was on an Air China aircraft, not a private jet.

"We don't know how developed North Korea's secure communications capabilities are, so whether Kim Jong Un will be within easy reach of his National Command Authority during his stay in Singapore is an open question", said Andrew O'Neil, a North Korea nuclear policy expert at Griffith University in Queensland, Australia.

"Prime Minister Lee welcomed Chairman Kim to Singapore".

"The entire world is focusing on the historic summit between the DPRK (North Korea) and the U.S., and thanks to your honest efforts".

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North Korea possesses nuclear weapons and long-range missiles believed to be capable of hitting anywhere in the U.S.

North Korea news agency KCNA commented on Tuesday's agenda, saying talks would focus on "the issue of building a permanent and durable peace-keeping mechanism on the Korean peninsula, the issue of realising the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula and other issues of mutual concern".

USA and North Korean officials were in talks in Singapore on Monday in a late bid to narrow differences before their leaders hold an historic summit aimed at finding ways to end a nuclear stand-off on the Korean peninsula.

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.

The meeting between Kim and Trump will mark a turnaround of relations between the two leaders after a long-running exchange of furious threats and insults.

Singapore has spent $S20 million hosting the summit, half of that on security costs, with Lee saying it was "in our profound interest" to contribute to such an worldwide endeavour. One dispatch by the Korean Central News Agency said North Korea and the U.S. would exchange "wide-ranging and profound views" on establishing new relations, building a "permanent and durable peace-keeping mechanism", achieving denuclearization and "other issues of mutual concern, as required by the changed era".

The talks have been portrayed by Trump in recent days more as a get-to-know-you session.

As anticipation for his historic summit with North Korea has ratcheted up, salesman in chief Donald Trump has done something out of character: ratcheted expectations down.

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