Saturday, 18 August, 2018

Singapore Offers to Pick up Kim Jong-un's Bills

Kim And Company Arrive In Singapore Via A Procession Of Chinese And North Korean Jets (Updated) Will Kim Jong-un make it out of Singapore?
Ellis Copeland | 14 June, 2018, 04:51

"Great to be in Singapore, excitement in the air!"

In Wonsan, Kim has already built a ski resort and a new airport to turn the city of 360,000 people into a billion-dollar tourist hotspot. That is, Pyongyang will "launch a lengthy, complicated negotiation to get agreement on actions each party must take, and use this process to buy time for the development of the North's nuclear weapons program". Sung Kim was accompanied by Randall Schriver, an assistant secretary for Asia at the Pentagon, Allison Hooker, the National Security Council director for Korea, and other aides. The only logical explanation for Rodman's visit to Singapore would have to do with the fact that he has been closely associated with Jong Un and Trump in the past. Soon after, Mr Kim declared that his country had achieved its mission of becoming a nuclear state, with missiles that could reach the US.

With the eyes of the world following him, Trump flew into Singapore's Paya Lebar Air Base aboard Air Force One on Sunday, fresh from a divisive G7 meeting in Canada with some of Washington's closest allies that further strained global trade ties.

Shortly after arriving, Kim visited with Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who is scheduled to meet with Trump on Monday.

Prime Minister Lee wished Kim a success for the summit and expressed hope that the US-DPRK meeting will advance the prospects for peace and stability in the Korean peninsula and the larger region.

Reuters. North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un shakes hands with Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the Istana in Singapore
Reuters. North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un shakes hands with Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the Istana in Singapore

But while Singapore is well within its range, questions have been raised about its reliability and Kim, it turned out, was not on board.

It's unclear what Trump and Kim might decide Tuesday. According to a 2017 analysis by the US think tank Center for Strategic and International Studies, under Kim and Xi's leadership, the two countries saw the fewest high-level diplomatic exchanges since Mao ruled China.

But it was only Monday morning in North Korea that the government news agency reported that Kim was in Singapore, had met with the prime minister and would meet Trump on Tuesday. Instead, the meet will set the ball rolling for a long dialogue between the two nuclear powers. "It's never going to be there again", Trump said on Saturday. Seoul says improved inter-Korean relations are important because Pyongyang wouldn't be willing to give up its nuclear weapons unless it feels its security has been assured.

Any nuclear deal will hinge on North Korea's willingness to allow unfettered outside inspections of the country's warheads and nuclear fuel, much of which is probably kept in a vast complex of underground facilities.

But the South's Winter Olympics in February were the catalyst for a flurry of diplomatic moves as South Korea's dovish leader Moon Jae-in sought to bring the two sides together, holding two summits of his own with Kim in the Demilitarized Zone that divides Korea. "Kim must not see American weakness". The ensuing recognition as a "normal country" could then allow sanctions relief, and later worldwide aid and investment.

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