Thursday, 18 October, 2018

Trump, Kim arrive at Singapore summit site for talks

Analysis: Why wit and wisdom are the most likely tactics from Kim Jong Un’s playbook Preview Of Nuclear Talks Between Donald Trump And Kim Jong Un
Ellis Copeland | 14 June, 2018, 04:23

Critics of the summit leapt at the leaders' handshake and the moonlight stroll Kim took Monday night along the glittering Singapore waterfront, saying it was further evidence that Trump was helping legitimize Kim on the world stage as an equal of the US president.

Looking back at her long battle to secure the return of her daughter, Yokota said, "I hope Mr. Kim Jong Un will understand the feelings of the parents".

Trump and his advisers have said the U.S. would accept nothing less than full denuclearization before sanctions against the North are lifted, and before North Korea can be fully welcomed into the fold of the broader diplomatic community. Coming to Singapore presents him with risks back home - risks of his power being usurped in a coup - and risks to his person.

Former NBA star Dennis Rodman, who has travelled to North Korea five times since 2013 to engage in unofficial "basketball diplomacy", had until recent months provided the world with some of the only first-hand accounts of Kim.

Even Kim seemed to acknowledge the surreality of the day. Just $5 a month.

The KCNA also confirmed that he was guided by Singaporean officials, including its foreign minister.

The team of White House aides and Trump administration officials had not mentioned whether the issue of North Korean human rights will be addressed during the summit between the two leaders, a sign the United States' priorities lie in mitigating weapons threats.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un looks at a night view of Singapore from the roof of the Marina Bay Sands hotel on Monday.

The photograph has drawn mixed reactions. The meeting is meant to be "start of a relationship", the official said, and there could be more to come between both sides if things go well.

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The article said that Kim was accompanied by his sister Kim Yo Jong, first vice department director of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK), vice-chairman of the WPK Central Committee Ri Su Yong, and others.

Kim Jong Un was also quoted saying that he "got to know Singapore's economic power and development as well as their awesome rise" through the tour of the city.

Kim, who is believed to be just 34 years old, took over from his father in 2011.

North Korea, however, has shown little appetite for surrendering nuclear weapons it considers vital to the survival of Kim's dynastic rule. The moniker "mafia state" is often applied to the country too, accurately capturing North Korea's status as the only known state sponsor of counterfeit US dollar bill and methamphetamine production.

Another key issue for Japan is the fate of at least a dozen Japanese citizens abducted by North Korea in the 1970s and 1980s.

"North Korea has demonstrated a strong interest to pivot to economic development", says Zhao Tong, a nuclear policy analyst at the Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy in Beijing.

To normalize North Korea - a country known and caricatured for its presumed strangeness - Kim needs to be seen as a respectable statesman. Trump announced plans to leave early for the summit site.

The bottom line for Russian Federation, which shares an 11-mile border with North Korea, is stability. Such coverage was once unimaginable in North Korea, where official propaganda is well-known to have doctored images of the Seoul skyline, to underplay the prosperity of the world outside of juche Korea's borders.

United States and North Korean officials huddled throughout Monday at the Ritz-Carlton hotel ahead of the sit-down aimed at resolving a standoff over Pyongyang's nuclear arsenal. As Trump and Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong sat down for a working lunch at the Istana house, the president sounded optimistic, telling Lee, "We've got a very interesting meeting in particular tomorrow, and I think things can work out very nicely".

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