June 18, 2018

Trump to depart from Singapore one day early

14 June 2018, 05:43 | Taylor George

Trump, Kim shake hands to open momentous summit

Mike Pompeo draws firm line on North Korea as summit hangs in balance

It is an extraordinary turnaround from the rhetoric of past year, when Trump threatened the North with "fire and fury" and Kim dubbed him a "mentally deranged United States dotard".

Kim spent most of the day in his room at the St. Regis hotel before taking a city tour in the evening, while Trump had only one outside meeting with Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

Now, both sides appear prepared to let Tuesday's historic face-to-face between the sitting leaders of the USA and North Korea function as more of an ice-breaker (and photo op) than a high-stakes diplomatic showdown. "So I think they're beginning to manage expectations", Kelly said.

Shortly after a group of suited North Korean diplomats set out from their Singapore hotel on Monday for talks with US officials on the eve of a historic summit, a bigger group of North Koreans headed out in summery shirts for some shopping.

Moon spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom also said Monday that Moon has no plans yet to speak with Trump after the meeting.

"We've got a very interesting meeting ... tomorrow, and I just think it's going to work out very nicely", Trump said.

The team is to deliver the latest developments of Kim-Trump summit to the home government, while bringing and releasing the South Korean government's own response as well.

The relative speed with which the state media got the news of Kim's arrival in Singapore out to the North Korean public suggests a certain level of confidence that the meeting will go well - or at least well enough. The delegates were setting out specific goals for what Trump and Kim should try to accomplish and multiple potential scenarios for how key issues can be resolved.

Trump and his lieutenants have been walking different lines on the agenda ahead with North Korea.

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Pompeo, the former Central Intelligence Agency director, spent the morning preparing with his top advisers, aides said. He was joined in Singapore by Ambassador Sung Kim, the USA envoy to the Philippines; and Ambassador Michael McKinley, a career diplomat Pompeo recently tapped to be his senior adviser.

In a post-summit interview with ABC News, Trump said the agreement provides a "framework for getting ready to denuclearize", and he said he trusts Kim to follow through.

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 denuclearisation and "other issues of mutual concern, as required by the changed era".

Kim has offered to deal away his nuclear arsenal but doubts remain over whether he is truly willing to give up his nukes or is using the summit to weaken US -led sanctions against his country.

As he was trying to build a bridge with Kim, he was smashing longtime alliances with Western allies with his abrasive performance at the G-7.

"It's good for Singapore, but the main point is, maybe we can help the two sides make peace, and that would be great for the world".

But even before then, Trump and Kim could emerge from their meetings on Tuesday declaring a second day of meetings. Economic adviser Larry Kudlow told CBS News in Washington that "Kim must not see American weakness".

The private first meeting will come amid concerns from U.S. officials, allies and North Korea experts that Trump has not sufficiently prepared for his meeting with Kim and instead plans to open the dialogue in a more freewheeling fashion by following his gut instincts rather than a predetermined strategy. He told reporters, "I will know, just my touch, my feel. That's what I do".

"Denuclearization means CVID for the United States, but from the viewpoint of North Korea, denuclearization means the denuclearization of the entire peninsula", said Masahiro Kohara, professor at the University of Tokyo.

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