Historic meeting in Singapore


The meeting between the two leaders will be followed by expanded bilateral meetings and a working lunch.

"Great to be in Singapore, excitement in the air!" That's Trump's beverage of choice. Both leaders were greeted on arrival by Singapore Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan.

Trump spoke only briefly in public on Monday, forecasting a "nice" outcome.

Trump responded to such commentary on Twitter, saying: "The fact that I am having a meeting is a major loss for the US, say the haters & losers".

It was not clear what Kim Jong Un, who arrived Sunday afternoon, was planning to do on Monday or whether he meant to leave his hotel, the St. Regis, about a half-mile from where Trump's delegation is staying.

North Korea's concept of denuclearization, made clear through years of failed discussions with the global community, "bears no resemblance to the American definition", Evans J.R. Revere, a nonresident senior fellow at Brookings, wrote in a note. They were held in North Korea for 11 months, beaten and interrogated before being released after the chief USA negotiator signed a statement acknowledging the ship illegally entered the North's territorial waters.

Seoul's Unification Ministry said Monday the surveys conducted through home visits, phone calls and letters will continue through August 10.

President Trump traveled to the summit - which will be the first-ever meeting between a USA president and a North Korean leader - from a G7 meeting in Quebec, Canada.

He said about half of the cost is for security. Kim's meeting with Trump comes after Kim's recent meetings with South Korean President Moon Jae-in (jah-YIHN').

The Koreas earlier this month agreed to establish a liaison office in the North Korean border town of Kaesong and hold military and Red Cross talks on reducing tensions and resuming reunions of families separated by the 1950-53 Korean War. U.S. officials were quoted as saying that the two leaders could spend the first two hours alone with translators but not advisors. The official was not authorized to speak publicly about internal deliberations and insisted on anonymity.

The European Central Bank also meets on June 14 and it could signal intentions to start unwinding its massive bond purchasing programme.

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By North Korean standards, Monday's announcement actually came a bit earlier than usual.

On Sunday Pope Francis struck an optimistic note, saying he hoped the talks might "ensure a future of peace for the Korean peninsula and the whole world".

The convoy, thought to be carrying North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, traveled at high speed through downtown Singapore on Sunday afternoon. "During the flight, the president spent time meeting with his staff, reading materials and preparing for his meetings in Singapore", press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement. The leaders also offered lofty promises, with the American president pledged to handle a "very unsafe problem" and Kim forecasting "major change for the world".

Past nuclear deals have crumbled over North Korea's reluctance to open its doors to outsiders.

Trump was received by Lee at the presidential palace Istana, where they were expected to discuss everything from the summit preparations to the US' tariff threats.

He arrived from the G7 meeting in Canada over the weekend where the United States and Canada are embroiled in trade and diplomatic spat after Trump chose to abruptly withdraw his support for a Group of Seven communique. The meeting is expected to begin around 8:45 p.m. (8:45 a.m.in Singapore).

The summit continues to be a highly sensitive topic in North Korea. 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".

In the summer of 1976, two American soldiers were hacked to death by ax-wielding North Korean soldiers during a fight over US efforts to trim a poplar tree at Demilitarized Zone that bisects the Koreas. Francis said he wanted yet again to send "a special thought in friendship and prayer" to the beloved Korean people.

Kim smiled broadly in the meeting Sunday evening.

He accepted the invitation from President Halimah Yacob to make a state visit to Singapore in November, in conjunction with the 6th Asean-US Summit and 13th East Asia Summit.

But some question why Kim should trust any guarantees given Trump's history of pulling out of accords - most recently the painstakingly negotiated Iran nuclear deal. Instead, the meet will set the ball rolling for a long dialogue between the two nuclear powers.