Date
12 December 2018
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un arrives in Singapore on Sunday ahead of a landmark June 12 meeting with his US counterpart. Photo: Singapore government via Reuters
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un arrives in Singapore on Sunday ahead of a landmark June 12 meeting with his US counterpart. Photo: Singapore government via Reuters

Trump, Kim in Singapore for landmark summit

US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un arrived in Singapore on Sunday ahead of a historic June 12 summit that American officials hope could lay the groundwork for denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula.

Trump flew in aboard Air Force One and touched down at Singapore’s Paya Lebar Air Base, where he was greeted by the city-state’s foreign minister, Reuters reports.

Asked by a reporter how he felt about the summit, Trump said: “Very good”.

North Korea’s Kim landed in Singapore earlier the same day.

The two leaders are staying in separate hotels as they prepare for a meeting Tuesday at a location in the resort island of Sentosa.

Kim arrived at Changi Airport after his longest trip overseas as head of state. He flew in on a plane loaned by China.

Traveling with him were top officials including Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho and Kim Yong Chol, a close aide of Kim who has been instrumental in the diplomacy that culminated in Tuesday’s summit.

Officials who arrived with Trump include Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, National Security Adviser John Bolton, White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders.

Trump, speaking in Canada on Saturday, said any agreement at the summit would be “spur of the moment,” underscoring the uncertain outcome of what he called a “mission of peace”.

He initially touted the potential for a grand bargain with North Korea to rid itself of a nuclear missile program that has advanced rapidly to threaten the US.

But he has since lowered expectations, backing away from an original demand for North Korea’s swift denuclearization, Reuters noted.

Trump has said the talks would be more about starting a relationship with Kim for a negotiating process that would take more than one summit.

On Monday, North Korean state media said Kim and Trump will discuss a “permanent and durable peace-keeping mechanism” on the Korean peninsula, denuclearization of the peninsula and other issues of mutual concern.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said US and North Korean officials will hold working-level talks on Monday.

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RC

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