Published: Tue, June 12, 2018
Economy | By Shawn Conner

USA hails progress ahead ahead of Trump-Kim meeting

USA hails progress ahead ahead of Trump-Kim meeting

Scott Snyder, a U.S. -Korea policy specialist at the Council on Foreign Relations, told CNBC earlier on Monday that the summit is " essentially the normalization of Kim Jong Un and North Korea on the global stage". Its outcome could prove pivotal in determining whether the two nations pursue a lasting peace or a fresh military conflict.

At least three people have been turned away from Singapore borders due to summit, says Shanmugam.

The North has faced crippling diplomatic and economic sanctions as it has advanced development of its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

Daily NK, a South Korean website focusing on North Korea news, reported in 2015 that "the restrooms are not only in Kim Jong Un's personal train but whatever small or midsize cars he is traveling with and even in special vehicles that are designed for mountainous terrain or snow".

In the lead-up to the summit, U.S. and North Korean officials were convening contentious final-hour negotiations in a Ritz Carlton hotel here in a bid to narrow gaps on key aspects of the meeting.

The Rodong Sinmun, the mouthpiece of the Workers' Party, also featured his departure in a full-color two-page spread, declaring on the front page that he was leaving in a Chinese plane for a "historic summit" with the U.S. president. North Korea is seeking a security guarantee - possibly including a peace treaty formally ending the Korean War - and the removal of the US's nuclear umbrella protecting allies South Korea and Japan.

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Yet the top United States diplomat added Trump is ready to offer "unique" guarantees to ease the regime's concerns about giving up a nuclear arsenal that provides a deterrent against foreign adversaries while also serving as a key point of national pride.

At the Capella hotel on Singapore's Sentosa island, a popular resort destination, Trump and Kim will first meet at 9 a.m. local time on Tuesday (11 a.m. AEST) for a handshake and photo op.

After an initial greeting in view of the media, the leaders will meet privately, then be joined by top aides for an expanded meeting followed by a working lunch, according to a White House statement. Trump will hold a press conference and leave Singapore later Tuesday, the White House said, noting that negotiations "have moved more quickly than expected". In this week's edition of the magazine, The Economist depicts Trump swinging on a wrecking ball-Miley Cyrus-style-and in its report warns that Trump's strategy may work in favour of his "America First" policy but risks a lonely America in the long run.

Trump advisers cast his actions as a show of strength before the Kim meeting.

While Mr. Trump has upped hopes for success - tweeting just before arrival in Singapore of "a feeling that this one-time opportunity will not be wasted!" - his optimism comes against a backdrop in which the summit almost fell apart just a few weeks ago.

At issue is whether Kim would be willing to abandon a nuclear weapons program that has advanced rapidly in recent years, posing an increasing threat to the USA and its allies. He did not answer the question about whether he agrees that there is a special place in hell for Trudeau.

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USA intelligence wants inspectors to access roughly 100 other sites, including Yongbyon, the nation's main atomic complex just 50 miles north of Pyongyang, as well as a factory in Chongsu, near the Chinese border, suspected of producing nuclear material.

Asked Saturday about his goals, he said: "Well, I think the minimum would be relationship".

Tensions between the two countries escalated in 2017 after Pyongyang stepped up efforts to boost its nuclear weapons programme.

In any case, the Trump administration has no choice. He has also said that North Korea would benefit economically after sanctions are lifted. "Kim wants recognition for North Korea as a country, recognition for his family's right to rule it as a personal fiefdom and, ultimately, recognition of North Korea's status as a nuclear-armed power", the newspaper writes. It seems highly unlikely that the north would be happy for the U.S. to maintain a defensive nuclear alliance with the south that is essentially directed against Pyongyang.

North Korea is an entirely different situation than Iraq was in 2003.

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