North Korea gets first dose of Trump summit news

Kim Jong

Image Kim Jong Un was surrounded by heavy security as he strolled through Singapore on Monday night

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un smiled and waved to a cheering crowd during a surprise late-night tour of Singapore on the eve of his summit with U.S. President Donald Trump.

However, Watanabe of the Sasakawa Peace Foundation said it's time for Japan to reach out to North Korea on its own instead of counting on the mercurial Trump to mediate an Abe-Kim summit.

South Korea media outlets are reporting that Kim will likely stay at the St. Regis Singapore hotel, where his close aide has been based as he leads a North Korean advance team arranging security and logistics details.

The United States delegation at tomorrow's expanded bilateral meeting will include Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Chief of Staff John Kelly, and National Security Advisor John Bolton. In fact, North Korea merely said it would suspend nuclear and missile tests and shut down a key testing site.

In its illustrative preview of what the two leaders aim to achieve at the summit, the BCC said what most have been thinking - "Frankly, it's not yet clear".

Kim Yo Jong also enjoyed a walkabout in Singapore
Image Kim Yo Jong also enjoyed a walkabout in Singapore

North Korea has so far presented Kim's sudden diplomatic overtures to his neighbors and to the United States as a logical next step following what Kim has claimed is the completion of his plan to develop a credible nuclear deterrent to what Pyongyang has long claimed is a policy of hostility and "nuclear blackmail" by Washington.

The summit will be the first between a North Korean leader and a sitting American president.

In exchange for North Korea's cooperation, the administration is offering Kim both security guarantees and economic aid.

The president has allowed that persuading Kim to abandon North Korea's nuclear weapons program will require more than a single sit-down.

Pompeo said he's received personal assurances from Kim that North Korea is ready to denuclearize. He had been scheduled to leave on Wednesday.

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President Trump is expected to meet separately with Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Monday.

His first stop was a waterfront park with futuristic installations, Gardens by the Bay, which boasts the largest glass greenhouse and tallest indoor waterfall in the world.

"It's hospitality that we would have offered them, and as Chairman Kim said yesterday, he would have liked to have come to Singapore anyway, with or without the summit", Dr. Balakrishnan told the BBC.

On the way back to his hotel, Kim walked along a promenade near the Merlion, a giant statue, and fountain, of a mythical creature, half lion, half fish - Singapore's unofficial mascot.

Media captionTrump-Kim summit: Can you achieve peace on a plate? Others complained about the jams in downtown Singapore.

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They also stepped up Trump's assault on Trudeau himself - unprecedented in the neighbouring countries' longstanding relationship. They could also damage Japan and Germany. "If we're unable to make a deal we'll terminate Nafta", Trump said Friday morning.

Although gaps remain over what denuclearisation would entail, Trump sounded a positive note in a lunch meeting with Singapore's Prime Minister Lee. "You would start at least a dialogue, because, you know, as a deal person, I have done very well with deals".

Haas offers a useful warning, though, as people around the world settle in to watch the show in Singapore: "Virtually no North Korea analyst inside or outside of the USA government" expects Kim to actually give up his nukes. It heralded the summit as part of a "changed era". Trump and Kim planned to meet one on one, joined only by translators, for up to two hours before admitting their respective advisers, a US official said.

But Trump has lashed out at reporters for suggesting that the meeting with Kim will result in him giving up any negotiating leverage.

He became the highest level figure from North Korea to hold talks at the White House since a senior envoy visited former US President Bill Clinton in 2000.

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