DPRK, US leaders hold historic meeting in Singapore

Pauline Gross
June 14, 2018

A Quinnipiac poll notes about 72 percent of voters approve of Trump's meeting with Kim, though only 20 percent of them think North Korea's actually willing to give up its nuclear weapons.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un looks at a night view of Singapore from the roof of the Marina Bay Sands hotel on Monday.

A peace treaty ending the Korean War, complete denuclearisation of North Korea or will it be just an elaborate get-to-know-you session?

He points to North Korea's release of American hostages earlier in 2018 and a halt in missile launches and nuclear testing as evidence of progress with North Korea. As it happens, the North Korean and the American share a tendency to act unpredictably on the world stage.

We can not afford to allow North Korea, despite sanctions, to continue the development of its missile program at unprecedented speeds in the way that Iran was permitted to do so. As reported by the Strait Times, in an unexpected telephone conversation with Trump, Moon said that it was only the beginning of what was likely to be a years-long process of denuclearising North Korea.

Kim is due to meet Trump at 9am on Tuesday.

For Moon and his supporters, the No. 1 goal for the summit is to reduce to threat of conflict on the Korean peninsula.

He smiled and waved to excited crowds and was accompanied by Singapore's foreign minister, who tweeted a selfie standing next to him.

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That concession to Kim appeared to catch the Pentagon and officials in Seoul off guard, and some South Koreans were alarmed. Provocative nuclear and missile tests by North Korea a year ago initially gave Moon little diplomatic room to maneuver.

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Observers said that the heavy domestic focus of both leaders suggested that both would be determined to portray the outcome as a success, whatever was and was not agreed in their meeting at the Capella grand colonial-era hotel on Sentosa, a holiday resort advertised by Singapore as "the State of Fun".

Just a few months ago, Kim was an worldwide pariah accused of ordering the killing of his uncle, a half-brother and scores of officials suspected of disloyalty.

Word of the private tete-a-tete unleashes a torrent of criticism from national security veterans who say having aides present in high-stakes meetings provides protection and ensures no one can misrepresent what transpired. He told reporters he thinks he will know nearly immediately whether a deal can be made, saying: "I will know, just my touch, my feel".

Trump arrived in Singapore on Sunday after a blow-up over trade with other members of the Group of Seven major industrialised nations that cast a cloud over his efforts to score a major foreign policy win in the nuclear talks. Trump has said that he would stop using the phrase "maximum pressure" to describe the sanctions, even though he insisted that they would remain in place.

Kim told reporters he was able to overcome obstacles to make his way to the Singapore summit.

"The way coming here was not easy", said Kim. It heralded the summit as part of a "changed era". But there were scant details on what new commitments had been secured from Kim, even as Trump announced he would end the regular military exercises the USA conducts with South Korea. But on the eve of the summit, the White House unexpectedly announced Trump would depart Singapore by Tuesday evening, meaning his time with Kim would be fairly brief. The two will later be joined by officials and have lunch together. They believe Kim's engagement is aimed at getting the United States to ease the crippling sanctions that have squeezed the impoverished country.

"Any denuclearization must fully reject nuclear weapons and use existing global frameworks to ensure long-term success that would withstand any future changes".

"China might have wanted to prevent Chinese smugglers from entering North Korea so they cracked down on smuggling organizations in the border area few days ago and arrested number of smugglers", he said.

Other reports by GizPress

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