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How North Korean state media are covering Trump-Kim summit

11 June, 2018, 10:57 | Author: Ted Wilson
  • Trump says he has clear objective for North Korea summit

North Koreans got their first big dose of news Monday that their leader Kim Jong Un had arrived in Singapore for what even the state-run media was calling a historic meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump.

Officials remain uncertain what will come out of Tuesday's unprecedented summit, the first of its kind between a sitting US president and the leader of North Korea.

The KCNA report was unusual in its clarity, mentioning the "historic first summit meeting and talks" between Kim and Trump. A USA official says the leaders then plan to meet one on one, joined only by translators, for up to two hours before admitting their respective advisers.

Trump on Monday morning broke into a Twitter tirade about trade directed at America's European allies with the upbeat message: "Great to be in Singapore, excitement is in the air!". For the North, Kim Jong Un has already won a huge propaganda bonus by merely having the summit and sitting down as an equal with the US president, an accomplishment his father and grandfather sought but could never realize.

Led by Sung Kim, a longtime State Department diplomat who now serves as the US ambassador to the Philippines, the USA team had held at least five sessions with the Pyongyang delegation over the past two weeks at the demilitarized zone in Korea. He also told Lee the decision to hold the summit in the island city-state of Singapore was "made very consciously" and offered his gratitude.

On Monday, North Korean state media said Kim and Trump would discuss a "permanent and durable peace-keeping mechanism" on the Korean peninsula, denuclearisation of the peninsula and other issues of mutual concern. "And he has that opportunity, and he won't have that opportunity again", Trump said.

"I feel that Kim Jong Un wants to do something great for his people", Mr Trump said at a press conference in Charlevoix, Canada, where he attended a summit of leaders from the Group of Seven nations.

Trump 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 United States.

Dennis Rodman reportedly heading to Singapore for US-North Korea summit
In a May 25 statement, North Korea's foreign ministry expressed a willingness to continue talks with the Trump administration. Multiple US and N Korean teams are holding simultaneous meetings ahead of the Singapore Summit.

The motorcade carrying North Korean leader Kim Jong Un leaves the Istana, or Presidential Palace, in Singapore on Sunday on June 10, 2018, after his meeting with Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

Trump and other top USA officials have promised a "bright future" for the North if it quickly relinquishes its nuclear weapons - including economic inducements and a security agreement.

Trump arrived on Air Force One at Singapore's Paya Lebar Air Base at 8:21 p.m. local time, where he was greeted by Singapore's Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan.

Many experts on North Korea, one of the most insular and unpredictable countries in the world, remain sceptical Kim will ever completely abandon its cherished nuclear weapons.

After a flurry of contacts between the two Koreas, South Korean officials suggested to Trump in March that Kim would be willing to meet face-to-face. He has also raised the possibility of further summits.

Security around Kim's hotel was extremely tight and guests were prohibited from going in and out, hours before Kim's black Mercedes Benz limousine cruised in.

The previous United States stance, said Bruce Klingner of the Heritage Foundation, was that "we don't deploy a president to negotiate a treaty, we deploy a president to sign a treaty where we know where every piece of punctuation is on that piece of paper".

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