Thursday, 21 June, 2018

Donald Trump, Kim Jong-un to open historic summit with one-on-one powwow

US troops in South Korea Image The presence of US forces on the peninsula is a stumbling block on the path to peace
Elsie Buchanan | 11 June, 2018, 16:45

Kim had arrived hours earlier in a plane loaned by China, which for decades has been North Korea's only major ally. Trump travelled to Singapore from Canada, where he attended a meeting with other world leaders.

"The worry we have is the president will be so eager for quote "an agreement" that it won't protect the security, first and foremost, of the United States", Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., told NPR on Tuesday.

Highly unusually, North Korea's state-run media are already reporting on Mr Kim's trip to Singapore to meet Mr Trump.

That modest vision marks a break with the stratospheric goals he set after he agreed on March 8 to this meeting.

In a tweet on Monday, he said: "Great to be in Singapore, excitement in the air!"

North Korean forces invaded the South in 1950 and the ensuing war saw US -led United Nations troops backing Seoul fight their way to a stalemate against Pyongyang's forces - which were aided by Russian Federation and China - before the conflict ended in stalemate and an armistice which sealed the division of the peninsula.

It's Kim's pursuit of nuclear weapons that gives his meeting with Trump such high stakes. China has always been the North's most important ally.

"Thanks PM Lee for spending $20 million of taxpayers money, which can. help a lot of needy families in Singapore to survive", posted one Facebook user.

USA and North Korean officials are meeting Monday at the Ritz Carlton in this island city-state to negotiate before a sit-down meant to settle a standoff over Pyongyang's nuclear arsenal.

Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un have discussed bilateral relations and the situation on the Korean Peninsula, the city-state's Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Besides, Singapore's prime minister "wished Chairman Kim success for the US-DPRK Summit and expressed hope that the US-DPRK meeting will advance the prospects for peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and the larger region".

Three Palestinians killed by Israeli fire in fresh Gaza border clashes
The encounter was called off on Tuesday after a campaign by the Palestinians following its relocation to Jerusalem . Rajoub commented on the cancellation of the match thanking the FA and the team saying it was "on the right track".


North Korea's state media has talked of a "new relationship" with the US.

USA officials traveling with the president - as well as analysts - have acknowledged the risk that even the smallest of perceived slights by either side could prompt one of the leaders to instantly call it all off.

The clearest benchmarks about what the U.S.is seeking from the summit, however, have come from Pompeo rather than Trump.

Mr Kim inspecting the honour guard in Pyongyang before departing for Singapore on June 10, 2018.

"I think we should take some optimism from that reporting", the official said.

It's a measure of Kim Jong Un's confidence as North Korean leader that he's left his country to meet US President Donald Trump in Singapore, the farthest he's traveled since taking on his father's role in 2011.

What did the secretary of state say?

"I think it would be very odd if Kim didn't feel at least a pang of concern in this regard", said Andrew O'Neil, dean of the Griffith Business School at Griffith University in Australia. "We're not going to go in and sign something on June 12, and we never were".

"He should disembark from Air Force One, head straight away into the meeting with no photos or handshakes allowed, sit across from Kim and ask one simple question: Are you ready to give up your nuclear weapons in a meaningful, timely and verifiable way?"

White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said USA and North Korean officials would hold working-level talks on Monday. We will have seen each other.

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