Monday, 15 October, 2018

'One-time shot' for peace with North Korea

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Elsie Buchanan | 11 June, 2018, 14:32

PYONGYANG, Korea, Democratic People's Republic Of - With all the worldwide attention focused on Singapore and the historic summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Pyongyang must have been buzzing with excitement on the eve of the leaders' arrival, right?

The quick succession of combative G7 meetings and his arrival in Singapore for a summit with North Korea's dictator set up a striking contrast best captured by a pair of tweets Trump issued after leaving Canada in which he slammed Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as "very dishonest & weak" and reneged on USA plans to sign a joint communique with the G7 leaders.

Trump flew into Singapore's Paya Lebar Air Base on Sunday aboard Air Force One. "We do appreciate your hospitality, your professionalism, and your friendship". "You would start at least a dialogue, because, you know, as a deal person, I have done very well with deals".

As Trump was trying to make "fool trade" happen, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tweeted a series of photos showing State Department officials meeting with foreign diplomats and generally behaving like normal White House officials headed into a high-stakes summit.

In March, Mr Trump surprised the world by accepting an invitation from Mr Kim - delivered via Seoul - to meet in person. The US president turns 72 on Thursday. "Celebrating birthday, a bit early", he wrote.

While en route to Singapore, Trump said he looked forward to meeting Kim on what he anticipated would be an exciting day.

With all the attention focused on Singapore and the summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Pyongyang must be buzzing with excitement, right?

USA ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim led the USA delegation while Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui was part of North Korea's delegation.

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"We can expect a one on one at the beginning", Palladino was quoted as saying by The Straits Times.

Asked about the likely departure times of both leaders, a Singaporean source involved in planning the summit would only say that the host city had factored in the "fluidity of the situation" and was prepared for last-minute changes in the schedule of both leaders.

"Wide-ranging and profound views on the issue of establishing new DPRK-US relations, the issue of building a permanent and durable peace-keeping mechanism on the Korean Peninsula, the issue of actualizing the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula and other issues of mutual concern" will be discussed, state-run KCNA reported early Monday.

"Prime Minister Lee complimented the bold and admirable decision by Chairman Kim and President of the United States Donald Trump to come together for this Summit".

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.

The main issue for the June 12 summit in Singapore is the USA demand for North Korea to abandon a nuclear weapons program that now threatens the United States.

The US president was the first of the G7 leaders to leave the summit in Canada where he briefed his peers on the meeting.

The official did not rule out the possibility that additional activities could be added to tomorrow's schedule, beyond the two planned meetings with Kim, ABC News' Jordyn Phelps reports.

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