NKorean leader Kim arrives in Singapore for historic summit with Trump

Daniel Fowler
June 11, 2018

Complete, verifiable, irreversible denuclearisation on the Korean peninsula, or "CVID" - will there be any mention of this key U.S. demand when President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un meet Tuesday?

However, he played down the possibility of a quick breakthrough and said the summit should set the framework for "the hard work that will follow", insisting that North Korea had to move toward complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearisation.

In March, Trump surprised the world by accepting an invitation from Kim to meet in person. He said that those talks "in fact are moving quite rapidly and will come to a logical conclusion more quickly than anticipated".

President Trump's first meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will be held one-on-one, according to a White House official.

In 1994, just as North Korea's ability to produce nuclear weapons was confirmed, the Clinton administration signed the "Agreed Framework" requiring North Korea to eliminate its nuclear weapons programme in return for normalisation of economic and diplomatic relations.

But at least for now, the vitriol and rhetoric traded between the two leaders has ended, nuclear tensions have subsided, and diplomacy will unfold for a few days at least - a positive alternative to North Korea's latent nuclear threats to South Korea, the Pacific, and potentially the west coast of the US.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said last week that progress is being made in bringing the two sides together in their understanding of denuclearization.

"I'm very optimistic that we will have a successful outcome from our meetings tomorrow", he said.

Some foreign-policy experts said the breakdown at the Group of 7 meeting would play to North Korea's advantage, since Mr. Trump can ill afford a second failed summit, back to back.

Kim held a meeting with Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong ahead of the planned summit.

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The standard thinking goes that he needs quick help to stabilize and then rebuild an economy that has suffered amid a decades-long pursuit of nuclear bombs, and that the North Koreans see a unique chance to win concessions, legitimacy and protection from a meeting with a highly unconventional USA president who's willing to consider options past American leaders would not.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, aware of the historic summit, addressed the crucial Shangri La Dialogue in Singapore impressing on all for the peaceful, safe and secure region earlier this month.

There was also no sign of his sister, Kim Yo Jong, who has accompanied him to Singapore.

At the hotel lobby, grim-faced North Korean security guards warned other hotel guests not to take pictures as Kim walked to his Mercedes Benz limousine.

Both sides were finalizing preparations for the meeting, which was to kick off at 9 a.m. Tuesday with a handshake between Trump and Kim, an image sure to be devoured around the world.

"I think within the first minute - my touch, my feel, that's what I do", the president said, touting his deal-making experience as a businessman.

He added that the expenditure forms part of the S$20 million that Singapore is spending on the summit in all.

The other area was Sentosa Island, site of the Capella Hotel which will be the venue for the June 12 summit.

But he has since lowered expectations, backing away from an original demand for North Korea's swift denuclearization. "It's a one-time shot".

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