Published: Mon, June 11, 2018
Business | By Kate Woods

North Korean, US Officials Air Differences On Eve Of Summit

North Korean, US Officials Air Differences On Eve Of Summit

Trump and Kim touched down on a sweltering early summer day in Singapore, the city-state founded in the early 19th Century as a British colony because of its position at the intersection of sea lanes between Europe and Asia.

Kim's full delegation has not yet been confirmed, but other prominent North Korean officials seen in photos included foreign minister Ri Yong Ho and Kim Chang Son - the man who has been in Singapore in recent weeks negotiating logistical details for the summit.

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

He also told Lee: "We appreciate your hospitality and professionalism and friendship.You're my friend".

The North Korean leader then traveled to the St. Regis Hotel - where he will be staying for the duration of the visit - in his armored limousine, which arrived on a separate flight.

The two leaders have had an extraordinary up-and-down relationship over the past 18 months.

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"The entire world is focusing on the historic summit between the DPRK (North Korea) and the United States, and thanks to your honest efforts".

He thanked Singapore's organisation of the summit as if it was "their own family affair". Others complained about the jams in downtown Singapore.

The cost of hosting around 2000 worldwide media was put at $S5 million, but Lee said the publicity and boost for Singapore's global standing was worth it. "It is our contribution to an worldwide endeavor which is in our profound interest", Lee told reporters on Sunday.

Security was also tight outside the Shangri La Hotel, where Trump is expected to stay.

Trump is set to meet with Lee on Monday.

On the streets, Kim and Trump impersonators thrilled around 100 fans who paid $10 to take selfies at Bugis Junction mall at the weekend. Entry to their hotels is extremely restricted. It heralded the summit as part of a "changed era".

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Discussions would focus on "the issue of building a permanent and durable peace-keeping mechanism on the Korean peninsula, the issue of realizing the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula and other issues of mutual concern", KCNA said.

Kim's main concern is the survival of his own regime - South Korean President Moon Jae-in told reporters that the Pyongyang leader had "concerns on whether he could trust that the United States would end its hostile policy and guarantee the security of his regime when the North denuclearises itself".

The US has stressed that it is seeking complete and verifiable denuclearization of North Korea before it starts lifting sanctions imposed on Pyongyang.

This is significant, as Bolton raised alarm in Pyongyang after he suggested applying the "Libya model" to North Korea - Libya's Muammar Qaddafi was killed in an uprising years after he gave up the country's weapons-of-mass-destruction program.

"We will not be surprised by any scenario", said the official. But on the eve of the summit, he altered his schedule, opting to return at about 8 p.m. on Tuesday after a full day of meetings with Kim - nearly 15 hours earlier than previously anticipated.

The summit has been portrayed as a "get to know you" meeting. A second round of meetings has been planned for the afternoon as officials worked to lay the groundwork for progress to be made Tuesday, according to the official familiar with the preparations.

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