Published: Tue, June 12, 2018
Global | By Marsha Munoz

Trump upbeat ahead of NKorean summit; Kim visits Singapore sites

Trump upbeat ahead of NKorean summit; Kim visits Singapore sites

After months of tensions, trading barbs and uncertainty over whether they would meet at all, the much-anticipated summit between President of the United States Donald Trump and the supreme leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-un, is finally here.

The outcome may determine the fate of North Korea's nuclear programme.

TRT World's Oliver Whitfield-Miocic reports.

Kim has been more cryptic and calculating, with his regime vacillating between welcoming talks with the United States, ignoring American overtures, and sharply attacking some of Trump's top officials with insults and threats, said Patrick Cronin, director of the Center for a New America Security's Asia-Pacific security program.

North Korean-US Summit
Image credit ULI-PwC report

"I know Singapore is a very hot country, so I wish that our respected marshal stays healthy and comes back in good health". Trump has expressed some concern about China's influence.

North Korea, though, has shown little appetite for surrendering nuclear weapons it considers vital to the survival of Kim's dynastic rule.

"I think that I brought awareness to a lot of things around the world and I think North Korea has given a lot of people the opportunity to do this conference now and I hope it's a success".

Still, Dennis has strong feelings about how the meeting's gonna go down once Trump and Kim meet.

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"We've had multiple deals with North Korea", said Green, who served as director of Asian affairs for the National Security Council under President George W. Bush.

He joined Singapore's foreign minister, Vivian Balakrishnan, who tweeted a selfie with a smiling Kim and Singapore Education Minister Ong Ye Kung, against a backdrop of flowers with the hashtag #Guesswhere.

Those points were echoed in Monday's media coverage in North Korea, which stressed that the talks with Trump would focus on forging a relationship more in tune with what was described as changing times - most likely meaning the North's new status as a nuclear-armed state - and its desire for a mechanism to ensure lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula and, finally, denuclearisation.

He added that the South would have to provide the North with economic aid as the two were ultimately one people.

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The Rodong Sinmun, the mouthpiece of the Workers' Party, also featured his departure in a full-color two-page spread, declaring on the front page that he was leaving in a Chinese plane for a "historic summit" with the United States president. Kim's move was an encouraging sign, to be sure, but it was not an agreement on "denuclearization".

"The South can not simply afford to take care of the North economically", she said. "But cross-border exchanges and travels would be desirable". Trump and Kim lookalikes held a summit of their own at a local shopping mall, while one bistro is offering a libation known as the Trump-Kim "Bromance:" Beer, tequila, diet Coke and the Korean distilled rice liquor known as soju.

Other young South Koreans said they were too preoccupied with their search for work to pay attention to diplomacy.

Lee Do-kyu, also 27 and unemployed, said the recent inter-Korean summits had raised his interest in politics, but it had waned rapidly.

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