Negotiators scramble to put something together for Trump and Kim

13 June, 2018, 01:04 | Author: Irene Delgado
  • North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un waves before departing Pyongyang to Singapore

The South Korean government is hoping for a success of the Singapore summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, since it could lead to peace on the peninsula after nearly 70 years. Trump and Kim planned to meet one on one, joined only by translators, for up to two hours before admitting their respective advisers, a USA official said.

Diplomats and foreign policy experts have criticized the idea of a US president sitting down solo with the North Korean dictator, saying it heightens the potential for a misleading readout from Kim that could come into conflict with Trump's account of the exchange.

He said he expected the Trump-Kim summit to "go fairly well" but added, "people should not expect too much for the first time".

Trump and Kim arrived in Singapore on Sunday, both staying at luxurious and heavily guarded hotels less than half a mile apart, with Trump at the Shangri-La Hotel and Kim at the St. Regis Hotel.

Singapore has been following developments on the Korean peninsula closely for a long time, the Prime Minister told the North Korean leader. Trump said the meetings are going on well.

"We have a very interesting meeting in particular tomorrow, and I think things can work out very nicely", Trump told Lee.

Sanders, Ambassador Sung Kim, and National Security Council Senior Director for Asia Matt Pottinger will join for the working lunch.

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"Trump is a gambler and he's gambling on being able to rein in North Korea like a parent does to naughty child", Leong said.

As Trump was trying to build a bridge with Kim, he was smashing longtime alliances with Western allies, withdrawing from the G-7 joint communique, escalating a trade fight and launching blistering criticism against Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Trump will celebrate his 72nd birthday on Thursday.

Kim has shown surprising diplomatic skills in his meetings with overseas leaders this year. Trump asked photographers: "Getting a good picture everybody?" The North Korean approach, he added was: "Let's be friends (ie, change the relationship), and then we will change our behaviour".

The summit won't be Trump's first foray into treating an established despot and human rights abuser like or perhaps better than the leader of an allied nation, though it is Twitter's first time treating such an event like a Game of Thrones season finale.

They are looking to hammer out a deal that may see North Korea giving up its nuclear weapons programme in exchange for security guarantees.

"In the 18 years I have worked on [North Korea], the ongoing debate between the USA and North Korea was essentially this - U.S.: change your behaviour and we can be friends", Walsh said.



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