Historic meeting in Singapore

Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump will discuss a “permanent and durable peace-keeping mechanism”

Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump will discuss a “permanent and durable peace-keeping mechanism”

Media captionBarbed wire and smuggled crabs: Watching North Korea from China How did they arrive?

"Excitement in the air!" he wrote in a tweet. That's Trump's beverage of choice.

"Substantive and detailed meetings in #Singapore today", Pompeo wrote on Twitter, along with photos of Sung Kim and North Korean officials at the negotiating table.

The summit capped a dizzying few days of foreign policy activity for Trump, who shocked USA allies over the weekend by using a meeting in Canada of the Group of Seven industrialized economies to alienate America's closest friends in the West. Lashing out over trade practices, Trump lobbed insults at his G-7 host, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

US allies are anxious that Trump could upend decades of worldwide precedent, NPR's Mara Liasson reported on Weekend Edition Sunday. China and South Korea would have to sign off on any legal treaty.

Seoul's Unification Ministry said Monday the surveys conducted through home visits, phone calls and letters will continue through August 10.

"[President Trump] is not going to permit any show of weakness on the trip to negotiate with North Korea", Kudlow said on CNN's State of the Union.

Singapore is hosting this year's meetings of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, which has seen the USA and China jockey for diplomatic influence in recent weeks.

Hammering out a complete plan for North Korea's denuclearization would be "an impossible chore" at this summit, Michael O'Hanlon of the Brookings Institutiontold NPR's Windsor Johnston. USA officials were quoted as saying that the two leaders could spend the first two hours alone with translators but not advisors. After their initial greeting, the leaders will head into a room for the summit.

While this meeting with Mr Kim may be just the start of what might be a long and fraught journey, it is at least that - a start.

The meeting was Trump's only scheduled public event as White House officials prepared for the critical meeting on Tuesday with Kim.

Trump was quiet after touching down in Singapore on Sunday night but was back online first thing Monday morning, engaging Trudeau again in a war of words. Though North Koreans have been left largely in the dark about the summit, the reports of his arrival came relatively quickly by North Korean standards.

Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un have arrived in Singapore for their historic summit
GETTYDonald Trump and Kim Jong-un have arrived in Singapore for their historic summit

From Kim's nuclear arsenal to normalising ties between the two decades-old foes, these are the issues facing the two leaders at what Trump has called a "one-time shot" at peace.

On Sunday Pope Francis struck an optimistic note, saying he hoped the talks might "ensure a future of peace for the Korean peninsula and the whole world". She said the U.S. delegation would be led by Sung Kim, a veteran diplomat who recently held talks with North Korean officials.

Trump was joined at the meeting with Lee by US officials including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and National Security Adviser John Bolton. "During the flight, the president spent time meeting with his staff, reading materials and preparing for his meetings in Singapore", press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement.

At the lunch, Trump expressed optimism for tomorrow's meeting with Kim and also thanked his Singapore hosts for their hospitality. "To all Americans and the rest of the world I'm honored to call President Trump a friend", he said. I feel that Kim Jong Un wants to do something great for his people, and he has that opportunity. Past nuclear deals have crumbled over North Korea's reluctance to open its doors to outsiders.

The mercurial United States leader has whipsawed on expectations for the meeting, signalling that it could be the beginning of a "process" of several meetings, only to call it a "one-time shot" for peace as he embarked for Singapore. As reported by the Yonhap News agency, Singapore is witnessing a stronger police presence, stringent security checks, and roadblocks are around the area where the two leaders are expected to meet.

Trump had previously referred to the North Korean leader as a "madman with nuclear weapons".

Led by Sung Kim, a longtime State Department diplomat who now serves as the USA ambassador to the Philippines, the US team had held at least five sessions with the Pyongyang delegation over the past two weeks at the demilitarized zone in Korea.

The North has faced crippling diplomatic and economic sanctions as it has advanced development of its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

Pope Francis has prayed that the summit this week between the USA and North Korean leaders succeeds in laying the groundwork for peace. In a video footage, Trump was seen leaving the Paya Lebar Air Base tarmac in the Presidential Beast, a vehicle that is flown around the globe for a US President's visits.

He invited the thousands of faithful in St. Peter's Square to pray with him so that the Virgin Mary "accompany these talks".

US President Donald Trump says his historic summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore could "work out very nicely" as officials from both countries met to narrow differences on how to end a nuclear stand-off on the Korean peninsula.

Kim smiled broadly in the meeting Sunday evening.


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