White House says Trump plans early summit departure

Mike Pompeo draws firm line on North Korea as summit hangs in balance

Mike Pompeo draws firm line on North Korea as summit hangs in balance

Now, both sides appear prepared to let Tuesday's historic face-to-face between the sitting leaders of the US and North Korea function as more of an ice-breaker (and photo op) than a high-stakes diplomatic showdown.

There are 3,000 credentialed journalists now in Singapore to cover the historic and unprecedented meeting between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Moon had expressed hope that the meeting will lead to a three-way declaration also including South Korea on formally ending the 1950-53 Korean War. Fighting in the Korean War ended with an armistice in July 1953. For Kim, one of the chief tasks from the summit - a legitimizing photo-op with a USA president - is now all but guaranteed.

On the day before the meeting, weeks of preparation appeared to pick up in pace, with USA and North Korean officials meeting throughout Monday at a Singapore hotel.

This may include the scaling back of US-South Korean joint military exercises, a written promise not to strike North Korea first and a commitment not to deploy nuclear-capable bombers and submarines around the Korean peninsula.

Kim Jong Un has arrived in Singapore - and, if he is following his usual habit, so has his personal toilet.

Some people were grumbling in the wealthy city-state because of traffic jams caused by the summit and the cost of hosting two leaders with massive security needs.

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.

As the two leaders met, Singapore navy vessels, and air force Apache helicopters patrolled, while fighter jets and an Gulfstream 550 early warning aircraft circled.


A TV screen shows newsreader Ri Chun-hee announcing the arrival of Kim Jong-un in Singapore, during an evening bulletin in Pyongyang.

There will not be a repeat of "flimsy agreements" made between previous U.S. administrations and North Korea, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters in Singapore on Monday.

Larry Kudlow, the White House senior economic adviser, CNN on Sunday Trump is "not going to let a Canadian prime minister push him around" in advance of the North Korean meeting.

Michael Kovrig, a senior adviser for northeast Asia at the International Crisis Group, said Pompeo's comment that Trump "recognised Chairman Kim's desire for security" signalled that the USA may offer formal security guarantees to Pyongyang in exchange for nuclear disarmament.

Heading into the G7 summit in Canada in characteristically bullish mood, Trump had promised he would pull off the sort of trade deal that only he, the world's greatest dealmaker, could make.

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. Sources told Axios that measure was conditional upon what Kim was willing to give the U.S.in return.

While advisers insist Trump has been reviewing briefing materials, he says his gut instincts will matter most when he gets in the room with Kim.

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