Mon, Jun 11, 2018 - Page 1 News List

Trump, Kim in Singapore ahead of historic summit


North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, left, shakes hands with Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the Istana Presidential Palace in Singapore yesterday.

Photo: EPA

US President Donald Trump yesterday evening landed in Singapore, joining North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in the city-state ahead of one of the most unusual and highly anticipated summits in recent world history, a sit-down tomorrow meant to settle a standoff over Pyongyang’s nuclear arsenal.

Air Force One touched down at a military air base, traveling from Canada, where Trump had attended a G7 summit.

Hours earlier, a jet carrying Kim landed, and after shaking hands with Singaporean Minister of Foreign Affairs Vivian Balakrishnan, Kim sped through the city-state’s streets in a massive limousine, two large North Korean flags fluttering on the hood, surrounded by other black vehicles with tinted windows and bound for the luxurious and closely guarded St Regis Hotel.

Kim smiled broadly yesterday evening as he met with Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong (李顯龍).

“The entire world is watching the historic summit between [North Korea] and the United States of America, and thanks to your sincere efforts ... we were able to complete the preparations for the historic summit,” Kim told Lee through an interpreter.

Trump is scheduled to meet with Lee today.

Trump has said he hopes to win a legacy-making deal with the North to give up their nuclear weapons, though he has recently sought to manage expectations, saying that it might take more than one meeting.

The North, many experts believe, stands on the brink of being able to target the entire US mainland with its nuclear-armed missiles, and while there is deep skepticism that Kim will quickly give up those hard-won weapons, there is also some hope that diplomacy can replace the animosity between the US and North Korea.

This is to be the first summit of its kind between a leader of North Korea and a sitting US president.

Kim’s every move would be followed by 3,000 journalists who have converged on Singapore, up until he shakes hands with Trump tomorrow.

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