North Korean leader, Singapore’s PM discuss Korean Peninsula situation
North Korean leader, Singapore’s PM discuss Korean Peninsula situation
Flight from Pyongyang lands in Singapore ahead of North Korean leader’s arrival
11 June, 2018, 09:42
A screengrab from North Korean media showing Kim Jong Un's meeting with Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. The North Korean leadership, including Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Choe Son Hui has also taunted Washington, calling Vice President Mike Pence a "political dummy".
Singapore Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan wrapped up a visit to Washington and Pyongyang on Saturday and told reporters in Beijing both sides expressed thanks for Singapore's work to prepare for the summit on a short notice.
Though it could mean many things, the relative speed of the reports about Singapore could be seen as a sign of confidence by the North that the summit will go well.
"I hope it won't be necessary to walk, because I really believe that Kim Jong-un wants to do something that is going to be great for his people, and also great for his family, and great for himself", Mr. Trump said.
Trump had called Kim "Little Rocket Man" and threatened to unleash "fire and fury like the world has never seen" on North Korea as it conducted several ballistic missile tests in defiance of global warnings. He has also raised the possibility of further summits and an agreement ending the Korea War by replacing the armistice signed in 1953 with a peace treaty.
It was only Monday morning North Korea time that the Korean Central News Agency, or KCNA, reported Kim was in Singapore, had met with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and would meet Trump on Tuesday.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Sung Kim, the U.S. ambassador to the Philippines who has taken the lead on policy negotiations with the North, will hold a "working group" with a North Korean delegation to discuss final preparations for the meeting.
Just meeting with Trump will also give Kim recognition as the leader of a "normal" country and as an equal of the USA leader.
Ahead of his much-anticipated meeting with Kim, the US President sounded optimistic and said the meeting would be a "one-time shot" at peace.
Trump landed in the evening after a long flight from Canada and the Group of Seven meeting there, telling Singaporean officials who welcomed him that he was feeling "very good" about the summit. "Therefore, when the two sides asked us to host the meeting, we can not say no".
"To the real leaders of this summit, let us set an example for you".
Trump is expected to meet Lee on Monday.
Earlier, in March, the North Korean leader had made his first trip overseas to China and in April he became the first North Korean leader to step foot in South Korea where he met South Korean President Moon Jae-in at Panmunjom on their mutual border.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced this on Sunday, adding that the June 12 summit will give Singapore global publicity and demonstrate the country's standing in the worldwide community.
"I'm asking every Democrat who wrote that letter and all my Republican colleagues to tell North Korea and China that if diplomacy fails, we will have the president's back, we'll authorize the use of military force as a last resort to stop the nuclear threat in North Korea to the American homeland and the world at-large".
On Monday, North Korean state media said Kim and Trump would discuss a "permanent and durable peace-keeping mechanism" on the Korean peninsula, denuclearisation of the peninsula and other issues of mutual concern.
Mr Trump has not approached the North Korea crisis with kid gloves and seems unlikely to adjust his tactics now.
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Trump called out the Prime Minister by name in a statement that threatened to tear up the North American free-trade agreement. On June 12, he's scheduled to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore in a historic meeting over nuclear weapons.
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