Kim Jong Un to be present for Donald Trump Summit

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, on Sunday, arrived Singapore
for an unprecedented summit with Donald Trump, an attempt to
address the last festering legacy of the Cold War, with the US
president calling it a “one time shot” at peace.
Pyongyang’s nuclear arsenal — which has seen it subjected to
several sets of UN Security Council sanctions and threatened with
military action by the Trump administration — will top the agenda.
Bringing the Korean War to a formal end 65 years after hostilities
ceased will also be on the table at the first-ever summit between a
North Korean leader and a sitting president of its “imperialist
Kim arrived in Singapore on board an Air China 747 that according
to flight tracking website Flightradar24 took off from Pyongyang in
the morning ostensibly bound for Beijing, then changed its flight
number midair and headed south.
The city-state’s foreign minister Vivian Balakrishnan tweeted a
picture of himself shaking hands with Kim at Changi Airport, and
the North Korean leader was driven into the centre in a stretch
Mercedes-Benz limousine, accompanied by a convoy of more than
20 vehicles.
Kim was due to meet Singaporean President Lee Hsien Loong later
on Sunday, the city-state’s foreign ministry said, while Trump was
flying from Canada on board Air Force One after leaving the G7
summit early.
Authorities imposed tight security around the summit venue and
related luxury hotels — including installing extra pot plants outside
Kim’s expected accommodation to obstruct reporters’ views.
– ‘Not just a photo op’ –
Tuesday’s Singapore meeting is the climax of the astonishing
flurry of diplomacy on and around the Korean peninsula this year,
but critics charge that it risks being largely a triumph of style over
Washington is demanding the complete, verifiable and irreversible
denuclearisation (CVID) of the North, while Pyongyang has so far
only made public pledges of its commitment to the denuclearisatio
n of the peninsula — a term open to wide interpretation — while
seeking security guarantees.
Former US deputy secretary of state Richard Armitage expected
little progress on the key issue of defining denuclearisation.
“The success will be in the shutter clicks of the cameras,” he said.
“They both get what they want.”
Trump insisted last week that the summit would “not be just a
photo op”, saying it would help forge a “good relationship” that
would lead to a “process” towards the “ultimate making of a deal”.
But as he embarked for Singapore he changed his tune, calling it a
“one-time shot” and adding he will know “within the first minute”
whether an agreement will be possible.
“If I think it won’t happen, I’m not going to waste my time,” he
He has also dangled the prospect of Kim Jong Un visiting
Washington if the meeting goes well.
But even the merit of the event itself — long sought by the North,
and which Trump apparently impulsively agreed to in March,
reportedly without consulting his advisers — has been called into
“People call it a historic summit but… it is important to understand
that this summit was available to any US president who wanted to
do it and the point is no US president wanted to do this, and for
good reasons,” said Christopher Hill, a former lead US nuclear
negotiator with North Korea.
– Decades of tensions –
The two countries have been at loggerheads for decades.
The North invaded the South in 1950 and the ensuing war saw US-
led UN troops backing Seoul fight their way to a stalemate against
Pyongyang’s forces which were aided by Russia and China, before
the conflict ended in stalemate and an armistice which sealed the
division of the peninsula.
Sporadic provocations by the North have continued while
Pyongyang has made increasing advances in its nuclear arsenal,
which it says it needs to defend against the risk of a US invasion.
Last year it carried out by far its most powerful nuclear test to
date and launched missiles capable of reaching the US mainland,
sending tensions soaring to a level unseen in years as a newly-
elected Trump traded threats of war and colourful personal insults
with Kim, with Trump dubbed a “dotard” and Kim “Little Rocket
But the South’s Winter Olympics in February catalysed a flurry of
diplomatic moves as Seoul’s dovish leader Moon Jae-in sought to
bring the two sides together.
Kim has met twice with both Moon and Xi Jinping, the president of
China, long the North’s most important ally.
Pyongyang has taken some steps to show sincerity, returning US
detainees and blowing up its nuclear test site.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said last week that progress
was being made in bringing the two sides together in their
understanding of denuclearisation.
But Trump — for whom a major accomplishment would bolster his
position ahead of midterm elections in November — baffled
observers when he said he did not think he had to prepare “very
much” for the summit.
“It’s about attitude,” Trump said. “So this isn’t a question of


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