Thursday, 13 December, 2018


Kim summit: North Korea hails 'new era' of relations with the US

Conrad Doyle | 11 June, 2018, 16:18

President Donald Trump said Monday 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.

Singapore will spend about 20 million dollars to host the historic summit between Trump and Kim, Prime Minister Loong revealed.

North Korean forces invaded the South in 1950 and the ensuing war saw US -led United Nations troops backing Seoul fight their way to a stalemate against Pyongyang's forces - which were aided by Russian Federation and China - before the conflict ended in stalemate and an armistice which sealed the division of the peninsula.

Many questions remain unanswered, however, including whether the North Koreans have robust enough communication systems to make sure no one panics and launches an attack, said Vipin Narang, an associate professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Security Studies Program.

Earlier on Sunday evening, Trump arrived at Singapore's Paya Lebar Air Base and is now staying at the Shangri-La Hotel.

There was speculation throughout the day over whether Kim Jong Un had taken his private jet- an Ilyushin IL-62M - from Pyongyang, but official photos released by the Singaporean Ministry of Communications and Information showing Kim meeting Balakrishnan on the tarmac appear to reveal that he flew to Singapore aboard an Air China Boeing 747.

Donald Trump has sat down for lunch with his Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

North Koreans were told two weeks ago that a summit between Kim and Trump would take place, but not when or where it would happen.

The meeting included North Korea Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Choe Son-hui and US negotiators Allison Hooker, the National Security Council's director for Korea, and Randall Schriver, assistant defense secretary for Asian and Pacific security affairs. U.S. officials were quoted as saying that the two leaders could spend the first two hours alone with translators but not advisors.

Still, even as he turned his attention to the summit, Trump continued his blistering attacks on Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Monday, saying "Fair Trade is now to be called Fool Trade if it is not Reciprocal".

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said last week that progress is being made in bringing the two sides together in their understanding of denuclearization.

In the lead up to the summit, North Korea rejected any unilateral nuclear disarmament, and KCNA's reference to denuclearisation of the peninsula has historically meant that Pyongyang wants the United States to remove its "nuclear umbrella" protecting South Korea and Japan.

'North Korea has its own royal lineage - the Kim family - and so it is natural that Kim Yo Jong traveled to Singapore separately from her brother'.

Kim Jong Un will undoubtedly get a sense of all that as he arrives.

Trump has said he doesn't think he needs much preparation for this summit.

Kim has shown surprising diplomatic skills in his meetings with overseas leaders this year.

South Korea estimates the North has 50 kilograms of plutonium, reportedly enough for around 10 bombs, and a "considerable" ability to produce uranium weapons.

But he has since lowered expectations, backing away from an original demand for North Korea's swift denuclearisation. But that could lead to a situation similar to previous failed agreements where North Korea dragged out its end of the deal for years before reneging.

Kim's younger sister, Kim Yo-jong, who assisted with the lowering of tensions between North Korea and the worldwide community by attending the Winter Olympics in South Korea, is among the North Korean delegation.

Likely to attend the summit with Trump are Pompeo, Bolton and White House chief of staff John Kelly.

"The South can not simply afford to take care of the North economically", she said.

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