Thursday, 19 July, 2018


State Media, Security Offer Glimpse Into Tightly Regimented North Korea

Members of the media stand behind potted plants as they wait outside St Regis Hotel in Singapore State Media, Security Offer Glimpse Into Tightly Regimented North Korea
Bennie Garza | 11 June, 2018, 06:09

Last year, South Korea approved a $8 million aid package for women and children at risk in North Korea, according to a report from Human Rights Watch. And South Korea is studying ways to boost engagement with its isolated neighbor to the north.

U.S. President Donald Trump arrived in Singapore Sunday evening for a summit meeting with Kim Jong Un, top leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK).

Security further tightened in Singapore on Sunday ahead of the arrival of U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un for their historic summit this week in the city state.

"Eventually, for normalization to work, you're going to have to deal with the human rights issue", said Ambassador Robert Gallucci, the chief USA negotiator during the 1994 North Korean nuclear crisis, when the two countries almost went to war over the North's pursuit of nuclear weapons. "The fact that we have been chosen as the site of the meeting - we did not ask for it, but we were asked and we agreed - says something about Singapore's relations with the parties, with America, with North Korea, also our standing in the worldwide community", he said.

Mr Trump has not approached the North Korea crisis with kid gloves and seems unlikely to adjust his tactics now.

North Korean soldiers keep watch toward the south in the village of Panmunjom, South Korea, on April 17. The leaders announce aspirational goals of a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula and permanent peace.

May 7: Mr Kim meets Mr Xi again in China and calls for stronger strategic co-operation between the traditional allies.

After a flurry of diplomatic efforts, including a White House meeting between by Kim's right-hand man Kim Yong-chol and Trump, the proposed summit was put back on.

In tamping down expectations, Trump himself has described this initial meeting as the start of a process.

After North Korea carried out a series of long-range missile tests that potentially put the USA mainland in range of a nuclear strike, Trump promised to respond with "fire and fury". But a series of diplomatic overtures involving North Korea, South Korea and the United States reduced tensions and led Trump in March to quickly accept Kim´s invitation to meet. The North says it will not be unilaterally pressured into abandoning its nuclear programme.

Numerous architects of the Sunshine policy, including Lee, advise the Moon administration and were invited to a dinner on the sidelines of the first summit between Moon and Kim Jong Un in April. In this timeline, Foreign Policy traces the course of missiles, insults, and sudden reversals that has led to this week's historic summit in Singapore.

The meeting was initially meant to rid North Korea of its nuclear weapons, but the talks have been portrayed by Trump in recent days more as a get-to-know-you session.

Singapore Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan shared a photo that showed him Balakrishnan welcoming Kim Jong-Un to Singapore. "I think we can presume that North Korea made more demands to Singapore than the United States did in terms of security".

'It would all depend what he gets in return, ' the source said of Trump agreeing to open an embassy in Pyongyang.

"It's about attitude", Trump said. "We will be sure to be cost conscious, and we will also be sure that we will do what is necessary to make this a safe meeting", he said.

In late April, 12 lanky male bodyguards made worldwide headlines after they surrounded Kim Jong Un's Mercedes-Benz vehicle and jogged alongside it whenever the North Korean leader moved across the border.

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