Sunday, 18 November, 2018


Trump, Abe agree to 'consult closely' after Singapore summit

President Donald Trump listens during a meeting with Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong ahead of a summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. | AP Trump, Abe agree to 'consult closely' after Singapore summit
Bennie Garza | 14 June, 2018, 04:18

Before that, the top story in North Korea was tremendously mundane by comparison: a full account of Mr Kim's trip to a seafood restaurant in Pyongyang.

Trump said Tuesday after meeting Kim that he's feeling "really great".

Giving voice to the anticipation felt around the world as the meeting opened, South Korean President Moon Jae-in said Tuesday he "hardly slept" before the summit. Central Intelligence Agency chief Mike Pompeo, now secretary of state, secretly met with Kim shortly afterward, setting in motion the sometimes tense negotiations that led to Monday's meeting at the very highest level.

The Swiss-educated leader, who is believed to be 34, has not left his isolated country since taking office in 2011, apart from visiting China and the South Korean side of the border Demilitarised Zone, which separates the two Koreas.

Its report added: "He said Singapore is clean and lovely and every building is stylish as he heard of in the past, adding he is going to learn a lot from the good knowledge and experience of Singapore in various fields in the future".

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But some question why Kim should trust any guarantees given Trump's history of pulling out of accords - most recently the painstakingly negotiated Iran nuclear deal.

In 2014, Trump tweeted dismissively about the possibility that he and Rodman would someday travel to North Korea together.

Trump and Kim - both intent on making history - greeted each other early in the day with extended hands in front of a row of U.S. and North Korean flags, a previously unthinkable sight that reflects a new chapter in the two countries' acrimonious relationship.

The White House said later that discussions with North Korea had moved "more quickly than expected" and Trump would leave Singapore on Tuesday night after the summit, rather than Wednesday, as scheduled earlier.

In the lead-up to the summit, United States and North Korean officials were convening contentious final-hour negotiations in a Ritz Carlton hotel here in a bid to narrow gaps on key aspects of the meeting.

Hannity, one of the president's most ardent supporters, will talk to Trump at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa Island in Singapore.

On May 10, Trump announced that he would meet Kim on June 12 in Singapore.

North Korea has said it is willing to commit to denuclearisation, but it is unclear how this will be achieved or what might be requested in return.

For Trump, Singapore represents a golden opportunity to overshadow the negative headlines he generated from a contentious G-7 summit.

Trump has also said he would raise the issue of Japanese citizens abducted by North Korea, after Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe lobbied him in a meeting in Washington last week.

Experts believe the North is close to being able to target the entire US mainland with its nuclear-armed missiles, and while there's deep skepticism that Kim will quickly give up those hard-won nukes, there's also some hope that diplomacy can replace the animosity between the USA and the North. She said that past administrations "just talked about it".

The talks will focus on North Korea's controversial nuclear programme.

Kim is a departmental director at North Korea's United Front Department, the Workers' Party organization that handles inter-Korean relations.

Talks proceeded at multiple levels, including logistical discussions to allay Kim's fears of being deposed while traveling further afield than he ever has before as the country's leader.

While advisers say Trump has been reviewing briefing materials, the president insists his gut instincts will matter most when he gets in the room with Kim.

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