Published: Thu, June 14, 2018

North Korea summit: Donald Trump to meet Singapore prime minister today

North Korea summit: Donald Trump to meet Singapore prime minister today

Crowds watch as the limousine of US President Donald Trump arrives at the Istana or Presidential Palace in Singapore on Monday, as he meets Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong ahead of the summit between Trump and North Korea leader Kim Jong Un. It will be the first meeting between a sitting US president and a DPRK top leader.

Kim met the Singaporean prime minister, Lee Hsien Loong, briefly on Sunday, smiling broadly as the two posed for photographs. Trump is expected to meet Lee on Monday.

Experts believe the North is on the brink of being able to target the entire U.S. 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 United States and the North.

For the pariah state, denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula is a situation in which North Korea gives up nukes if the US ends its alliances in Asia, its policy of extended deterrence and ground troops on the peninsula, Victor Cha, a Georgetown University professor and senior advisor at the Center for Strategic and International Studies said at a Washington event on Monday.

Trump and Kim are staying in separate hotels in the famous Orchard Road area of Singapore, dotted with high-rise luxury apartment blocks, offices and glittering shopping malls.

Part of the interest in Tuesday's summit is simply because Kim has had limited appearances on the world stage.

Trump descended from Air Force One into the steamy Singapore night, greeting officials and declaring he felt "very good", before he was whisked away to his hotel, driving along a route lined with police and photo-snapping onlookers.

Trump advisers cast his actions as a show of strength before the Kim meeting.

Washington is demanding the complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearisation of the North, while Pyongyang has so far only made public pledges of its commitment to the denuclearisation of the peninsula - a term open to wide interpretation - while seeking security guarantees in return. After their initial greeting, the leaders will head into a room for the summit.

He would not say whether that included the possibility of withdrawing US troops from the Korean Peninsula, but said the context of the discussions was "radically different than ever before". "We must put the American worker first!"

The summit provides "an unprecedented opportunity to change the trajectory of our relationship and bring peace and prosperity" to North Korea, Pompeo told a news conference on the summit's eve.

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