Economy

The Dark History of the 'Tranquil' Island Hosting the Trump-Kim Summit

The Dark History of the 'Tranquil' Island Hosting the Trump-Kim Summit”

Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un are meeting in Singapore today for talks that many - including the two leaders - thought might never happen.

Interested in North Korea? Add North Korea as an interest to stay up to date on the latest North Korea news, video, and analysis from ABC News. On the day before the meeting, weeks of preparation appeared to pick up in pace, with USA and North Korean officials meeting throughout Monday at a Singapore hotel. The two posed for pictures briefly before walking over to an awning and appeared quite cordial in their greeting, both smiling as they shook hands for a second time.

"We're going to have a great discussion", Trump said. Kim could be heard saying, "Nice to meet you Mr. President".

Although gaps remain over what denuclearisation would entail, Trump sounded a positive note in a lunch meeting with Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

The first-ever meeting between a US president and a North Korean leader was to kick off at 9 a.m. Tuesday with a handshake, an image sure to be devoured from Washington to Pyongyang and beyond. But many say this is highly unlikely, given how hard it has been for Kim to build his program and given that the weapons are seen as the major guarantee to his holding onto unchecked power. "And it's my honor to be involved".

Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un are scheduled to meet at 9 a.m. local time (1 a.m. GMT), simultaneously entering the negotiation room via different doors.

The meeting carries not only potentially dire diplomatic risks, but high political stakes as well for a president who has framed the meeting in legacy-defining terms.

El líder norcoreano Kim Jong-un y el presidente de EEUU Donald Trump
AFP 2018 Saul Loeb World Follows Every Step of Historic Trump Kim Summit

The White House has not said whether the president will raise issue with North Korea's dismal human rights record, but the president took time in the hours before his meeting to take a swipe at critics of the sit-down.

Trump tweeted hours before the meeting that "we will all know soon" whether he can broker a deal with Kim that would help stave off the threat of nuclear war.

Those of us who work on North Korea are used to the weirdness, so the road to the June 12 summit has been familiarly freakish: Trump's threats of "fire, fury and frankly power", the strangely large envelope at the White House, news of Central Intelligence Agency reports that Kim might allow a hamburger franchise to open in Pyongyang, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's meeting in NY with one of Kim's envoys, where the Secretary tweeted photographs showing the two dining on steak and chocolate soufflé.

Recently, Kim Jong Un sent him to the United States to hand-deliver a letter to Trump, making him North Korea's most senior official to visit its wartime foe in 18 years.

Meanwhile, President Trump arrived at Paya Lebar Airbase in Singapore in the evening and was also received there by the country's foreign minister Vivian Balakrishnan. Before the announcement, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo seemed to hint that the outcome of the talks might not be what Trump has promised in the past.

"We're prepared to take actions that will provide them sufficient certainty that they can be comfortable that denuclearization isn't something that ends badly for them - indeed, just the opposite, that it leads to a better, brighter future for the North Korean people", Pompeo told reporters Monday.



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