Singapore abuzz with preparations for Trump-Kim summit

06 June, 2018, 03:50 | Author: Ethel Goodwin
  • The meeting would be the first time Mr Kim has hosted a fellow head of state

Donald Trump's second objective is increasing US's foothold on the Korean peninsula and thereby some control over the Yellow Sea that separates two Koreas from China.

The young leader was seen to have been overseeing Kim Yong-chol's US visit last week, as well as monitoring the talks between American and North Korean diplomats to finalize an agenda for the summit, ongoing at the Panmunjom, the truce village at the inter-Korean border.

Anticipating the meeting in Singapore, Trump has his sights set on a nuclear deal, leaving allies and advocates anxious that he may give short shrift to human rights abuses and regional security concerns.

Pyongyang has long argued that it needs nuclear weapons to protect itself against a possible invasion by the US.

Critics have started invoking the Iran nuclear deal that Trump recently exited as a cautionary tale. "It will be thoroughly preparing for it more than any other summit".

Gaining a break in sanctions or assurances of safety from the United States would be a major victory for Kim, and the North Korean leader may be enthusiastic for a clear win as he tries to hold his troubled regime together.

"The White House has spoken to this as well". U.S. President Donald Trump announced on Friday that the historic meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is back on in Singapore for June 12 after receiving a personal letter from Mr. Kim.

In a remarkable shift in tone eight days after cancelling the summit, citing Pyongyang's "open hostility", Trump welcomed North Korea's former intelligence chief, Kim Yong Chol, to the White House on Friday, afterward exchanging smiles and handshakes.

It would be the first time North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has hosted a head of state since assuming power in 2011 and comes as he is involved in a flurry of diplomatic activity.

North Korea's state affairs commission secretariat Kim Chang Son also met Hagin at Capella after arriving in Singapore in late May to hash out details for the summit.

"In return, the U.S. seems to be offering to accept more of the North's demands such as declaring an end to the Korean War and taking a step-by-step approach in the denuclearization process", he said. "This is largely being planned out of the White House, with State Department support".

The delicate balancing of U.S. needs and alliances with the promotion of human rights overseas has long bedeviled American leaders.

The location offers excellent security, a track record of putting together top-level global gatherings and long-standing ties with North Korea.

Bolton's comments, which were later echoed by vice president Mike Pence, reportedly incensed Pompeo, who confronted him over the issue.

Addressing the subject with the North is particularly hard given that Kim's government is believed to view the raising of human rights as tantamount to advocating regime change.

According to one estimate, the cost of dismantling North Korea's nuclear weapons program could be at least five times higher than that of Ukraine.

The sum would be negotiated if North Korea accepted the offer, he said.

The others dismissed, according to Yonhap, were defense chief Pak Yong Sik and Kim Jong Gak, director of the political bureau of the North Korean army. "However, we also believe that Congress must act as a check on any agreement that does not live up to these principles by imposing tougher sanctions and oversight".

Asked whether the US maximum-pressure campaign against North Korea would continue, Sanders said USA policy had not changed and Washington continued to maintain tough sanctions on Pyongyang.

Trump aims to persuade the North Korean dictator to give up his country's nuclear arsenal in exchange for relief from US economic sanctions. It was the first time that Kim had been personally sanctioned and the first time that any North Korean officials had been blacklisted in connection with rights abuses.

Rodman, who fancies himself a sports ambassador to North Korea, said that he did not "want to take all the credit" for laying the groundwork for the summit.


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