Published On: Sun, Jun 10th, 2018

Trump Kim summit: Kim Jong-un arrives in Singapore for North Korea USA meet | World | News


Kim arrived at Singapore’s Changi Airport after his longest trip overseas as head of state wearing his trademark dark Maoist suit and distinctive high cut hairstyle.

He was greeted by Singapore’s foreign minister, Vivian Balakrishnan, who posted a picture on Twitter of him shaking hands with Kim and the message: “Welcomed Chairman Kim Jong Un, who has just arrived in Singapore”.

Mr Trump is expected to fly into the southeast Asian cit state within the next few hours and the two leaders are scheduled to meet at 9am on Tuesday at the Capella on Sentosa Island, a refurbished British Army artillery HQ that is now one of Singapore’s most expensive luxury hotels.

Mr Trump has hinted at the prospect of normalised relations between the US and North Korea and even a White House visit for Kim if he scraps his nuclear arsenal.

He said he and Kim could even sign an agreement to end the Korean War, which was concluded only with a truce, not a peace treaty.

North Korea and the US appeared on the brink of war last year with their leaders trading insults and threats until Kim made a dramatic offer in March to meet Trump and discuss nuclear disarmament, which the US president quickly accepted.

In September, after North Korea conducted its sixth and largest nuclear test, Mr Trump said in a tweet that Kim was “obviously a madman who doesn’t mind starving or killing his people”.

Kim responded by branding Mr Trump “a mentally deranged US dotard”.

But the atmosphere changed dramatically at the start of the year when, in his New Year message, Kim extended an olive branch to enemy South Korea, sent a team to the Winter Olympics there in February and held two summits with South Korean President Moon Jae-in in April and May.

He also made two secret trips to China since March to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping, and hosted US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo twice in Pyongyang.

Just a week before his April visit to the demilitarised zone (DMZ) for his first summit with Mr Moon, Kim declared an end to nuclear testing, effectively ending his “byungjin” twin strategy that pursues nuclear prowess alongside economic development.

Kim said he would instead put all efforts into jumpstarting economic growth for his country of more than 25 million people.

Many remain sceptical Kim will ever completely abandon his nuclear programmes. They believe his latest engagement is aimed at getting the United States to ease crippling economic sanctions that have squeezed the impoverished country.

Mr Trump, who has led a “maximum pressure” campaign against North Korea, has insisted that Kim first provide verifiable proof that he will irreversibly dismantle North Korea’s nuclear arsenal.

But Kim has shown surprising diplomatic skills in his meetings with overseas leaders this year and a smiling and affable side as he went clearly out of his way to be cordial to Mr Moon.



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