Trump-Kim summit today

The preliminaries continue leading up to today’s historic summit between Kim Yong-un and Donald Trump in Singapore.

US Secretary of State Mile Pompeo continues to spin a hard line.

Having stated such an absolute objective gives Trump plenty of room to walk away from the talks claiming a lack of agreement was Kim’s fault.

Reuters: Trump upbeat ahead of North Korean summit; Kim visits Singapore sites

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Monday his historic summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore could “work out very nicely” as officials from both countries sought to narrow differences on how to end a nuclear stand-off on the Korean peninsula.

Officials from the two sides held last-minute talks aimed at laying the groundwork for a meeting that was almost unthinkable just months ago when the two leaders were exchanging insults and threats that raised fears of war.

But after a flurry of diplomatic overtures eased tension in recent months, the two leaders are now headed for a history-making handshake that U.S. officials hope could eventually lead to the dismantling of a North Korean nuclear program that threatens the United States.

Offering a preview to reporters, Pompeo said it could provide “an unprecedented opportunity to change the trajectory of our relationship and bring peace and prosperity” to North Korea.

However, he played down the possibility of a quick breakthrough and said the summit should set the framework for “the hard work that will follow”, insisting that North Korea had to move toward complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearisation.

North Korea, though, has shown little appetite for surrendering nuclear weapons it considers vital to the survival of Kim’s dynastic rule.

Kim has used his time in Singapore to do some sight seeing, something that will be a novelty for him.

Kim, one of the world’s most reclusive leaders, made an evening tour of sites on Singapore’s waterfront, on the eve of the summit that is due to get underway on Tuesday morning at a nearby resort island.

North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un waves to the crowd in Singapore, June 11, 2018
in thispicture obtained from social media. JO CHAMERLAIN /via REUTERS

A lot of world attention will be on Singapore today.

 

Trump-Kim pre-meeting (still)

Kim Yong Un and Donald trump have both arrived in Singapore ahead of their meeting scheduled for tomorrow. There’s a lot of interest, not surprisingly, but theirs also a lot of conjecture and speculation, which all seems a bit pointless until the meeting takes place and something comes out of it.

And then the meeting is bound to be over-analysed. There are thousands of journalists in Singapore who will all feel compelled to justify their trip.

I hope something good comes of the meeting, but I think it’s likely any possible progress will take a lot more than a single meeting preceded by presidential posturing.

‘Spur of the moment’ Trump on North Korean meeting

Donald Trump has been all over the place leading up to the meeting with North Korean leader Kim Yong-un in Singapore shortly. He now seems to be playing down expectations, and shows that he seems to be winging it.

Reuters: Any agreement with North Korea will be ‘spur of the moment’: Trump

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Saturday any agreement with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at next week’s summit would be “spur of the moment,” underscoring the uncertain outcome of what he called a “mission of peace.”

“I have a clear objective, but I have to say – it’s going to be something that will always be spur of the moment,” Trump told reporters at a news conference at the G7 summit in Quebec.

That seems like a bit of a contradiction.

“You don’t know. This has not been done before at this level.”

The main issue for the June 12 summit in Singapore, which he departed for before the end of the G7 meeting, is the U.S. demand for North Korea to abandon a nuclear weapons program that now threatens the United States.

Trump said it would probably take time to reach an agreement with Kim on denuclearization, but at a minimum he believed the summit could produce a “relationship” between the United States and North Korea, which do not have diplomatic ties.

It would be remarkable if Trump and Kim made significant progress at the meeting towards a lasting solution on Korea.