Published: Mon, June 11, 2018
Worldwide | By Stella Potter

Trump Meets Singapore's Lee Before Historic Kim Jong Un Summit

Trump Meets Singapore's Lee Before Historic Kim Jong Un Summit

President TrumpDonald John Trump McCain rips Trump over trade, tells allies: "Americans stand with you, even if our president doesn't" Head of Canada's auto parts industry association mocks Trump's threat of auto tariffs Dem leaders condemn Trump after reversal on G-7 communique endorsement MORE said on Sunday that there is "excitement in the air" in Singapore as he prepares for the summit meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Officials remain uncertain what will come out of Tuesday's unprecedented summit, the first of its kind between a sitting US president and the leader of North Korea.

A US official says Monday that the leaders will meet for up to two hours before an expanded bilateral meeting with their respective advisers.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders says the U.S. ambassador to the Philippines, who has taken the lead on policy negotiations with the North, will hold a working group with a North Korean delegation at 10 a.m. Monday local time, or 10 p.m. Sunday on the U.S. East Coast.

Among those representing the U.S. at the lunch were Secretary of Secretary Mike Pompeo, White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and National Security Adviser John Bolton.

The quick succession of combative G7 meetings and his arrival in Singapore for a summit with North Korea's dictator set up a striking contrast best captured by a pair of tweets Trump issued after leaving Canada in which he slammed Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as "very dishonest & weak" and reneged on United States plans to sign a joint communique with the G7 leaders.

It is an extraordinary turnaround from the rhetoric of previous year, when Trump threatened the North with "fire and fury" and Kim dubbed him a "mentally deranged U.S. dotard".

"If the summit becomes a success, the Singaporean efforts will go down in history", Kim said.

The summit would discuss "building a permanent and durable peacekeeping mechanism on the Korean Peninsula, the issue of realising denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula" and other issues "as required by the changed era". "And he has that opportunity, and he won't have that opportunity again".


The mercurial U.S. leader has whipsawed on expectations for the meeting, signalling that it could be the beginning of a "process" of several meetings, only to call it a "one-time shot" for peace as he embarked for Singapore.

Trump initially touted the potential for a grand bargain with North Korea to rid itself of a nuclear missile program that has advanced rapidly to threaten the United States.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said U.S. and North Korean officials would hold working-level talks on Monday.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Sung Kim, the U.S. ambassador to the Philippines who has taken the lead on policy negotiations with the North, will hold a "working group" with a North Korean delegation to discuss final preparations for the meeting. The North Korean leadership, including Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Choe Son Hui has also taunted Washington, calling Vice President Mike Pence a "political dummy".

After his meeting with Lee, Trump was scheduled to visit diplomats at the U.S. Embassy here, but he had nothing else listed on his public schedule.

The two media workers, dressed in identical black suits, with lapel badges of former North Korean leaders and flanked by Singapore police, were busy getting into the best position for Kim's arrival, setting up cameras in the middle of the cordoned-off road.

It is the farthest Kim has travelled since inheriting power in 2011, and only his third known trip outside the country since then, with the use of a Chinese plane raising questions over the state of North Korea's ageing fleet of Soviet-built aircraft.

Kim smiled broadly Sunday evening as he met with Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

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