US 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. As a rule, they would only report on the leader's movements after the event.
"North Korea has previously confirmed to us its willingness to denuclearise and we are eager to see if those words prove honest", he said. All of a sudden, it did.
Choi Ho-chul, a 73-year-old former bank employee, said he doubts the North would give up nuclear weapons, which he said were a "means to control its population".
"His visit and meeting with Mr Pompeo is a crucial moment in the process of the preparatory negotiations", he said.
Aside from the boyish escapade, the situation in the Korean peninsula quickly got serious. There are even anti-American museums in Pyongyang.
Pompeo has maintained that complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization is the "only outcome" acceptable to the US and that the Trump administration hopes ultimately to reach an agreement with the North Koreans that it can submit to Congress "so that when administrations do change, as they inevitably do, and this one will ... that Chairman Kim will have comfort that American policy will continue down the same path".
Technically, the United States and North Korea remain in a state of war. "[South Korean President] Moon Jae-in has been their main diplomatic focus throughout 2018", Mr Pollack said. He added though that every time he has met with Kim, it has been a surprise, so maybe he will be surprised again on Tuesday. Trump has also raised the possibility of further summits and an agreement ending the Korean War by replacing the armistice signed in 1953 with a peace treaty.
But after some diplomatic bickering and tit-for-tat outbursts, the pair will now sit down together.
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.
What's in store for Trump-Kim summit?
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's Twitter feed was busy during the first day of the summit, sharing photos of different meetings.
In a short period Monday, Trump lobbed five tweets about trade and his conflict with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, drawing harsh condemnation from Canada and other allies.
With all the global attention focused on Singapore and the historic summit, Pyongyang must be buzzing with excitement, right?
Some experts say the progress is only possible if the United States is willing to give - as well as take.
He insisted the USA would accept nothing less than complete denuclearisation.
In the weeks leading up to the summit in Singapore, Trump praised Kim as "very honorable" and "very open", a stark contrast from the "Little Rocket Man" moniker Trump had previously bestowed on the North Korean leader. "We were able to complete the preparations for the historic summit, and I would like to thank you for that", Kim, speaking through an interpreter, told Lee.
Singapore's reputation for rigid law and order was seen as a major factor for being chosen to host Tuesday's summit. "But I really feel confident. I think I'm going to be out of a job soon with how fat he is getting", Howard X said.
Authorities have beefed up security around the hotels where Trump and Kim (Saint Regis) will be staying in central Singapore.
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