Former U.S. National Basketball Association star Dennis Rodman arrived in Singapore on Tuesday ahead of a summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, saying he was "happy to be here".
The invitation to Pyongyang contained in the letter, which was handed by Kim Jong-un's top aide Kim Yong Chol to the US President Trump on June 1, the Chosun Ilbo newspaper reported, citing its sources privy to the matter.
Word does get around, however, and the prospect of a meeting between Kim and Trump had already been on the public's radar.
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.
Commenting for the first time on the agenda, North Korea's state-run KCNA news agency said the two sides would exchange "wide-ranging and profound views" to re-set relations. This area has been designated by Singaporean authorities as "special event areas". It heralded the summit as part of a "changed era". Delegates were outlining specific goals for what the leaders should try to accomplish and multiple scenarios for resolving key issues, a senior U.S official said, adding that the meetings were also an ice breaker of sorts, allowing the teams to get better acquainted after decades of minimal contact between their nations. Trump left the summit early, and as he flew to Singapore, he tweeted that he was yanking the USA out of the group's traditional closing statement.
He and Trump are set to meet Tuesday morning in the first summit of its kind between a leader of North Korea and a sitting US president.
Another possibility from the summit is a deal to end the Korean War, which North Korea has long demanded, presumably, in part, to get United States troops off the Korean Peninsula and, eventually, pave the way for a North Korean-led unified Korea.
It's unclear what Trump and Kim might decide Tuesday.
Instead, North Korea's capital was like the calm in the center of a storm.
"That is a different phrasing from this very broad denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula", he said. "We are prepared to take what will be security assurances that are different, unique, than America's been willing to provide previously".
After that five-day visit, Rodman told reporters, "I'm just trying to open the door".
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