Trump, Kim arrive in Singapore ahead of summit

Jun 11, 2018, 10:21 am

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North Korean leader Kim Jong-un shakes hands with Singapore's foreign minister Vivian Balakrishnan after arriving in Singapore on Sunday./ Source: Singapore International Media Center

By AsiaToday reporter Choi Tae-beom 

U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un have arrived in Singapore on Monday ahead of the historic U.S.-North Korea summit. The hotel where Kim stays is only 500 meters of the hotel where Trump is accommodated. 

The two leaders are due to hold talks in Hotel Capella on Sentosa Island on Tuesday at 9 a.m.. There is a growing expectation that the talks will bring meaningful results toward denuclearization and peace settlement of the Korean Peninsula.

Amid tight security, Kim arrived at Singapore's Changi Airport at 2:36 p.m. and traveled to St. Regis Hotel, where he will be staying during the trip.

Wearing a black Mao-style suit, Kim was welcomed by Singapore's foreign minister Vivian Balakrishnan at the airport. Then he traveled to the Istana Presidential Palace, where he met with Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. 

The road to the St. Regis Hotel, where North Korean leader Kim Jong-un will be staying during the trip. It is crowded with reporters from all around the world amid tight security./ Photographed by Choi Tae-beom

Kim thanked Lee for hosting the summit, and said, "If the North Korea-U.S. summit meeting is fruitful, then the Singapore government's efforts will remain recorded in history forever."

Kim is expected to stay at the hotel for the rest of the period before the summit, reviewing the outcome of prior working-level consultations with the United States in order to refine its negotiation strategy.

Photographed by Choi Tae-beom

U.S. President Donald Trump also arrived at Singapore's Paya Lebar Air Force Base at around 8:20 p.m.. He was also greeted by Singapore's foreign minister Vivian Balakrishnan. He is expected to meet with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Monday, and then stay at the Shangri-La hotel to draw up his final strategy for the summit. 

As the two leaders arrived in Singapore, the countdown has begun for the Trump-Kim summit. Both sides are expected to have intensive working-level negotiations to resolve the differences over denuclearization and regime guarantee until the last minute. 

While many expect that some consensus on the complete denuclearization and complete guarantee of security will be reached between the two sides, it is noteworthy whether further progress will be made for detailed plans for denuclearization, such as early removal of North Korea's nuclear warheads, nuclear materials, and intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM). 

Some observers say that opening an American embassy in Pyongyang may be among topics that could be discussed during the summit. The opening of an American embassy means that U.S. may establish official diplomatic ties with North Korea beyond guaranteeing its security. 

Trump said earlier that he would invite Kim Jong-un to the White House if the summit is successful. Therefore, the message of the two leaders to be included in the "Singapore Declaration" is expected to be a big motive for declaring the official end of the Korean War and replacing the armistice with a peace treaty.

#Trump #Kim #summit #Singapore 
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