US, North Korea officials in final summit preparations

The Harebrained Summit

The Harebrained Summit

USA and North Korean officials are set to meet in Singapore to make final preparations for the summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

"Great to be in Singapore, excitement in the air!" the president tweeted on Sunday after landing in Singapore, where U.S.

"The entire world is focusing on the historic summit between the DPRK (North Korea) and the United States, and thanks to your honest efforts".

Trump's Air Force One touched down at the military airbase Paya Lebar later on Sunday.

As Kim's black Mercedes arrived at the St Regis hotel in downtown Singapore, it was flanked by bodyguards in identical black suits jogging alongside the auto.

Trump expressed optimism about Tuesday's meeting during a working lunch with Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and aides to both leaders.

Trump and Kim are set to meet at 9 a.m. Tuesday in Singapore, which is 9 p.m. Monday on the U.S. East Coast. "And he has that opportunity, and he won't have that opportunity again", Trump said.

Mr Trump could also consider opening an American embassy in Pyongyang, the report said.

Singapore is hosting this year's meetings of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, which has seen the US and China jockey for diplomatic influence in recent weeks.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced this on Sunday, adding that the June 12 summit will give Singapore global publicity and demonstrate the country's standing in the worldwide community.

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In March, Trump surprised the world by accepting an invitation from Kim to meet in person.

On Monday, North Korean state media said Kim and Trump would discuss a "permanent and durable peace-keeping mechanism" on the Korean peninsula, denuclearisation of the peninsula and other issues of mutual concern.

It was not clear what Kim Jong Un, who arrived Sunday afternoon, was planning to do on Monday or whether he meant to leave his hotel, the St. Regis, about a half-mile from where Trump's delegation is staying.

Security around Kim's hotel was extremely tight and guests were prohibited from going in and out, hours before Kim's black Mercedes Benz limousine cruised in.

But Pyongyang is demanding as yet unspecified security guarantees and the end of what it calls a "hostile policy" towards it, and has not made clear what concessions it is offering over the nuclear arsenal it calls its "treasured sword" to defend against a U.S. invasion.

Last year, the North made one of the biggest breakthroughs in its missile and nuclear weapons programs - which it says it needs to defend against the risk of a US invasion - when it announced that it had "completed" its state nuclear program after testing a missile capable of striking most, if not all, of the continental U.S. It's a reflection of the intense global curiosity over Kim's sudden turn to diplomacy in recent months after a slew of North Korean nuclear and missile tests previous year raised serious fears of war. The test will be whether a deal has "verifiable elements of a denuclearization", to prove whether the North has dismantled its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

This will be the first summit of its kind between a leader of North Korea and a sitting USA president.

It's Kim's pursuit of nuclear weapons that gives his meeting with Trump such high stakes.

The talks have been portrayed by Trump in recent days more as a get-to-know-you session. But it remains unclear if Kim will part with what he likely views as his most important bargaining chip any time soon.

Singapore is one of the few countries that have diplomatic relations with both the United States and North Korea.

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