Dennis Rodman to Travel to Singapore for North Korea Summit

12 June, 2018, 02:04 | Author: Brooke Harris
  • U.S. President Donald Trump flanked by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and White House Chief of Staff John Kelly attend a lunch with Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and officials at the Istana in Singapore

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also offered up a positive assessment of the sitdown with Kim, saying preparations for the talks were moving ahead rapidly "and we anticipate that they will come to their logical conclusion even more quickly than we anticipated".

The two leaders are set to meet on Tuesday at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa for talks which could see North Korea dismantle its nuclear arsenal in return for economic help and security guarantees. "We have the potential now to go from "fire and fury" with regards to this issue to potentially peace and prosperity".

Asked by a reporter how he felt about the summit, Mr Trump said: "Very good".

Singapore's Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan, who met Mr Trump and Mr Kim separately on Sunday evening, told the BBC that both leaders were feeling "supremely confident" ahead of their meeting.

At issue is whether Kim would be willing to abandon a nuclear weapons program that has advanced rapidly in recent years, posing an increasing threat to the United States and its allies.

And until denuclearisation takes place, sanctions against North Korea would remain in place, he stressed. "If diplomacy doesn't move in the right direction, sanctions will increase".

"Sending Kim Yong-chol to NY may serve to cut out a layer of middlemen - to get urgent clarifications and/or send a relatively unfiltered message to Washington that they are going to have to modify their approach if this is going to happen", Mr Pollack said.

Despite the initial high stakes of a summit meant to rid North Korea of its nuclear weapons, the talks have been portrayed by Trump in recent days more as a get-to-know-each-other meeting. He had earlier been scheduled to leave on Wednesday.

In Singapore, the island city-state hosting the summit, the sense of anticipation was palpable, with people lining spotless streets Monday waving cellphones as Trump headed to meet Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

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"There is no chance to make North Korean leaders. surrender their nuclear weapons", Andrei Lankov, a Korea expert at Seoul's Kookmin University, wrote recently on a Washington-based Asia newsletter. Kim finished off the night with a walk along a pedestrian bridge near the city's Merlion Park.

Just a few months ago, Kim was an worldwide pariah accused of ordering the killing of his uncle, a half-brother and scores of officials suspected of disloyalty.

"Ms Choe has also served as an English language interpreter for Kim Jong-un and other senior DPRK leadership when they have interacted with foreign nationals", the website states. "I think it's not a one-meeting deal", Trump said Thursday.

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.

Trump and Kim are staying in separate hotels less that a kilometre apart in the famous Orchard Road area of Singapore, dotted with high-rise luxury apartment blocks, offices and glittering shopping malls.

Any change to North Korean media's day-to-day routine usually signifies that something important is happening.

Top members of Trump's administration have said that the North Koreans wouldn't receive any benefits before taking steps to denuclearize - wary of falling into the same predicament that doomed previous agreements with the rogue regime.

-North Korea summit in Singapore on June 11, 2018.

With two unreliable narrators in Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump, how will Americans know what they actually said and agreed to with each other? But U.S. officials have since avoided such lofty declarations. But he rightly points out that Trump "appears more interested in achieving a deal with North Korea than he is in maintaining peace with some of our oldest allies".

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