Kim Jong-un lands in Singapore ahead of summit with Donald Trump

10 June, 2018, 13:00 | Author: Myra Gill
  • Singapore

Kim Jong Un has landed in Singapore, two days before his historic tête-à-tête with President Donald Trump.

Another possibility from the summit is a deal to end the Korean War, which North Korea has long demanded, presumably, in part, to get U.S. troops off the Korean Peninsula and, eventually, pave the way for a North Korean-led unified Korea.

The North, many experts believe, stands on the brink of being able to target the entire United States mainland with its nuclear-armed missiles, and while there's deep scepticism that Mr Kim will quickly give up those hard-won nukes, there is also some hope that diplomacy can replace the animosity between the United States and the North.

Believed to be 34, portly and baby-faced, Kim is one of the youngest heads of state in the world and looks an unlikely candidate to be making history of the kind that has eluded his father and grandfather, both past leaders of North Korea.

Kim Jong-un with Singapore foreign minister Vivian Balakrishnan.

Kim is due to meet Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in the city-state later on Sunday, Singapore's ministry of foreign affairs said in a statement.

Kim is set to meet Tuesday with Trump in what's shaping up to be one of the most unusual summits in modern history.

Refrigerator trucks will be waiting at Changi Airport on Sunday to receive the cargo flight, Singapore's Straits Times newspaper reported, saying the plane is believed to be carrying food items as well as several luxury cars to escort the North Korean leader.


He may be staying at the St Regis Hotel, where China's President Xi Jinping once stayed, and may be bringing his own armoured limousine and bodyguards. In a New Year's address, Kim said his country had completed development of its nuclear programme and would focus on economic development, suggesting a meeting with South Korea.

Mr Kim has only publicly left his country three times since taking power after his despot father's death in late 2011 - twice traveling to China and once across his shared border with the South to the southern part of the Demilitarised Zone in recent summits with the leaders of China and South Korea respectively.

For Trump, a successful summit will see him achieve badly needed recognition on the worldwide stage ahead of congressional elections in November.

Kim's journey from worldwide pariah to being regarded as a responsible head of state has taken just a few months.

The Trump-Kim summit, which will be held at the Capella Hotel on Tuesday morning, will mark the first time a North Korean leader has met with a sitting United States president.

Many remain skeptical Kim will ever completely abandon his nuclear programs.

The tests came amid a campaign of "maximum pressure", led by the United States, that tightened economic sanctions against North Korea and raised the possibility of military action.

But Kim has shown surprising diplomatic skills in his meetings with overseas leaders this year and a smiling and affable side as he went clearly out of his way to be cordial to Moon.

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