Trump upbeat ahead of N.Korean summit:The Asahi Shimbun


The objective for the North Koreans is just as clear: an end to Washington's "hostile policy" of diplomatic isolation, economic sanctions, and military muscle flexing; the normalization of diplomatic relations with the USA; a formal peace treaty ending the Korean War armistice; and a security guarantee from the Trump administration that regime change and military action is off the table.

Kim and Trump are staying in hotels that are less than 600 meters apart, but each leader spent about 20 minutes by vehicle to reach their destination in Sentosa Island. Kim arrived shortly afterward.

While Trump said things were going excellently, Kim did not answer questions from the press pool regarding denuclearization and giving up nuclear weapons.

He continued: "But in the end, that doesn't matter".

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Reports describing hard pre-summit negotiations at the working level about the contents of a joint communique-even on the most basic question, like what the term "denuclearization" actually means-offer evidence that the result of the Trump-Kim meeting will be modest. The 1950-53 conflict ended with a truce, not a final peace treaty.

On Tuesday morning, Pompeo fed the mounting anticipation of diplomatic breakthrough: "We're ready for today".

Here's a look back at some of the many comments Trump has shared on Twitter about the North Korean leader. Analysts say Kim's diplomatic outreach in recent months after a flurry of nuclear and missile tests in 2017 indicates he is eager for sanctions relief to build his economy and the worldwide legitimacy the summit with Trump would provide.

The Trump administration will only accept complete denuclearisation of the North, Mr Pompeo stressed.

Should Trump agree to ease sanctions, Beijing is likely to be very willing to help North Korea rebuild its economy.

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On the way forward, Pompeo said, "I don't know exactly what the timing will be for our next conversation with the North Koreans".

He added: "North Korea has previously confirmed to us its willingness to denuclearise and we are eager to see if those words prove honest". Trump mostly remained inside his Shangri-la hotel on the day before the summit, emerging only to meet with his Singaporean counterpart at the presidential palace.

"This is just a new beginning", said Trump while shaking hands with Kim.

He accompanied the young leader at all four of his recent summits, twice with South Korean President Moon Jae-in and twice with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

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.

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Before that, the top story in North Korea was tremendously mundane by comparison: a full account of Mr Kim's trip to a seafood restaurant in Pyongyang. During his stroll, crowds yelled out Kim's name and jostled to take pictures, and the North Korean leader posed for a selfie with Singapore officials.

After he met Kim's close aide Kim Yong Chol on June 1, Trump said human rights "probably" would be discussed at the summit, and he has committed several times to raise the issue of Japanese nationals abducted by North Korea in the 1970s and 1980s - a longstanding request of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe that he reiterated to the president in person last week.

For Trump, achieving a momentous foreign policy success would cement his place in history, and give his presidency a boost just months ahead of congressional mid-term elections.

He points to North Korea's release of American hostages earlier in 2018 and a halt in missile launches and nuclear testing as evidence of progress with North Korea.

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