Kim Jong-un's Flight to Singapore a Precision Maneuver

  • Kim Jong-un's Flight to Singapore a Precision Maneuver

Kim Jong-un's Flight to Singapore a Precision Maneuver

"I think we can presume that North Korea made more demands to Singapore than the United States did in terms of security".

Broad smiles and a firm handshake kicked off the first meeting between Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, as Singapore prepares to host a historic summit whose twists and turns have enraptured the world.

At 10am, North Korean vice-minister for foreign affairs, Choi Sun-hee, strode into the Ritz Carlton with her small team.

The meeting is scheduled to take place at the Capella Hotel on Singapore's Sentosa Island on Tuesday.

The motorcade carrying North Korean leader Kim Jong Un leaves the Istana, or Presidential Palace, in Singapore on Sunday on June 10, 2018, after his meeting with Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

Alluding to the North's concerns that giving up its nuclear weapons could surrender its primary deterrent to forced regime change, Pompeo told reporters that the USA was prepared to take action to provide North Korea with "sufficient certainty" that denuclearization "is not something that ends badly for them". But on the eve of the summit, the White House unexpectedly announced Trump would depart Singapore by Tuesday evening, meaning his time with Kim would be fairly brief. The meeting was initially meant to rid North Korea of its nuclear weapons, but the talks have been portrayed by Trump in recent days more as a get-to-know-you session.

One diplomatic source in Singapore said, "Tension was very high in North Korea, hence the secrecy".

Even after touching down in Singapore, it was clear that the trade disputes with U.S. allies in Quebec continued to rankle Trump. Trump has also raised the possibility of further summits and an agreement ending the Korean War by replacing the armistice signed in 1953 with a peace treaty. He most recently travelled there a year ago as a private citizen.

The summit provides "an unprecedented opportunity to change the trajectory of our relationship and bring peace and prosperity" to North Korea, Pompeo told a news conference on the summit's eve.

Trump advisers cast his actions as a show of strength before the Kim meeting.

Beyond the impact on both leaders' political fortunes, the summit could shape the fate of countless people - the citizens of impoverished North Korea, the tens of millions living in the shadow of the North's nuclear threat, and millions more worldwide.

Any nuclear deal will hinge on North Korea's willingness to allow unfettered outside inspections of the country's warheads and nuclear fuel, much of which is likely kept in a vast complex of underground facilities.