Wednesday, 20 June, 2018

North Korea's dictator comes in from the cold

Fake Kim otherwise known as Howard the impersonator during the Winter Olympics in South Korea ERIC TALMADGE AP Fake Kim otherwise known as Howard the impersonator during the Winter Olympics in South Korea
Charlie Simmons | 11 June, 2018, 09:37

But a series of diplomatic overtures involving North Korea, South Korea and the United States reduced tensions and led Trump in March to quickly accept Kim's invitation to meet.

Past nuclear deals have crumbled over North Korea's reluctance to open its doors to outsiders.

The two are due to meet on Tuesday on the resort island of Sentosa for their high-stakes summit, the first-ever talks between the USA and North Korean leader and the culmination of a head-spinning diplomatic dance. Just meeting with Trump will also give Kim recognition as the leader of a "normal" country and as an equal of the U.S. leader.

"To the real leaders of this summit, let us set an example for you".

Trump has expressed keenness about his summit with Kim and called it a "one-time opportunity".

"Welcomed Chairman Kim Jong-Un, who has just arrived in Singapore", Balakrishnan tweeted.

The leaders will meet on Tuesday on the resort island of Sentosa and talks are expected to centre on ending the North's nuclear weapons and missile programmes in return for diplomatic and economic incentives.

A year ago the North carried out what was by far its most powerful nuclear test to date and launched a flurry of missiles - including two over Japan - while Trump threatened Pyongyang with "fire and fury" and Kim dubbed him a "mentally deranged US dotard".

"If a breakthrough is achieved, if peace comes, there will be a bountiful harvest, primarily of course within the Korean Peninsula but indeed for all the rest of us", he said.

Most observers predicted that the outcome would be a short and vague statement build around the ambiguous aim of the "denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula" leaving it to later bilateral meetings to negotiate what that would mean in practice.

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"I feel that Kim Jong Un wants to do something great for his people", Trump said at a press conference in Canada before departing the G-7 summit for Singapore.

US President Donald Trump trusts his deal-making intuition to prepare for talks with North Korea's Kim Jong Un.

Now North Korean officials will nearly certainly emphasise preventing any sudden mishaps in Kim Jong Un's first visit to a foreign country other than China or South Korea since taking power, said Kim Doo-hyun, professor of protection politics at Korea National Sport University.

Just meeting with Trump will also give Kim a recognition North Korea has long sought, setting him up as global player and the leader of a country worthy of respect.

He has also dangled the prospect of Kim Jong Un visiting Washington if the meeting goes well.

Trump hopes the landmark talks will kick-start a process that eventually see Kim give up his nuclear weapons in an irreversible manner that can be verified internationally.

Enemies since the 1950-53 Korean War, the leaders of North Korea and the United States have never met previously - or even spoken on the phone.

The U.S. also wishes to win agreement on tangible denuclearization commitments from the North.

"They will use [nuclear weapons] first against us, and then with the long-range missiles that they're building and that the deal doesn't prevent them from building, against everyone else", Netanyahu said.

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