Inside Singapore's $20m Trump-Kim summit showcase

Singapore pays for Kim Jong Un’s hotel during Trump summit

Singapore pays for Kim Jong Un’s hotel during Trump summit

The Swiss-educated leader, who is believed to be 34, has not left his isolated country since taking office in 2011 other than to visit China and the South Korean side of the border Demilitarised Zone, which separates the two Koreas.

Trump told reporters in Canada on Saturday any agreement with Kim would be "spur of the moment", underscoring the uncertain outcome of what he called a "mission of peace".

A Trump administration official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the US side was entering the talks with a sense of optimism and an equal dose of skepticism given North Korea's long history of developing nuclear weapons.

The results from previous summits and peace talks show that getting North Korea to seriously commit to denuclearization at any level is an huge challenge.

Many experts on North Korea, one of the most insular and unpredictable countries in the world, remain skeptical Kim will ever completely abandon nuclear weapons. It will be interesting to see how much he participates in the bilateral meeting and whether North Korea takes issue with his presence.

He said if diplomacy fails to move in the right direction, the sanctions "will increase".

Rodman said he hopes to surprise his friend Kim with his appearance during the summit. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the delegations were "rapidly" making progress, but it will come down to the meeting between the two leaders.

It was not immediately clear what specific progress, if any, had been made in preliminary discussions between United States and North Korean officials.

Pompeo did say the United States is "prepared to take what will be security assurances that are different, unique that America has been willing to provide previously. That's necessary and appropriate".

It's so far unclear whether the USA and North Korea will release some kind of joint statement or agreement following the sit-down. One dispatch by the Korean Central News Agency said North Korea and the United States would exchange "wide-ranging and profound views" on establishing new relations, building a "permanent and durable peace-keeping mechanism", achieving denuclearization and "other issues of mutual concern, as required by the changed era". "If they don't denuclearise, that will not be acceptable", Mr Trump said ahead of the meeting.

While there has been a wave of bipartisan voices looking to support the president's efforts to avert war in the Korean peninsula, there have also been concerns in foreign policy circles that the meeting will elevate Kim's status as a brutal dictator overseeing a regime complicit in horrendous human-rights abuses. Critics say ignoring the issue risks squandering leverage and abandoning the North's victims.

As Trump and Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong sat down for a working lunch at the Istana house, the president sounded optimistic, telling Lee, "We've got a very interesting meeting in particular tomorrow, and I think things can work out very nicely". "We appreciate your hospitality and professionalism and your friendship".

He would not say whether that included the possibility of withdrawing USA troops from the Korean Peninsula, but said the context of the discussions was "radically different than ever before".

Trump will also speak with reporters in Singapore before departing for home.

Singapore's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) released a statement saying the two discussed mutual relations and the situation on the Korean peninsula, with Prime Minister Lee thanking Kim for his and Trump's "bold and admirable decision" to hold the summit.

Rodman appeared in Trump's Celebrity Apprentice reality TV show, only to be booted off because he misspelled Melania Trump's name.

The pair greeted each other at a luxury hotel on Sentosa Island, just off the Singaporean coast, before heading in for talks about denuclearisation.

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