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11 June 2018, 04:46 | Kelvin Horton
Image Professor Taewoo Kim is worried South Korea could be left exposed
THE stage is set for the summit in Singapore between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un that could lay the groundwork for ending a nuclear stand-off between the old foes and the transformation of the isolated Asian nation. In March, Mr Trump shocked the world by accepting an invitation from Mr Kim to meet in person.
Trump was greeted by Singapore Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan.Asked by a reporter how he felt about the summit, Trump said: "Very good".
Kim likely delegated authority to watch over the arsenal to one of a number of trusted North Korean officials who stayed in Pyongyang, including Choe Ryong Hae, one of several senior leaders who saw Kim off at the airport as he departed for Singapore, said Michael Madden, a leadership expert with the 38 North website, which monitors North Korea.
The summit has been portrayed as a "get to know you" meeting. The top US diplomat said he is confident partnerships with such countries as Canada, France, Germany and the United Kingdom will endure despite the current strains.
A TV screen shows newsreader Ri Chun-hee announcing the arrival of Kim Jong-un in Singapore, during an evening bulletin in Pyongyang. Again accusing the longtime USA ally of unfair trade practices, Trump added: "Then Justin acts hurt when called out!"
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Sung Kim, the United States ambassador to the Philippines who has taken the lead on policy negotiations with the North, will hold a "working group" with a North Korean delegation to discuss final preparations for the meeting.
The two leaders are slated to discuss North Korea's nuclear weapons program.
The issues on the table remain stubborn and complex for two countries that have been at odds for almost 70 years.
The Trump administration has promised not to seek to bring about regime change and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has even floated the possibility of issuing security guarantees to the North.
"I think I'll know pretty quickly whether or not, in my opinion, something positive will happen".
Trump acknowledged the difficulty of gleaning much information concerning Kim, who has scant experience on the global stage and about whom foreign intelligence agencies have struggled to gather much beyond basic biographical data. Keep in mind, these photographs and video clips depicting smiles, hugs, handshakes, pointing randomly in the same direction and so on will travel the world and say a lot more than any of the remarks offered by either leader.
"Trump is fully prepared for the meeting tomorrow", he said.
Similar scenes were seen on Sunday when Kim and Trump arrived in the city, and when Kim went to meet Lee.
The summit will be the first meeting between Trump and Kim and mark a turnaround of relations between the two leaders after a long-running exchange of furious threats and insults.
The White House and State Department have said little about those talks, though people briefed on them said American negotiators found it difficult to make significant headway with the North Koreans, in part because the White House did not back them up in taking a hard line. "Obviously what has been done before hasn't worked".
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