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12 June 2018, 02:06 | Kelvin Horton
Selfies, Cheers Greet Kim in Singapore
Though Trump has been criticized for his failure to demand more concessions from North Korea before agreeing to a face-to-face meeting, which experts say gives Kim the sort of legitimacy on the global stage he desires, downplaying expectations does two things.
The walkabout occurred less than 12 hours before Kim's potentially world-changing day of diplomacy, when he will become the first-ever North Korean leader to meet with a sitting US President.
Trump had called Kim "Little Rocket Man" and threatened to unleash "fire and fury like the world has never seen" on North Korea as it conducted several ballistic missile tests in defiance of global warnings.
While Trump was optimistic about prospects for the summit between the old foes, U.S. secretary of state Mike Pompeo injected a note of caution ahead of the first-ever meeting of sitting USA and North Korean leaders, saying it remained to be seen whether Kim was honest about his willingness to denuclearise.
Trump immediately accepted Kim's offer of a meeting when it was made in March ― possibly failing to understand that Kim, his father the previous dictator and his grandfather before that had all sought an audience with the USA president for the goal of enhancing their own status both domestically and around the world.
Mr. Trump's actions led to an extraordinary juxtaposition: an abrupt public feud and deterioration of ties between the US and Canada at the same moment as warm words and a detente between the USA and North Korea. On the US side, Trump was to be joined by Pompeo, chief of staff John Kelly, national security adviser John Bolton and US Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim, along with a few others.
The White House said it does not believe there is any cause for concern about getting an accurate description of the two men's words.
A complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization "is the only outcome that the United States will accept", Pompeo told reporters on Monday evening in Singapore.
Image credit ULI-PwC report
Singapore's Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan also tweeted a picture of them going "jalan-jalan", a local term meaning to go out for a walk, in the Gardens by the Bay park. French President Emmanuel Macron said France and Europe were standing by the G-7 statement, adding "whoever reneges on them is showing incoherence and inconsistency". "And we'll see how far we get, but I'm very optimistic", he continued.
Along with an extensive security detail, the North Korean leader took his own personal toilet to the meeting.
Sanctions on North Korea would remain in place until that had happened, Pompeo said.
Such characteristic caution notwithstanding, the prospect of the summit is generating a great deal of interest among every day North Koreans.
Kim arrived in a Air China 747 that touched down at Changi Airport on Sunday afternoon, Singapore'sStraits Times said.
Mr. Trump's top economic adviser, Lawrence Kudlow, said Mr. Trudeau's press conference had been a "betrayal" because Mr. Trump couldn't afford to show any weakness before his meeting with North Korea. He told reporters he thinks he will know nearly immediately whether a deal can be made, saying: "I will know, just my touch, my feel".
Asked by a reporter how he felt about the summit, Mr Trump said: "Very good". He told reporters he thinks he will know nearly immediately whether a deal can be made, saying: "I will know, just my touch, my feel". The talks are expected to focus at least in part on an eventual deal to dismantle North Korea's nuclear program.
Tom Nichols, a Russian Federation scholar with expertise in Soviet Union-era arms control talks at the Naval War College, said Trump's propensity for falsehoods makes getting an accurate rendering of the conversation essentially impossible.
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The issues on the table remain stubborn and complex for two countries that have been at odds for almost 70 years. Similar scenes were seen on Sunday when Kim and Trump arrived in the city, and when Kim went to meet Lee.