Gardner On Singapore Summit: ‘We Have To Be Eyes Open’

Open source

Open source

U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un are set to hold a summit in Singapore on Tuesday, a historic opportunity to peacefully end the North Korean nuclear threat.

Meeting with staged ceremony on a Singapore island, Trump and Kim came together for a summit that seemed just unthinkable months ago, clasping hands in front of a row of alternating USA and North Korean flags, holding a one-on-one meeting, additional talks with advisers and a working lunch.

Carter visits North: In June 1994, former president Jimmy Carter traveled to North Korea via the DMZ and had two rounds of lengthy talks with Kim Il Sung in an effort to resolve an early round of nuclear confrontation. 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. As I wrote to both leaders last month, the road ahead will require cooperation, compromise and a common cause", he said.

Paik doesn't expect any major agreements to come out of this meeting, but with these two leaders, anything can happen.

A body language expert said both men tried to project command as they met, but also displayed signs of nerves.

But there was no mentioning the previous USA aim of "complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization".

"I just think it's going to work out very nicely", he said during a lunch with Singapore's prime minister on Monday.

If there was any tension between Trump and Kim, they did not show it as they emerged from their seclusion and proceeded to a second meeting and working lunch - this time joined by a larger coterie of aides.

The US President said: "Working together we will get it taken care of".

Throughout the day, Kim refused to answer questions about whether he would be willing to give up nuclear weapons in exchange for economic assistance.

Trump and Kim had a 41 minute one-on-one meeting before entering wider talks with their aides and top officials.

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The sudden change in schedule added to a dizzying few days of foreign policy activity for Trump, who shocked USA allies over the weekend when he used a meeting of the Group of Seven industrialized economies in Canada to alienate America's closest friends in the West. Lashing out over trade practices, Trump lobbed insults at his G-7 host, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

But after a flurry of diplomatic overtures eased tension in recent months, the two leaders are now headed for a history-making handshake that U.S. officials hope could eventually lead to the dismantling of a North Korean nuclear programme that threatens the United States. Trump hailed the move as "a big thing".

Trump insisted during a news conference the agreement went further than many people expected. He was originally scheduled to leave on Wednesday. He bounced to the Singapore summit after a tempestuous G-7 summit where the US was isolated from its key European partners as never before and Trump even derided his Canadian host, a paragon of liberal democracy, as "dishonest" and "weak".

Trump was the first to arrive at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa, a resort island off Singapore's port with luxury hotels, a Universal Studios theme park and man-made beaches. island, a resort.

In the same statement, the White House said the talks between USA and North Korean officials were moving "more quickly than expected", though didn't elaborate on what precisely that meant for Trump's stated goal of securing North Korea's complete and verifiable denuclearization.

The US President has been criticised for meeting with the North Korean leader - with critics suggesting he has been "played".

Many analysts are skeptical that Kim will agree to fully give up nuclear weapons because he sees them as essential to his nation's security and self-identity. His sessions with Kim amounted to the most robust contact ever between the United States and the North Korean leader, providing critical information about a man about whom little is known. Trump showed Kim the movie on an iPad during their talks.

What's more, the official U.S. "memorandum of conversation", or "MemCom", of that meeting was written by the longtime U.S. Russian-to-English interpreter Dmitri Zarechnak, according to a copy of the document posted by the National Security Archive at The George Washington University.

More than 2,500 journalists have convened here, with each leader's every movement tracked carefully. Later in the day, he met with senior advisers and phoned the leaders of Japan and South Korea. Kim was cheered by onlookers who caught sight of the dictator, who until earlier this spring was not believed to have ever left North Korea as supreme leader.

Kim, meanwhile, was spotted taking a moonlit stroll around the high-end Marina Bay Sands hotel and casino, which is owned by GOP mega-donor Sheldon Adelson.

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