Published: Tue, June 12, 2018
Money | By Wilma Wheeler

Dennis Rodman arrives in Singapore ahead of Trump-Kim summit

Dennis Rodman arrives in Singapore ahead of Trump-Kim summit

South Korea media outlets reported that Kim will likely stay at the St Regis, where his close aide has been based as he leads a North Korean advance team arranging security and logistics details.

United States and North Korean officials huddled at Singapore's Ritz Carlton Hotel on Monday ahead of the sit-down.

"North Korea has previously confirmed to us its willingness to denuclearize, and we are eager to see if those words prove honest", Pompeo said.

"The discussions between the United States and North Korea are ongoing and have moved more quickly than expected", the White House said in a statement.

Yet the top USA diplomat added Trump is ready to offer "unique" guarantees to ease the regime's concerns about giving up a nuclear arsenal that provides a deterrent against foreign adversaries while also serving as a key point of national pride.

North Korea has said it is willing to commit to denuclearisation, but it is unclear how this will be achieved or what might be requested in return.

Trump and Kim are scheduled to meet at 9 a.m. Singapore Time on Tuesday, which is 9 p.m. ET Monday. The highly-anticipated talks had been put at risk when, on May 24, Trump announced he was canceling the meeting with Kim due to Pyongyang's hostile rhetoric.

Trump's supporters have floated the idea that forging such a treaty, which would need a signoff from China and South Korea, would deserve the Nobel Peace Prize. Their meeting "will set the framework for the hard work that will follow", said Pompeo, as quoted by the Wall Street Journal. He most recently travelled there a year ago as a private citizen.

Pompeo, who led the outreach as Central Intelligence Agency director, traveled twice to North Korea for preliminary talks.

He said about half of the cost is for security. "We now know they have a pretty good track record in these negotiations - a flawless track record of cheating every time, so that's the context we now face".

It's not just the logistics of Kim's trip that are unclear. A cameraman was also heard yelling profanities in Korean. The North has faced diplomatic and economic sanctions over its nuclear and ballistic weapons programs.

"The only way to know if North Korea's declarations are accurate is to verify them through on the ground presence", said David Albright, a former weapons inspector.

USA and North Korean officials huddled throughout Monday at the Ritz-Carlton hotel ahead of the sit-down aimed at resolving a standoff over Pyongyang's nuclear arsenal.

But there are doubts denuclearisation of North Korea is achievable in the short term. That would avoid the prospect of Kim winning sanctions relief for gradual progress while remaining a nuclear power.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo held a press briefing early Monday morning (Eastern time) from Singapore, addressing the summit between President Donald Trump and North Korea's Kim Jong-un that is now only hours away.

Pompeo insisted Trump was fully prepared, and he rejected a New York Times report which questioned whether the administration had sufficient technical and scientific support staff to deal with the issues that might be raised in negotiations. "It's what happens after the agreement that really is the big point".

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. "It was tense. In a tense situation, things can get out of control", he said.

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