Published: Fri, June 15, 2018
Global | By Craig Ferguson

South surveying war-split kin for planned Korean reunions

South surveying war-split kin for planned Korean reunions

He waved from the stairs of Air Force One, was warmly greeted by Singapore's foreign minister, and then disappeared into his limousine. The two will later be joined by officials and have lunch together. That's Trump's beverage of choice.

In the historic first meeting between the leaders of the technically-still-warring nations, Trump is prioritizing instinct over planning. Later, Kim met with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at Lee's office in the sprawling palace known as the Istana.

After an intense on-again, off-again lead up, the two leaders are due to meet face-to-face tomorrow.

The streets were lined with press and onlookers with cell phones as Trump's motorcade made its way from his hotel.

While Singapore has authoritarian leanings, it is still a thriving bastion of capitalism and wealth, and Kim will be performing his high-stakes diplomatic tight-rope walk in front of 3,000 global journalists, including a huge contingent from the ultra-aggressive South Korean press - sometimes referred to by Pyongyang as "reptile media" - two of whom were arrested by Singapore police investigating a report of trespassing at the residence of the North Korean ambassador.

Trump and Kim arrived in Singapore on Sunday, both staying at luxurious and heavily guarded hotels less than half a mile apart, with Trump at the Shangri-La Hotel and Kim at the St. Regis Hotel. Kim and Lee also met on Sunday.

Hailing Trump's pushback to criticism from Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, White House senior economic adviser Larry Kudlow told CNN's State of the Union that the president "is not going to let a Canadian prime minister push him around".

"We appreciate the working of North Korea working with us".

Seoul's Unification Ministry says the surveys conducted through home visits, phone calls and letters will continue through August 10. North Korea has reportedly said it is willing to deal away its entire nuclear arsenal if the United States provides it with reliable security assurances and other benefits.

Trump also called the leaders of South Korea and Japan in advance of the summit, Pompeo said. The official wasn't authorized to discuss the plans and insisted on anonymity.

At the signing ceremony, Trump said he expected to "meet many times" in the future with Kim.

In his first public comments since arriving, Kim said Singapore's role would be recorded in history if the summit was a success.

By North Korean standards, Monday's announcement actually came a bit earlier than usual.

Discussions would focus on "the issue of building a permanent and durable peace-keeping mechanism on the Korean Peninsula, the issue of realising the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula and other issues of mutual concern", KCNA said.

The report notes the summit is being held "under the great attention and expectation of the whole world".

A police officer guards the entrance of the worldwide media center Sunday, June 10, 2018, in Singapore ahead of the summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on June 12.

Sanders says Trump spent his flight from Canada to Singapore "meeting with his staff, reading materials and preparing for his meetings in Singapore".

There's just no recent precedent for the gamble Kim Jong Un is taking.

China is already North Korea's most important ally and biggest trade partner.

Some images of Trump and Kim were even more lifelike. He retracted his endorsement of the major economic powers' joint communiqué while on his way to Singapore.

Trump also flew into Singapore the same day, shortly after attending the Group of 7 summit in Canada.

This will be the first summit of its kind between a leader of North Korea and a sitting USA president.

He initially touted the potential for a grand bargain with North Korea to rid itself of a nuclear missile programme that has advanced rapidly to threaten the United States.

Top on the agenda is Pyongyang's complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearisation.

While President Trump was optimistic about prospects for the summit, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo injected a note of caution ahead of the first-ever meeting of sitting US and North Korean leaders, saying it remained to be seen whether Kim was honest about his willingness to denuclearise.

For Kim, the transformation is even more remarkable.

"Both sides are coming to the summit out of their own fears and frustration, and we should try to encourage Kim Jong Un, rather than question his intention, so that he can shake off any doubt and take the right path with conviction", Lee said.

Hours earlier, a jet carrying Kim landed.

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