North Korea’s Kim lands in Singapore, on cusp of making history

Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump impersonators in Singapore

Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump impersonators in Singapore

"Welcomed Chairman Kim Jong Un, who has just arrived in Singapore", Vivian Balakrishnan said on Twitter on Sunday, with a picture of him shaking hands with the North Korean leader who was wearing glasses and a dark Maoist suit.

Senior South Korean officials, including Second Deputy Chief of the Presidential National Security Office Nam Gwan-pyo, are also staying in Shangri-La Hotel - U.S. President Donald Trump's temporary residence ahead of tomorrow's summit.

The key issue at the summit will be how far Trump and Kim will be able to work out a concrete roadmap toward North Korea's denuclearization.

Prime Minister Lee wished Kim a success for the summit and expressed hope that the US-DPRK meeting will advance the prospects for peace and stability in the Korean peninsula and the larger region. Some 2,500 journalists are reporting on the event, which is costing Singapore government about SGD 20 million.

The North has sought such a meeting for decades, where its leader will meet a USA president as an equal rather than as the representative of a pariah state.

Kim landed in Singapore on Sunday amid huge security precautions in the city-state island. Lee will have a separate meeting with Trump on Monday.

If one looks closely, North Korea is been developing nuclear weapons for decades, culminating in the test of a thermonuclear device in 2017.

Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un have both arrived in Singapore ahead of a landmark summit aimed at ending a nuclear stand-off that has threatened to escalate into armed conflict.

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Apart from breaking a year-long deadlock on nuclear negotiations, Pyongyang also eyes an overall improvement of the US-North Korea bilateral ties and "other issues of mutual concern as required by the changed era", KCNA reported, adding that the delegations will share "wide-ranging and profound views on the issue of establishing new DPRK-US relations".

Trump will also meet with U.S. Embassy personnel later Monday.

The meeting marks a sharp turnaround in the status of Mr Kim from worldwide pariah to global player.

While Kim has shown he's willing to bargain, O'Hanlon said, "Giving up his nuclear weapons is probably going to be the last step in that process, not the first step".

Kim smiled broadly in the meeting Sunday evening.

Though it could mean many things, the relative speed of the reports about Kim travelling to Singapore could be seen as a sign of confidence by the North that the summit will go well.

The lead-up to the conference has been very shaky since it was first conceived in May, with several cancellations and threats of cancellation having taken place between the two mercurial leaders, mostly mitigated by South Korean President Moon Jae-in.

Trump's high-risk meeting with Kim is scheduled for 9 a.m. Tuesday, or 9 p.m. June 11 on the U.S. East Coast.

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