North Korea, U.S.A. leaders meet in Singapore

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump arrived in Singapore on Sunday ahead of schedule with strict security in place around the luxury hotel, with dozens of police officers and bodyguards being posted.


Singapore Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan said in a Twitter post with a picture of them shaking hands at the foot of an airplane boarding ramp. Kim Yo Jong, Kim’s sister and close aide, and Kim Yong Chol, a senior ruling party official who held talks with Trump at the White House earlier this month, were confirmed to be accompanying the leader.


U.S. and North Korean officials have been making final arrangements for the historic summit at the resort island of Sentosa, with the focus on whether Washington and Pyongyang will alleviate security tensions and eliminate the threat of war.


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After descending frorm Air Force One, the president shook hands with Balakrishnan and then got into his waiting limousine. Trump and the U.S. delegation plan to stay at the Shangri-La Hotel, another luxury hotel in the city-state.


Trump and Kim are set to discuss how to achieve “complete” denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula, which the North Korean leader agreed to pursue with South Korean President Moon Jae In at their summit on April 27.


The United States and North Korea are still at odds over how to realize the goal. Washington has sought swift denuclearization, while Pyongyang has been apparently aiming to gain concessions such as easing sanctions by vowing denuclearization in a “phased” and “synchronized” manner.


U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, however, has recently said that progress has been made in closing the gap between the United States and North Korean over the definition of denuclearization. Pompeo is slated to visit Singapore with Trump.


All eyes are also on whether Trump and Kim will sign an agreement to officially end the Korean War, as the two countries remain technically in a state of war due to the conflict ending in a cease-fire, but without a peace treaty.


Trump is also scheduled to meet with Lee on Monday.


Reference: Kim, Trump arrive in Singapore, raising curtain of historic summit


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