With US President Donald Trump and North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un arriving at Singapore on Sunday, the countdown to the historic summit began even as negotiations continued over how to make the historic summit a success.
While President Donald Trump met Prime Minister of Singapore Lee Hsien Loong, negotiators from Pyongyang and Washington made final preparations on the eve of the unprecedented summit between Kim Jong-un and the United States president.
Trump had nicer things to say about Kim than about some of the western allies he met with over the weekend at the G-7 summit in Canada, particularly Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. "I look forward to meeting him and have a feeling that this one-time opportunity will not be wasted!"
After shaking hands with Singapore's foreign minister, Mr Kim sped through the streets in a limousine, two large North Korean flags fluttering on the auto, surrounded by other black vehicles with tinted windows and bound for the luxurious and closely guarded St Regis Hotel.
The meeting was initially meant to rid North Korea of its nuclear weapons, but the talks have been portrayed by Mr Trump in recent days more as a get-to-know-you session.
Singapore is one of the few countries which shares cordial relations with both United States and North Korea.
USA and North Korean officials huddled throughout Monday at the Ritz-Carlton hotel, outlining specific goals for what the leaders should try to accomplish and multiple scenarios for resolving key issues, a senior U.S official said, adding that the meetings were also an ice breaker of sorts, allowing the teams to get better acquainted after decades of minimal contact between their nations.
- North Korean and American delegations met at the Ritz Carlton., not once, but twice.
"Trump is likely to declare the summit a victory irrespective of the outcome, but if the two sides fail to reach a common understanding of denuclearisation it will put at risk any process that the summit kicks off", he said.
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In Singapore, the island city-state playing host to the summit, the sense of anticipation was palpable, with people lining spotless streets Monday waving cellphones as Trump headed to meet with Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.
The meeting was Trump's only scheduled public event today.
Pompeo also says Tuesday's meeting presents a test of Kim's willingness to agree to deal his nuclear weapons away for "protections" from the United States.
Trump and Kim are set to meet tomorrow at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa for talks which could see North Korea dismantle its nuclear arsenal in return for economic help and security guarantees.
(Stand-up) "As for now, there's a low possibility that a three-way summit involving South Korean President Moon Jae-in will happen after the North Korea-U.S. summit ends, but Seoul says it will stay ready for all possible scenarios".
In a tweet on Monday, he said: "Great to be in Singapore, excitement in the air!"Kim had arrived hours earlier in a plane loaned by China, which for decades has been North Korea's only major ally". Kim spent the day mostly out of view - until he embarked on the late-night sightseeing tour of Singapore, including the Flower Dome at Gardens by the Bay, billed as the world's biggest glass greenhouse.
That according to a senior official in President Donald Trump's administration.
That's in part because of South Korea's diplomatic outreach to the North, which was highlighted by two summits this spring between the rivals' leaders.
Kim reportedly described Singapore to the prime minister as "magnificent and beautiful" and expressed gratitude to Singapore for hosting. A USA official says the leaders then plan to meet one on one, joined only by translators, for up to two hours before admitting their respective advisers.