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Kim and Trump’s unusual meeting plans at Singapore summit

Monday - 11/06/2018 13:23
IT was never going to be a conventional meeting, but the two leaders have already blindsided the world with a few plot twists.
Mr Trump blows a candle after being presented with an early birthday cake during a working lunch with Lee Hsien Loong on his visit to the Istana, the official residence of the Singaporean prime minister. Picture: AFP Photo / Ministry of Commun
Mr Trump blows a candle after being presented with an early birthday cake during a working lunch with Lee Hsien Loong on his visit to the Istana, the official residence of the Singaporean prime minister. Picture: AFP Photo / Ministry of Commun

DONALD Trump and Kim Jong-un were never going to have a conventional meeting, but the headstrong pair have already dropped some bombshells as they prepare for their summit.

The two leaders will appear for a much-anticipated greeting in front of the media on Tuesday at 9am in Singapore, but it will be followed by a one-on-one meeting with only their translators.

It’s an unusual and frustrating move for a world hanging on every detail of their interaction and conversation.

The tete-a-tete at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa Island will be followed by an expanded bilateral meeting and a working lunch.

In another unexpected twist, the US President revealed on the eve of the summit that he will leave Singapore early, after nuclear negotiations moved “more quickly than expected.”

The pair had not yet even met, although US and North Korean officials spent Monday setting goals and possible outcomes at the Ritz Carlton hotel.

Donald Trump, pictured at a meeting with Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, has decided to leave early after his summit with Kim Jong-un. Picture: AP Photo/Evan Vucci
Donald Trump, pictured at a meeting with Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, has decided to leave early after his summit with Kim Jong-un. Picture: AP Photo/Evan VucciSource:AP
 
The two leaders will initially meet alone, with only translators, away from the prying eyes of the world. Picture: AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon
The two leaders will initially meet alone, with only translators, away from the prying eyes of the world. Picture: AP Photo/Ahn Young-joonSource:AP

Mr Trump will participate in a media briefing after the summit before departing at approximately 8pm for the United States.

On Monday evening, Kim left his luxury St Regis hotel for the first time since he met the city-state’s prime minister Lee Hsien Loong after his arrival on Sunday. The North Korean leader — who rarely travels — was surrounded by security guards, a media scrum and cheering crowds as he embarked on an evening tour of attractions on the city’s waterfront.

Kim’s motorcade headed to the world-famous Marina Bay Sands Hotel on his way to the Esplanade and Jubilee Bridge, where he posed for selfies with Singaporean government officials.

Mr Trump met with Mr Lee on Monday and attended a working lunch, telling the Singaporean PM: “We’ve got a very interesting meeting in particular tomorrow, and I think things can work out very nicely.”

The US President was presented with an early birthday cake and blew out the candles ahead of his 72nd on June 14, before returning to the Shangri-La Hotel to work.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo earlier seemed to play down expectations for the meeting, which Mr Trump had predicted could yield an instant end to the Korean War. South Korean President Moon Jae-in would have to be present if a declaration ending the conflict was to be signed, and he has no current plans to join Mr Trump and Kim at the end of their summit.

Mr Pompeo suggested the summit might have little concrete success other than to pave the way for further meetings.

Kim spent Monday in his luxury hotel before emerging for a tour of attractions on Singapore’s waterfront. Picture: Chris McGrath/Getty Images
Kim spent Monday in his luxury hotel before emerging for a tour of attractions on Singapore’s waterfront. Picture: Chris McGrath/Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images
 
The North Korean leader was surrounded by security guards as he visited Marina Bay. Picture: AP Photo/Yong Teck Lim
The North Korean leader was surrounded by security guards as he visited Marina Bay. Picture: AP Photo/Yong Teck LimSource:AP

 

Crowds await the departure of Mr Trump’s motorcade from the Istana or Presidential Palace in Singapore. Picture: AP Photo/Joseph Nair
Crowds await the departure of Mr Trump’s motorcade from the Istana or Presidential Palace in Singapore. Picture: AP Photo/Joseph NairSource:AP

Mr Pompeo told reporters the US was prepared to take action to provide North Korea with “sufficient certainty” that denuclearisation “is not something that ends badly for them.”

He would not say whether that included the possibility of withdrawing troops from the Korean Peninsula, but stressed the discussions were “radically different than ever before”

He said the US was “prepared to take what will be security assurances that are different, unique, than America’s been willing to provide previously.”

Mr Trump also called the leaders of South Korea and Japan in advance of the summit

The 71-year-old has already made it clear the summit was a “one-time shot” and said he would know within minutes of meeting Kim whether an agreement was going to be reached or not. But he had also said the summit would be part of a “process”.

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