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Trump meets Hsien Loong on eve of N. Korean nuke summit

June 11, 2018

* Kim Jong Un lands in Singapore ahead of historic summit  

US President Donald Trump meeting Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the Istana today. The American leader is meeting North Korean leader Kim Jong-un tomorrow. – EPA pic, June 11, 2018

US President Donald Trump met Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong today, on the eve of a historic summit between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

The two emerged briefly from a private meeting at the Istana, shaking hands while posing and smiling for cameras, before proceeding inside for a working lunch with officials from the US and Singapore.

Neither gave any comment to journalists, but as they took their seats Trump could be heard saying to Lee: “We’ve got a very interesting meeting in particular tomorrow, and I just think it’s going to work out very nicely.”

Meanwhile, officials from Trump’s delegation wrapped up a meeting that lasted more than two hours with North Korean representatives.

Sung Kim, who serves as the US ambassador to the Philippines and is a former ambassador to South Korea, led the US delegation during the meeting at the Ritz Carlton, while Vice-Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui was part of the North Korean delegation.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who has accompanied Trump to Singapore, later tweeted that the talks had been “substantive and detailed”.

“The US position remains clear and unchanged,” Pompeo said in a statement.

Senior White House officials were scheduled to hold a press conference in Singapore later Monday.
Lee met separately with the North Korean leader on Sunday evening, hours after Kim landed in the city-state from Pyongyang.

Tomorrow’s historic summit, which will see an incumbent US president meeting with a North Korean leader for the first time, will aim to reach an agreement on North Korea’s denuclearisation in exchange for the easing of diplomatic and economic sanctions on Pyongyang.

North Korea’s state-run news agency KCNA reported today that the two sides would exchange views on the establishment of new North Korea-US relations, as well as “the issue of building a permanent and durable peace-keeping mechanism on the Korean Peninsula”.

The report also said the meeting would address “the issue of realising the denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula”.

“Great to be in Singapore, excitement in the air!” Trump tweeted today, providing some insight into his mood on the eve of the summit.

The president said earlier he was on a “mission of peace” but also warned that the face-to-face talks were a “one-time shot”. – dpa, June 11, 2018.


From → World Watch

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