Amid high security, US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un have arrived in Singapore for their summit.

By Daniel Herborn

Posted on June 12, 2018

The meeting will take place at 9am local time in Singapore in a luxury hotel on Sentosa.

The pair will meet for about an hour with only translators in tow before a larger meeting with aides from both sides present. A working lunch is also scheduled for 11.30am with Kim due to leave Singapore at 2pm.

At 4pm Singapore time the US President will hold a press conference on the day’s events.

An estimated 3,000 members of the world media have converged on the island nation to cover the gathering.

It is expected the two parties will cover the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula. North Korea has said in principle it will give up its nuclear program but to date there has been little detail on when or how exactly this process would take place.

Just last year, such a meeting seemed completely improbable as two national leaders traded threats of war.

In Rodong Sinmun, the official newspaper of Kim Jong-un’s Central Committee of the Worker’s Party of Korea, the lead editorial strikes a conciliatory tone. “Even if a country had a hostile relation with us in the past, our attitude is that if this nation respects
our autonomy … we shall seek normalisation through dialogue.”

Meanwhile, Donald Trump has taken to Twitter to hit out at “haters & losers”, who he believes are sour that he has been able to bring the rogue nation to the bargaining table.

He points to North Korea’s release of American hostages earlier in 2018 and a halt in missile launches and nuclear testing as evidence of progress with North Korea.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the preparatory talks held on Monday between officials from both nations had been fruitful.

He described the occasion as “an unprecedented opportunity to change the trajectory of our relationship and bring peace and prosperity” to North Korea.

Not everyone is optimistic about the summit however. Professor Sung-Yoon Lee from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University in Boston says: “I think President Trump is walking right into an elaborate trap set by the North Koreans.

“I believe Kim Jong-un has to date made no concessions whatsoever. He has merely flashed smiles.”

Trump and Kim Jong-un initially agreed to the meeting (which will be the first ever between a North Korean leader and a sitting US President) back in March.

Since then the talks have looked unlikely to go ahead at certain points. They have also been called off and reinstated. Last week, Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani made waves when he claimed the talks were only put back on the agenda after a grovelling plea from Kim Jong-un.