North Korean, US Officials Air Differences On Eve Of Summit

In this handout provided by Ministry of Communications and Information of Singapore North Korean leader Kim Jong Un arrives in Singapore


The story was reported the front page of the ruling party's newspaper and was the only item on Monday's first news broadcast on Korean Central Television, which for many in the North is the only channel available.

But Trump said: "We could absolutely sign an agreement and we're looking at it", adding: "Sounds a little bit odd, but that's probably the easy part". The official was not authorized to speak publicly about internal deliberations and insisted on anonymity. "And he has that opportunity, and he won't have that opportunity again", Trump said.

There was speculation throughout the day over whether Kim Jong Un had taken his private jet- an Ilyushin IL-62M - from Pyongyang, but official photos released by the Singaporean Ministry of Communications and Information showing Kim meeting Balakrishnan on the tarmac appear to reveal that he flew to Singapore aboard an Air China Boeing 747. "We'd start at least a dialogue", Trump told reporters as he departed the G-7 summit in Quebec, Canada.

While in Singapore, security is a top concern for Kim, whose 3,000-mile journey to the Southeast Asian city-state is the farthest he's traveled as leader of North Korea.

Trump sounded a positive note in a lunch meeting with Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

Kim held a meeting with Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong ahead of the planned summit.

Late on Monday. Trump phoned Moon from Singapore.

Trump has said he wants to strike a deal to get the North to give up its nuclear weapons.

The North has faced diplomatic and economic sanctions as it has advanced development of its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

"We were able to complete the preparations for the historic summit, and I would like to thank you for that", Kim, speaking through an interpreter, told Lee.

A White House statement confirmed that Trump and the reclusive North Korean leader will meet at 9 a.m. local time on Tuesday (9 p.m. ET on Monday) in Singapore. The North Korea side is being led by Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son-hui.

China, which wants to cool tensions on the Korean Peninsula and was rattled by Trump's "Fire and Fury" talk previous year, has a major stake in the outcome of tomorrow's much-anticipated bilateral nuclear talks between Trump and Kim.

"People call it a historic summit is important to understand that this summit was available to any USA president who wanted to do it and the point is no US president wanted to do this, and for good reasons", said Christopher Hill, a former lead US nuclear negotiator with North Korea.

Another question is whether Trump will take up the issue of human rights - with North Korea accused of a host of state-sanctioned rights abuse including extrajudicial killing, torture and kidnapping.

A look back at the key moments leading up to the historic meeting between President Trump and Kim Jong Un. The meeting was initially meant to rid North Korea of its nuclear weapons, but the talks have been portrayed by Trump in recent days more as a get-to-know-you session.

But Trump - for whom a major accomplishment would bolster his position ahead of midterm elections in November - baffled observers when he said he did not think he had to prepare "very much" for the summit.

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