Singapore spin cycle: Trump, Kim prepare for nuclear summit

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has arrived in Singapore ahead of a historic summit with US President Donald Trump. Trump seemed to be working actively to define expectations downward following an Oval Office meeting last month with North Korean vice chairman Kim Yong Chol.

It initially was meant to rid the North of its weapons, to forge the "complete denuclearization" of the country.

Just meeting with Mr. Trump will also give Kim a recognition North Korea has long sought, setting him up as global player and equal to the US domestically and, internationally, as the leader of a "normal country" worthy of respect.

Mr Kim's itinerary was reported in detail, which is a rarity for the state's media, according to South Korea's Yonhap news agency.

Trump and other top US officials have promised a "bright future" for the North if it quickly relinquishes its nuclear weapons - including economic inducements and a security agreement.

During the media interview, Mr Lee said that Singapore had committed a lot of resources to the summit's logistics and security because of the profile of the meeting and the nature of what is being discussed. "And he has that opportunity, and he won't have that opportunity again", Trump said.

But analysts who closely watch North Korea believe it is unlikely Kim would have come to Singapore without being confident of the arsenal's security - and the ability to order its use.

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"It's unknown territory, in the truest sense", Trump said during the G-7.

He said that was because North Korea was likely to have configured its nuclear forces to permit rapid authorisation to launch in order to offset the risk of a first strike from the United States.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's Twitter feed was busy during the first day of the summit, sharing photos of different meetings. "We're not going to go in and sign something on June 12, and we never were". "The haters, they say, 'Oh, you're giving him a meeting, '" Trump said.

For all the sober-minded talk, it's clear the art-of-the-deal president is still hoping for a major diplomatic victory.

"In this case, what is important is that the summit is being held, and we are hosting it, not extravagantly but with due consideration to costs and making sure operational requirements are met", he said. We will have seen each other.

"I know Singapore is a very hot country, so I wish that our respected marshal stays healthy and comes back in good health". "But I think that will take a little bit of time".

Vanessa Coleman

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