Published: Tue, June 12, 2018
Worldwide | By Myra Stephens

Korea talks moving quickly, Trump to leave early

Korea talks moving quickly, Trump to leave early

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un with Singapore's prime minister, Lee Hsien Loong, at the Istana in Singapore on Sunday.

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.

When asked upon landing in Singapore how he was feeling about the encounter, Trump gave a brief answer: "Very good". It's a reflection of the intense global curiosity over Kim's sudden turn to diplomacy in recent months after a slew of North Korean nuclear and missile tests past year raised serious fears of war.

However, he played down the possibility of a quick breakthrough and said the summit should set the framework for "the hard work that will follow", insisting that North Korea had to move toward complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearisation.

The North Korean leader shook hands with Singaporean Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan shortly after arriving at Singapore's Chagi airport.

The White House released the update Monday morning while announcing the rest of President Trump's schedule.

Trump on Monday forecast a "nice" outcome, while Kim spent the day out of view.

Sentosa, where the meeting between Trump and Kim will be held, is a former British military fort and now, a tourist attraction with a Universal Studio theme park.

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Kim is scheduled to begin a summit Tuesday with President Trump.

Mr Pompeo said the summit was "an unprecedented opportunity to change the trajectory of our relationship and bring peace and prosperity" to North Korea.

Last year, the North made one of the biggest breakthroughs in its missile and nuclear weapons programs - which it says it needs to defend against the risk of a USA invasion - when it announced that it had "completed" its state nuclear program after testing a missile capable of striking most, if not all, of the continental U.S.

It wasn't immediately clear what specific progress, if any, had been made in preliminary discussions between U.S. and North Korean officials in the run-up to the Tuesday summit. "And he has that opportunity, and he won't have that opportunity again", Trump said.

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.

"I think we should take some optimism from that reporting", the official said.

Trump's arrival came just hours after Kim, wearing his trademark dark "Mao suit" and distinctive high-cut hairstyle, landed in the ultra-modern city-state on his longest trip overseas as head of state.

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