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Dennis Rodman flying to Singapore for Kim-Trump summit

11 June 2018

Police officers escorting the motorcade of North Korea leader Kim Jong Un park after he arrives at the Istana, or Presidential Palace, in Singapore on Sunday, June 10, 2018, to meet Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

USA and North Korean officials are set to meet Monday morning in Singapore to make final preparations for Tuesday's meeting between Trump and Kim.

Sanders says Trump spent his flight from Canada to Singapore "meeting with his staff, reading materials and preparing for his meetings in Singapore".

But even the merit of the event itself - long sought by the North, and which Trump apparently impulsively agreed to in March, reportedly without consulting his advisers - has been called into question.

"I feel that Kim Jong Un wants to do something great for his people", Mr Trump said at a press conference in Charlevoix, Canada, where he attended a summit of leaders from the Group of Seven nations.

Great to be in Singapore, excitement in the air!

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Trump confirmed that Rodman would not be attending the summit, as he met with visiting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Earlier on Sunday evening, Trump arrived at Singapore's Paya Lebar Air Base and is now staying at the Shangri-La Hotel.

North Korea spent decades developing nuclear weapons, culminating in the test of a thermonuclear device in 2017.

In authoritarian North Korea, where Kim's family has passed on power through three generations, images propagated by state media such as the Korea Central News Agency, the Rodong Sinmun newspaper and Korean Central Television, help build a leader's legitimacy and glorify his status.

Washington is demanding the complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearisation (CVID) of the North, while Pyongyang has so far only made public pledges of its commitment to the denuclearisation of the peninsula - a term open to wide interpretation - while seeking security guarantees. Several of the reporters who accompanied Kim to Singapore had also been to the demilitarised zone between the two Koreas for the inter-Korean summit in April. Mr Kim's sister, Ms Kim Yo Jong, who is part of his entourage in Singapore, will likely also be at the summit table.

The U.S. president also dangled the prospect of inviting Kim to Washington if the meeting is a success.

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"Certainly, if it goes well", Trump said Thursday when asked if he would invite the North Korean leader to the U.S".

Massachusetts Sen. Ed Markey, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations' subcommittee dealing with North Korea policy, said on "Face the Nation" Sunday that there's a "vast gulf" between the US and North Korea's definition of what "denuclearization" actually means. The United States stations 28,500 troops in South Korea, a legacy of the Korean War.

Despite the initial high stakes of a meeting meant to rid North Korea of its nuclear weapons, the talks have been portrayed by Trump in recent days more as a get-to-know-each-other meeting.

Mr Kim has the "opportunity" to make a deal with the US, Mr Trump said on Saturday, but he "won't have that opportunity again".

There are also signs that South Korea, China and Russian Federation are preparing to increase economic ties with North Korea, should a nuclear deal be reached.

‘All systems go’ for Trump-Kim summit, Singapore diplomat says
He also praised the North Koreans, saying they have been "really working very well with us" during preparations for the summit. The president truly believes that Kim Jong Un, in the president's words, wants to do something great for his people...

Dennis Rodman flying to Singapore for Kim-Trump summit