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Trump and Kim fly into Singapore ahead of historic meeting

15 June 2018

In Singapore, the island city-state playing host to the summit, the sense of anticipation was palpable, with people lining spotless streets Monday waving cell phones as Trump headed to meet with Singapore's prime minister.

For most of the next decade, the South gave aid and promoted exchanges with the North but the policy began to wane when a North Korean soldier shot and killed a South Korean tourist who strayed into an off-limits area in the North's Mount Kumgang resort in 2008.

Seoul's Unification Ministry says the surveys conducted through home visits, phone calls and letters will continue through August 10. 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 previous year raised serious fears of war.

Meanwhile, Mr Trump has said he has a "good feeling" about the much-anticipated summit.

Abe thanked Trump for raising the issue with Kim and said that "Japan will deal firmly with North Korea face-to-face" to resolve it. The official wasn't authorized to discuss the plans and insisted on anonymity.

The source was cited as saying that the Pyongyang meeting, if it materialises, will follow up on the finer points of North Korea's denuclearisation which the two leaders are expected to broach at their first summit in Singapore on Tuesday (June 12).

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He hopes the meeting will kick-start a process that eventually sees Mr Kim give up nuclear weapons.

After concluding the summit, Trump planned to speak to reporters in Singapore before flying home, the White House said.

His sister and close aide Kim Yo Jong is also in Singapore, and is believed to have travelled separately on the ageing Soviet-made Ilyushin-62 that is Mr Kim's personal aircraft. Though North Koreans have been left largely in the dark about the summit, the reports of his arrival came relatively quickly by North Korean standards.

Tai Hui, JP Morgan Asset Management chief market strategist for Asia-Pacific, said in a note: "Although the. summit in Singapore is capturing public attention, the direct impact on markets is likely to be limited".

US President Donald Trump met Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Monday ahead of his historic meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on Tuesday.

The Trump administration has promised not to seek to bring about regime change and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has even floated the possibility of issuing security guarantees to the North. "During the flight, the president spent time meeting with his staff, reading materials and preparing for his meetings in Singapore", press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement. Just meeting with Trump will also give Kim recognition as the leader of a "normal" country and as an equal of the US leader.

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First the nuts and bolts: How do you protect what many North Koreans consider their single most precious resource, the third member of the Kim family to rule and a direct descendant of North Korea's worshipped founder Kim Il Sung?

Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey says: "To the extent that Kim Jong Un has already gone from global pariah to being normalized internationally, you have to say that he's had some success here".

Many experts on North Korea, one of the most insular and unpredictable countries in the world, remain sceptical Kim will ever completely abandon its cherished nuclear weapons.

After their spending about an hour together on their own, Trump and Kim are expected to continue their talks with the full delegations from both of their countries. Trump descended from Air Force One into the steamy Singapore night, greeting officials and declaring he felt "very good" before being whisked away to his hotel via a route lined with police and photo-snapping onlookers. But on the eve of the summit, he altered his schedule, opting to return at about 8 p.m. on Tuesday after a full day of meetings with Kim - nearly 15 hours earlier than previously anticipated. While the United States and Canada fight over dairy trade, the Kim meeting concerns the fate of nuclear weapons. By March this year, China imported no iron ore, coal or lead from North Korea for a sixth month in a row, in line with U.N. Security Council sanctions. While North Korea has proved it has been able to create a successful intercontinental ballistic missile, there are questions about the air worthiness of its aircraft for anything other than short journeys.

Top on the agenda is Pyongyang's complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearisation.

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Trump and Kim fly into Singapore ahead of historic meeting