Negotiators scramble to put something together for Trump and Kim

14 Juin, 2018, 03:50 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Negotiators scramble to put something together for Trump and Kim

US President Donald Trump says his historic summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore could "work out very nicely" as officials from both countries met to narrow differences on how to end a nuclear stand-off on the Korean peninsula.

Tuesday's meeting will be the first between a sitting U.S. president and a leader of North Korea, whose nuclear and ballistic missile ambitions have raised global concerns and seen tensions soar.

Although gaps remain over what denuclearisation would entail, Trump sounded a positive note in a lunch meeting with Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

Word does get around, however, and the prospect of a meeting between Kim and Trump had already been on the public's radar. Traffic was held up in the steamy midday sun and scores of bystanders were penned in by police when Trump went to meet Lee.

Another possibility from the summit is a deal to end the Korean War, which North Korea has long demanded, presumably, in part, to get USA troops off the Korean Peninsula and, eventually, pave the way for a North Korean-led unified Korea. This area has been designated by Singaporean authorities as "special event areas".

The KCNA news agency heralded the summit as part of a "changed era". There was also no sign of his sister, Kim Yo Jong, who has accompanied him to Singapore.

Members of the press watch a live telecast of U.S. President Donald Trump's bilateral meeting with Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Monday

On Monday, Sung Kim, a former USA ambassador to South Korea and former nuclear negotiator with the North, will lead a United States delegation for a working group with a North Korean delegation at the Ritz Carlton hotel, Sanders said.

They are due to meet tomorrow to discuss North Korea's nuclear arsenal and Washington's demand for a complete denuclearisation.

"We will not be surprised by any scenario", said the official.

Trump advisers cast his actions as a show of strength before the Kim meeting.

Trump has said he hopes to make a legacy-defining deal for the North to give up its nuclear weapons, though he has recently sought to minimize expectations, saying more than one meeting may be necessary.

He would not say whether that included the possibility of withdrawing USA troops from the Korean Peninsula, but said the context of the discussions was "radically different than ever before". "We are prepared to take what will be security assurances that are different, unique, than America's been willing to provide previously". He told reporters he thinks he will know nearly immediately whether a deal can be made, saying: "I will know, just my touch, my feel".

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