Officials mulling final preparations for Trump-Kim summit

Officials mulling final preparations for Trump-Kim summit

US President Donald Trump arrived in Singapore on Sunday to join North Korean leader Kim Jong-un for a historic summit which could lay the groundwork for ending a nuclear stand-off between the two countries and see Pyongyang dismantle its arsenal in return for economic help and security guarantees.

North Korea's official newspaper Rodong Sinmun proclaimed Kim's arrival in Singapore on its front page, in unusually swift coverage of his worldwide visit.

With the eyes of the world following him, Trump flew into Singapore's Paya Lebar Air Base aboard Air Force One on Sunday, fresh from a divisive G7 meeting in Canada with some of Washington's closest allies that further strained global trade ties. North Korea and the United States will hold last minute working-level talks in Singapore on Monday, . a day before the historic summit between their two leaders.

Both sides also worked to finalize preparations for the unprecedented summit.

From Pyongyang, the North's official media Monday carried comparatively detailed reports on leader Kim Jong-un's visit to Singapore, including his arrival date and plan to hold his first meeting with Trump on Tuesday.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Trump spent his flight from Canada to Singapore "meeting with his staff, reading materials and preparing for his meetings in Singapore".

USA and North Korean officials were in talks in Singapore on Monday in a late bid to narrow differences before their leaders hold an historic summit aimed at finding ways to end a nuclear stand-off on the Korean peninsula.

Trump is set to meet with Lee on Monday.




Later on Sunday, Kim left the St Regis hotel in central Singapore in a motorcade that included his stretch Mercedes Benz limousine and travelled to the presidential palace, known as the Istana, where he met Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

A jet carrying Kim landed hours earlier.

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 US 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. But he also made clear Kim has a "one-time shot".

Trump had called Kim "Little Rocket Man" and threatened to unleash "fire and fury like the world has never seen" on North Korea as it conducted several ballistic missile tests in defiance of worldwide warnings. "The scale is bigger, the number of journalists coming is huge, even more than what we had for the IMF (International Monetary Fund) and World Bank meetings (in Singapore in 2006)", he said.

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.

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. But it remains unclear if Kim will part with what he likely views as his most important bargaining chip any time soon.

Believed to be 34, Kim is one of the youngest heads of state in the world and looks an unlikely candidate to be making history of the kind that has eluded his father and grandfather, both past leaders of North Korea.

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