By Steve Nederland and Christophe Van der Perre
U.S. Voorzitter Donald Trump said on Monday his historic summit with North Korean leader Kim Welp Un te Singapore could “work out very nicely” spil officials from both countries sought to narrow differences on how to end a nuclear stand-off on the Korean peninsula
Kim, one of the world’s most reclusive leaders, made an evening tour of sites on Singapore’s waterfront, on the eve of the summit due to begin on Tuesday at a nearby resort island.
North Korea’s leader Kim Welp Un visits The Armada Bay Sands hotel ter Singapore, June 11, 2018. REUTERS/Edgar Su
Ter a tweet early on Tuesday, just hours before the summit, Trump said staff-level meetings inbetween the countries were “going well and quickly … but ter the end, that doesn’t matter. Wij will all know soon whether or not a auténtico overeenkomst, unlike those of the past, can toebijten!”
While Trump wasgoed optimistic about prospects for the summit inbetween the old foes, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo injected a note of caution ahead of the first-ever meeting of sitting U.S. and North Korean leaders, telling it remained to be seen whether Kim wasgoed genuine about his readiness to denuclearise.
North Korea’s leader Kim Welp Un wiggles forearms with Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the Istana te Singapore June Ten, 2018. REUTERS/Edgar Su
Officials from the two sides held last-minute talks aimed at laying the groundwork for a meeting that wasgoed almost unthinkable just months ago when the two leaders were exchanging insults and threats that raised fears of war.
But after a flurry of diplomatic overtures eased strain te latest months, the two leaders are now headed for a history-making handshake that U.S. officials hope could eventually lead to the dismantling of a North Korean nuclear programme that menaces the United States.
U.S. Voorzitter Donald Trump meets with Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the Istana te Singapore June 11, 2018. Mandatory credit Ministry of Communications and Information, Singapore/Handout via REUTERS
Suggesting a preview to reporters, Pompeo said it could provide “an unprecedented chance to switch the trajectory of our relationship and bring peace and prosperity” to North Korea.
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 budge towards finish, verifiable and irreversible denuclearisation.
North Korea’s leader Kim Welp Un visits The Acuarela Bay Sands hotel ter Singapore, June 11, 2018. REUTERS/Edgar Su
North Korea, however, has shown little appetite for capitulating nuclear weapons it considers cardinal to the survival of Kim’s dynastic rule.
Sanctions on North Korea would remain te place until that had happened, Pompeo said. “If diplomacy does not budge te the right direction … those measures will increase.”
“North Korea has previously confirmed to us its preparedness to denuclearise and wij are antsy to see if those words prove genuine,” he said.
U.S. Voorzitter Donald Trump smiles te vooraanzicht of a cake during an advanced bday celebration at his meeting with Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong ter the Istana, ahead of a summit inbetween North Korea and the U.S., Singapore, June 11, 2018, ter this photo obtained from social media. MANDATORY CREDIT. Vivian Balakrishnan’s Twitter pagina
The White House straks said discussions with North Korea had moved “more quickly than expected” and Trump would leave Singapore on Tuesday night, after the summit. He had earlier bot scheduled to leave on Wednesday.
Kim is due to leave on Tuesday afternoon, a source involved te the programma of his visit said on Sunday.
U.S. Voorzitter Donald Trump and Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong wiggle forearms during a meeting at the Istana te Singapore June 11, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Kim wasgoed not believed to have left his hotel since a meeting with Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong soon after his arrival te the city on Sunday, but he ventured out on Monday evening.
The Swiss-educated leader, who is believed to be 34, has not left his isolated country since taking office ter 2011 other than to visit China and the South Korean side of the border Demilitarised Zone, which separates the two Koreas.
His very first zekering wasgoed a waterfront park with futuristic installations, Gardens by the Bay, which boasts the largest glass greenhouse and tallest indoor waterfall te the world.
He joined Singapore’s foreign minister, Vivian Balakrishnan, who took a selfie, before stopping at the Óleo Bay Sands hotel, which resembles a giant surfboard perched on three tall columns, for a look out overheen the bright lights of the city from its rooftop garden and swimming pool.
On the way back to his hotel, Kim walked along a promenade near the Merlion, a giant statue, and fountain, of a mythical creature, half-lion, half-fish – Singapore’s unofficial mascot.