U.S President meets Singaporean PM on eve of North Korea summit

U.S President meets Singaporean PM on eve of North Korea summit

Monday, June 11, 2018 7:52 am

Donald Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un

President Donald Trump met Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Monday, the eve of the historic summit between the U.S. president and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

The two emerged briefly from a private meeting at the Istana, the president of Singapore’s official residence, shaking hands while posing and smiling for cameras, before proceeding inside for a working lunch with officials from the U.S. and Singapore.

Neither gave any comment to waiting journalists.

But as they took their seats Trump could be heard saying to Lee, “We’ve got a very interesting meeting in particular tomorrow, and I just think it’s going to work out very nicely.”

Meanwhile, officials from U.S. President Donald Trump’s delegation wrapped up a meeting that lasted more than two hours with North Korean officials.

Sung Kim, who currently serves as the U.S. ambassador to the Philippines and is a former ambassador to South Korea, led the U.S. delegation during the meeting at the Ritz Carlton, while Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui was part of the North Korean delegation.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who has accompanied Trump on the trip to Singapore, later tweeted that the talks had been “substantive and detailed.”

Senior White House administration officials were scheduled to hold a press conference later Monday.

Lee also met separately with Kim Jong Un on Sunday evening, hours after the North Korean leader arrived in the city state.

The historic summit, which will see an incumbent US president sitting with a North Korean leader for the first time, will aim to reach an agreement on North Korea’s denuclearisation in exchange for the easing of diplomatic and economic sanctions on Pyongyang.

North Korea’s state-run news agency KCNA reported Monday that the two sides would exchange views on the establishment of new North Korea-U.S. relations, as well as “the issue of building a permanent and durable peace-keeping mechanism on the Korean Peninsula” and “the issue of realizing the denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula.”

Other issues of “mutual concern” would also be discussed “as required by the changed era,” it said, adding that the summit would be held “under the great attention and expectation of the whole world.”

“Great to be in Singapore, excitement in the air!” Trump tweeted early Monday.

The U.S. president said earlier he was on a “mission of peace” but also warned that the face-to-face talks were a “one-time shot.”


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