Trump leaves hotel in Singapore for historic summit with DPRK leader

Analysis: Why wit and wisdom are the most likely tactics from Kim Jong Un’s playbook

Preview Of Nuclear Talks Between Donald Trump And Kim Jong Un

A television screen shows news reader Ri Chun Hee announcing the arrival of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to Singapore ahead of his meeting with US President Donald Trump, during an evening bulletin in Pyongyang on June 11, 2018.

No sitting USA president has ever met a North Korean leader.

The Trump administration has largely continued what it calls its "maximum pressure" campaign on the North, but has moved toward a softer tone as the summit approached.

It is not known who has been translating for Mr Trump at the Sentosa Hotel in Singapore.

In the run-up to the talks in Singapore, Trump had optimistically predicted the two men could strike a nuclear deal or forge a formal end to the Korean War in the course of a single meeting or over several days. "We will all know soon whether or not a real deal, unlike those of the past, can happen!"

After meeting privately and with aides, Trump and Kim moved into a working luncheon at a long flower-bedecked table.

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. This means that North Korea is independent from all other nations, and refuses any worldwide involvement from foreign countries.

"The circus-like atmosphere might be amusing if the stakes weren't so high", wrote U.S. campaigning group Human Rights Watch.

Mr Trump will leave the country that same evening to return to the US.

He is scheduled to meet Kim for the first time at 9 a.m.

What are the talks about?

"They have to de-nuke".

"Today, we had a historic meeting and made a decision to leave the past behind", Kim said through a translator.

Analysis: Why wit and wisdom are the most likely tactics from Kim Jong Un’s playbook
Kim Jong Un takes selfie with Singaporean Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan ahead of Donald Trump summit

North Korea Vice-Chairman Kim Yong-chol meets with United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on May 31, 2018, in NY.

A formal end to the Korean war may also be discussed. The 1950-53 conflict ended with a truce, not a final peace treaty.

Choe, a vice foreign minister, is the highest-level female diplomat in North Korea.

Close US ally Japan has urged Trump to bring up the decades-old issue of its citizens abducted in 1970s and 1980s to train Pyongyang's spies in Japanese language and customs.

Andrew Kim has been spotted at the Singapore hotel where Mr Trump is staying.

The results from previous summits and peace talks show that getting North Korea to seriously commit to denuclearization at any level is an vast challenge.

Still, the road to the Singapore talks has been far from smooth. This narrative, however, is changing as the current leader, Kim Jong Un, becomes more open to the rest of the world, particularly the United States.

Talks of this kind typically take months to prepare. Critics fear that Mr Trump is poorly prepared for the negotiations - while others say Mr Trump's quickfire approach has already produced results - including North Korea saying it is willing to consider denuclearising.

Investors had mixed reactions to the summit, which ended with the signing of a joint statement that gave few details on how the goals set by both sides would be achieved.

Many experts on North Korea remain sceptical Kim will ever completely abandon nuclear weapons, believing his engagement aims to get the United States to ease crippling sanctions.

"It's a huge win for Kim Jong Un, who now - if nothing else - has the prestige and propaganda coup of meeting one on one with the president, while armed with a nuclear deterrent", said Michael Kovrig, a northeast Asia specialist at the International Crisis Group in Washington. What do the North Koreans want out of this? NPR's Elise Hu joins us now from Singapore.

"Dennis Rodman was either drunk or on drugs (delusional) when he said I wanted to go to North Korea with him".

Latest News