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One-on-One: Trump, Kim Will Meet Without Aides

North Korean leader goes sightseeing on eve of summit
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 11, 2018 2:19 PM CDT
One-on-One: Trump, Kim Will Meet Without Aides
North Korea leader Kim Jong Un, center, is escorted by his security delegation as he visits Marina Bay in Singapore Monday.   (AP Photo/Yong Teck Lim)

(Newser) – The big summit is just hours away now, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is downplaying expectations of a huge breakthrough when President Trump and Kim Jong Un meet face to face. Their meeting "will set the framework for the hard work that will follow,” said Pompeo, as quoted by the Wall Street Journal. “We’ll see how far we get." Pompeo reiterated that the US will not ease sanctions against North Korea for anything less than complete denuclearization. Coverage:

  • The meeting: Trump and Kim will meet at 9pm Eastern on Singapore's Sentosa Island (that's 9am Tuesday in Singapore), shake hands, take a ceremonial walk, and then go behind closed doors for their meeting. It will be just the two of them and their interpreters, reports the Washington Post. No timetable is set on how long the session will last, but the White House has set aside two hours.
  • Change of schedule: Kim took in some of the sights in Singapore Monday evening and was seen waving and smiling to onlookers, reports Reuters. President Trump, meanwhile, told reporters he is confident the summit is "going to work out quite nicely." Trump will head back to Washington Tuesday evening instead of Wednesday morning as originally scheduled, because talks are moving "more quickly than expected," per a White House statement. It didn't elaborate on what that meant.

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  • Rodman: Dennis Rodman has arrived in Singapore, reports the AP. He said he's not sure yet whether he will meet with Kim, as he as done in the past, and the White House says he will play no official role in the negotiations. “I’m just happy to be a part of it because I think I deserve it, I think I brought awareness on a lot of things around the world, and I think North Korea has given a lot of people the opportunity to do this conference now," said Rodman, per CNN. "And I hope it’s a success.”
  • Who goes first? North Korea wants the US to promise not to attack or try to overthrow Kim, while the US wants a legitimate pledge to denuclearize. But both nations want the other to make the pledge first—and there's not much trust on either side, reports the Washington Post. "The sticking point, historically, has been that the North Koreans have insisted we make the first move,” says a former Pentagon official in the Obama administration. “In the past we did, and we got burned."
  • Human rights: NBC News reports that Trump is not expected to raise the issue of the North's brutal record of human rights. The idea is to get a nuclear deal first.
  • Possibilities: An assessment at Foreign Policy runs through possible outcomes. Best case? Forget a major breakthrough. If they can agree on a detailed, substantive framework for talks toward denuclearization, the summit will be a success, writes Jon Wolfsthal. On the flip side, he warns that a "train wreck" is possible. "It is clear that when tired or unprepared, Trump can not only veer off script but become openly hostile." That could have disastrous world consequences here.
  • Coverage in North: Pyongyang's official media is covering the summit as a historic occasion, which the Guardian sees as a sign that the regime is reasonably confident things will go well.
(Read more Kim Jong Un stories.)

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