North Korea's Kim lands in Singapore ahead of Trump summit

Singapore's Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan welcomes North Korean leader Kim Jong-un

He and Trump are set to meet Tuesday morning in the first summit of its kind between a leader of North Korea and a sitting US president.

US President Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un are in Singapore ahead of their critical meet on June 12.

However, he played down the possibility of a quick breakthrough and said the summit, which gets underway on Tuesday at 9am (11am AEST) should set the framework for "the hard work that will follow", insisting that North Korea had to move toward complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearisation.

Earlier, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un reached Singapore and met Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Sunday ahead of the historic summit with US President Donald Trump.

It will be the first ever meeting between a sitting U.S. President and North Korean leader. Some 2,500 journalists are reporting on the event, which is costing Singapore government about SGD 20 million.

People crowded around poster stands at subway stations around the capital to read the news and gathered at noon in front of the city's main train station to watch a big screen display of images of Kim getting off the special Air China flight that took him to Singapore. Traffic was held up in the steamy midday sun and scores of bystanders were penned in by police when Trump went to meet Lee.

Experts said that Kim's use of a Chinese plane seemed to take into account security concerns but also reflected warming ties between Pyongyang and Beijing following years of strained relations over the North's nuclear tests.

Wang Peng, an associate research fellow of the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at Renmin University of China, discusses expectations for the Trump-Kim summit in Singapore.


In a report describing Kim's departure from Pyongyang, KCNA said a "changed era" had come about, adding that views on achieving denuclearisation and a "permanent and durable peace-keeping mechanism on the Korean Peninsula" would be exchanged at the summit.

The official said Trump and Kim would hold a one-on-one meeting on Tuesday that could last up to two hours.

U.S. presidents and vice-presidents generally never fly on the same aircraft to guarantee that one of them survives in the event of a disaster, and the move appeared created to ensure the preservation of the Kim dynasty, which has ruled the North for three generations.

But it is Mr Kim's pursuit of nuclear weapons that gives his meeting with Mr Trump such high stakes.

But in a sharp turnaround, preparations for the summit resumed after Kim showed his willingness for a summit with Trump and for denuclearization at a second summit with President Moon Jae-in on May 26.

Pompeo said the administration will look for a deal backed by Congress to ensure permanency-Kim Jong Un would be assured that Trump's successor could not easily scrap a deal without approval from lawmakers.

Kim smiled broadly in the meeting Sunday evening.

When Trump and Kim meet on Tuesday at Sentosa, a resort island off Singapore's port with a Universal Studios theme park and man-made beaches, they will be making history.

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