Singapore, Jun 10: United States President Donald Trump arrived at Singapore’s Paya Lebar Air Base ahead of his much anticipated meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on June 12. The two leaders are scheduled to meet for the first time on Tuesday at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa Island. The US President has expressed keenness about his summit with Kim and called it a “one-time opportunity”.
Trump will now stay at the Shangri-La hotel and is slated to meet Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Monday.
Earlier today, Kim arrived in an Air China 747 plane that touched down Singapore’s Changi International Airport, where he was received by Singapore’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Vivian Balakrishnan at the airport.
The North Korean leader then met Prime Minister at The Istana (Prime Minister’s House) in Singapore.
Kim was accompanied by a delegation of North Korean officials, which included Vice-Chairman of the North Korean ruling Workers’ Party’s Central Committee, Kim Yong Chol, who visited the United States last week to formally hand over a letter written by Kim.
The delegation also included the North Korean leader’s sister Kim Yo-jong, who was also a part of the delegation in the inter-Korean summit at the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ), the border separating North and South Korea in April.
Kim and his delegation are currently staying at the St. Regis Hotel amid heavy security, reports claim.
Tuesday’s Singapore meeting is the climax of the astonishing flurry of diplomacy on and around the Korean peninsula this year, but critics charge that it risks being largely a triumph of style over substance.
Washington is demanding the complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearisation (CVID) of the North, while Pyongyang has so far only made public pledges of its commitment to the denuclearisation of the peninsula — a term open to wide interpretation — while seeking security guarantees.
Trump flew to Singapore to Canada, where he participated in the G7 summit in Canada’s La Malbaie, which saw massive contentions from the leaders of the summit over the US President’s imposition of tariffs on certain goods and services, triggering a trade war.
Before leaving for Singapore, Trump accused his G7 partners of “unfair” trade practices and of treating the US like a piggy bank.
He, however, pitched the idea of discarding all tariffs and trade barriers between the US and its G-7 allies at the summit.
(Inputs from agencies)