Singapore, June 10: North Korean leader Kim Jong-un arrived in Singapore on Sunday, two days ahead of a historic summit with US President Donald Trump. Kim landed at Changi airport shortly before 3 p.m., according to Singapore Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan.
“Welcomed Chairman Kim Jong Un, who has just arrived in Singapore,” Balakrishnan tweeted along with a photo of him shaking hands with Kim in front of his airplane. Television cameras showed a motorcade leaving the airport and a crowd waiting at the Saint Regis Hotel, where Kim is expected to stay, reports Efe news.
Later in the day, the North Korean leader is scheduled to meet Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. Trump is scheduled to arrive in Singapore at around 8 on Sunday and go directly to his hotel, according to the White House.
The summit between Trump and Kim, scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. on Tuesday at the Capella Hotel, will be the first meeting between the sitting leaders of North Korea and the US. Pyongyang’s nuclear arsenal — which has seen it subjected to several sets of UN Security Council sanctions and threatened with military action by the Trump administration — will top the agenda.
Bringing the Korean War to a formal end 65 years after hostilities ceased will also be on the table at the first-ever summit between a North Korean leader and a sitting president of its “imperialist enemy”.
Authorities imposed tight security around the summit venue and related luxury hotels — including installing extra pot plants outside one contender for Kim’s accommodation to obstruct reporters’ views. 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.
(With agency inputs)