Trump and Kim arrive in Singapore for improbable summit

Trump and Kim arrive in Singapore for improbable summit

Asian markets were mixed Monday before President Donald Trump planned to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and after his outburst at Canada's prime minister over trade.

The historic meeting between the two leaders will take place at the island resort of Sentosa on Tuesday. On the day before the meeting, weeks of preparation appeared to pick up in pace, with USA and North Korean officials meeting throughout Monday at a Singapore hotel.

Trump is to meet Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Monday while Kim has no official agenda. Lee met with him on Sunday evening at the Istana, the official residence of Singapore's president, hours after the North Korean leader's arrival at Changi Airport.

"The entire world is watching the historic summit between (North Korea) and the United States of America, and thanks to your honest efforts. we were able to complete the preparations for the historic summit", Kim told Lee through an interpreter.

Kim and the Singaporean premier discussed "issues of developing the bilateral relations in an all-round way by invigorating wide-ranging exchange and cooperation while maintaining the excellent relations and deepening the friendly relations between the two countries".

Even if Kim offers only "a fine-sounding rhetorical commitment, and maybe a few missile surrendered or some site closures", he said, Trump will "market this thing as something extraordinary for his voters back home".

File image of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and US President Donald Trump.

Officials remain uncertain what will come out of Tuesday's unprecedented summit, the first of its kind between a sitting USA president and the leader of North Korea.

While advisers say Trump has been reviewing briefing materials, the president insists his gut instincts will matter most when he gets in the room with Kim.


Under Kim, Pyongyang has made rapid progress in its weapons technology, carrying out by far its most powerful nuclear test to date previous year and launching missiles capable of reaching the United States mainland.

Trump has sought to lower expectations for the summit in recent days, suggesting that it would be the start of a lengthy process to get Pyongyang to begin dismantling its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

"Thanks PM Lee for spending $20 million of taxpayers money, which can. help a lot of needy families in Singapore to survive", posted one Facebook user.

"It's North Korea", said one Western tourist with a shrug.

Network crews have sent their anchors and star reporters, all hoping to capture a moment in history that could reset Asian geopolitics and security after decades of failed attempts to restrain North Korea's nuclear capabilities.

In turn, North Korean state media reported on Monday that the upcoming US-North Korean talks would focus on the establishment of the new relations between the countries, the creation of a firm peace system and the denuclearization on the Korean peninsula.

ANALYST'S TAKE: "The far from harmonious Quebec summit confirmed deep-seated G6+1's expanding policy fissures on a plethora of significant concerns including climate change, the Iran nuclear deal and of course trade", said Stephen Innes of currency trader Oanda in a report.

WALL STREET: U.S. stocks ended higher Friday, led by consumer products and health care companies.

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