North Korea media breaks tradition to report summit

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, left, shakes hands with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during a meeting at Workers' Party of Korea headquarters in Pyongyang, North Korea.

After greeting each other for the first time Tuesday in front of reporters, the American president and the North Korean leader will seclude themselves on Singapore's Sentosa Island for roughly 45 minutes while their entourages wait nearby.

Watchers said Monday it still remains unclear whether the two countries can reach any historic agreement on denuclearization and security guarantee, but the latest external developments from both sides seem to indicate the talks will proceed successfully.

The summit, the first time a sitting United States president meets a North Korean leader, was almost called off just two weeks before the event. He was joined in Singapore by Ambassador Sung Kim, the US envoy to the Philippines, and Ambassador Michael McKinley, a career diplomat Pompeo recently tapped to be his senior adviser.

But on the eve of the summit, the White House unexpectedly announced Trump would depart Singapore by Tuesday evening, meaning his time with Kim would be fairly brief.

The White House said it does not believe there is any cause for concern about getting an accurate description of the two men's words.

The Monday report from the Korean Central News Agency mentioned the summit agenda, including denuclearization and lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula.

North Korean-US Summit
Image credit ULI-PwC report

He joined Singapore's foreign minister, Vivian Balakrishnan, who tweeted a selfie with a smiling Kim and Singapore Education Minister Ong Ye Kung, against a backdrop of flowers with the hashtag #Guesswhere. "I think it's not a one-meeting deal", Trump said Thursday.

Mr. Bolton, who has since become the president's national security adviser, made headlines as a private analyst at the time by advocating for pre-emptive strikes that could target North Korean missile facilities.

Gorka also said that he was "very disappointed" in Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau following his remarks after the G7 Summit over the weekend.

Trump and Kim arrived in Singapore on Sunday, both staying at luxurious and heavily guarded hotels about a kilometre and a half apart, with Trump at the Shangri-La Hotel and Kim at the St. Regis Hotel. He told reporters he thinks he will know nearly immediately whether a deal can be made, saying: "I will know, just my touch, my feel".

But two administration officials reportedly told NBC News that Trump will not focus on any of these details during his highly anticipated meeting with Kim. More recently, Trump has suggested he will raise human rights issues with Kim. On a larger level, the astronomical cost of the nuclear weapons program contributes to the massive poverty in North Korea, among the world's poorest countries.

What's more, the official U.S. "memorandum of conversation", or "MemCom", of that meeting was written by the longtime U.S. Russian-to-English interpreter Dmitri Zarechnak, according to a copy of the document posted by the National Security Archive at The George Washington University.

Now that North Korean citizens know their leader is set to talk to the country's sworn enemy of seven decades, media have found it necessary to explain a fundamental change of direction in state policy.

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