Published: Tue, June 12, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Kim Jong Un goes for surprise nighttime walk ahead of summit

Kim Jong Un goes for surprise nighttime walk ahead of summit

The number of American journalists allowed to witness the one-on-one meeting between President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un in Singapore on Tuesday was limited to seven - a smaller group than would usually be present for such a summit, and one that excluded representatives from the major wire services.

"We had a historic meeting and made a decision to leave the past behind and we are about to sign the historic document", Kim said through a translator. The North Korean leader said he is interested in close work with the USA president, the Straits Times newspaper reports.

That hasn't stopped Trump from heightening anticipation for the summit, which he views as a landmark event that his predecessors could never have accomplished. Again accusing the longtime U.S. ally of unfair trade practices, Trump added: "Then Justin acts hurt when called out!"

Trump's North Korean counterpart had also attended a meeting with PM Lee at the Istana yesterday for a half-hour session.

Each plans to leave Singapore hours after their meetings wrap up, though Trump plans to speak to reporters about the developments. "Trump seemed to be very aware of this, that he needed to up the stakes and be seen that he is the leader".

Trump has taken keen interest in the pageantry of the day, insisting the pictures beamed around the world reflect a commanding leader making a decisive, world-altering move.

Hours earlier, a jet carrying Kim landed.

"Past practices and prejudices were obstacles on our way forward, but we overcame all of them and are here today", Kim said.

But North Korea's complete denuclearization is "the only outcome that the United States will accept", Pompeo said, and sanctions will not be lifted until that happens. Trump has said he hopes to make a legacy-defining deal for the North to give up its nuclear weapons, though he has recently sought to manage expectations, saying more than one meeting may be necessary.

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Kim Jong Un departed Pyongyang Sunday in an Air China Boeing 747 plane for a 10-hour flight to Singapore.

Kim is widely believed to be a fan of the 1990s Chicago Bulls.

"The imagery of Kim and Trump holding hands, embracing and declaring an end to the Korean War, is probably something they both individually want", said Laura Rosenberger, a senior fellow and director of the Washington-based Alliance for Securing Democracy.

After the men shook hands, they repaired inside for one-on-one talks. It's a reflection of the intense global curiosity over Kim's sudden turn to diplomacy in recent months after a slew of North Korean nuclear and missile tests past year raised serious fears of war.

A man watches a television news screen showing US President Donald Trump, left, and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, at a railway station in Seoul on May 25, 2018.

DPRK stands for North Korea's formal name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

U.S. partners in the region, particularly South Korea and Japan, are concerned that Trump's eagerness to struck a diplomatic win might lead to him to give away too much too early, perhaps undermining United States security guarantees to its allies as a way of resassuring Kim of the safety of his regime.

In the hours before the summit began, Trump expressed optimism about prospects for the first-ever meeting of sitting US and North Korean leaders, while US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo injected a note of caution whether Kim would prove to be honest about his willingness to denuclearise.

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