North Korea: US will offer 'unique' security guarantees, says Pompeo

Tuesday, 12 Jun, 2018

By Toluse Olorunnipa and Jennifer JacobsPresident Donald Trump plans to shake hands and have lunch with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, kicking off a historic summit on Tuesday between two adversaries that only previous year had seemed at the brink of nuclear war.

"The way the summit goes in Singapore could set the stage for the next period of Northeast Asian regional security", said Eric Altbach, vice president of the Albright Stonebridge Group in Washington, who also represented the National Security Council in sanctions discussions with North Korea during the Bush administration.

Actually, says another group, there will indeed be disarmament, a peace treaty ending the Korean War and North Korea's emergence as a contributing member of the worldwide community - but just not right now.

Messrs. Trump and Kim are expected to meet face-to-face on Tuesday morning to discuss prospects of a deal in which North Korea would give up nuclear capabilities in exchange for help opening its economy.

The North Korean leader reportedly arrived at Changi Airport in Singapore Sunday afternoon, where he was met by the Minister for Foreign Affairs Vivian Balakrishnan.

Sebastian Gorka said Monday that President Trump's historic summit with Kim Jong Un can yield two large results.

He told reporters in Quebec on Saturday that he'd know "in the first minute" whether he could get to a deal with Kim, repeating that he wouldn't waste his time - but suggested that the time he's invested in this initial engagement wasn't such a big deal.

First to arrive in Singapore was the IL-76 transport plane carrying food and other belongings of the DPRK's leader, as well as his bullet-proof limousine and a portable toilet.

Central TV announced the visit with special announcements voiced by veteran news anchor Ri Chun-hee in her usual, inimitable style.

An editorial in Rodong Sinmun confirmed that Mr Kim had travelled to Singapore to meet Mr Trump and that "we will establish a new relationship to meet the changing demands of the new era".

North Korean-US Summit
Image credit ULI-PwC report

South Korean media reported that the portable toilet "will deny determined sewer divers insights into to the supreme leader's stools".

By prominently showing the Air China jet that flew Kim to Singapore, the reports also made no secret of China's important role behind the scenes. This time they had it a bit easier, though - as the North Korean leader preferred to walk nonchalantly, enjoying the evening and clearly not being in a hurry.

He met with Pompeo in NY last month before heading to the White House to hand-deliver a letter from Kim Jong Un to Trump.

US and North Korean officials have been holding preliminary meetings in the run-up to the Tuesday summit. "Denuclearization" as the Kim family has used it, Lewis added, is an aspirational goal that involves everyone on the Korean peninsula, including the United States, giving up nuclear weapons.

But he has since lowered expectations, backing away from an original demand for North Korea's swift denuclearisation. He also famously vowed to unleash "fire and fury" if Pyongyang kept threatening the US. "The situation demands that all nations and peoples should go out to establish fair worldwide relations", the paper says.

Asked by a reporter how he felt about the summit, Mr Trump said: "Very good".

-North Korea summit in Singapore on June 11, 2018. -North Korea summit in Singapore.

But, it warns: "We never allowed any interference from foreign powers".

TRT World's Arabella Munro reports.