Kim's night out: North Korea leader visits Singapore attractions

Thursday, 14 Jun, 2018

Reclusive North Korean leader Kim Jong Un went on an evening tour of Singapore on Monday, posing with city-state officials at a tropical garden before visiting an infinity pool atop a landmark waterfront hotel, to the surprise of guests.

The North Korean leader "has a personal toilet that follows him around when he travels", said Lee Yun-keol, who worked in a North Korean Guard Command unit before coming to South Korea in 2005.

At the time, the Koreans faced criticism for essentially kicking the issue of North Korea's nuclear arsenal down the road to Tuesday's Trump-Kim summit.

The top US diplomat emphasised that complete, verifiable, irreversible denuclearisation "is the only outcome that the United States will accept" from North Korea, sending a stern message to Pyongyang before Tuesday's meeting in Singapore between US President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un.

Discussions would focus on "the issue of building a permanent and durable peace-keeping mechanism on the Korean peninsula, the issue of realising the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula and other issues of mutual concern", KCNA said.

After the signing, Trump said he expected to "meet many times" in the future with Kim and, in response to questions, said he "absolutely" would invite Kim to the White House. For Kim, one of the chief tasks from the summit - a legitimizing photo-op with a US president - is now all but guaranteed.

Trump and Kim arrived in Singapore on Sunday, both staying at luxurious and heavily guarded hotels less than half a mile apart, with Trump at the Shangri-La Hotel and Kim at the St. Regis Hotel.

"We support peace and stability in the Korean Peninsula that is in the interest of the people, but we are very skeptical about the intentions of the United States", he added.

Commuters read news of Kim Jong-un's arrival in Singapore, at a train station in Pyongyang.

"The two sides did not make much progress at Panmunjom a few weeks ago".

Although gaps remain over what denuclearisation would entail, Trump sounded a positive note in a lunch meeting with Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

The meeting was the first between a sitting USA president and a North Korean leader.

USA officials, allies and North Korea experts have already fretted over Trump's indication that he will follow his gut instincts in approaching talks with Kim.

"One of my worries is that we come out of this Singapore summit with something that looks remarkably like the Six Party Talks or anything that the president has previously criticised but it is hyped as something that's historic and new and groundbreaking", he added. Or will Kim go in for a hug as he did with South Korean President Moon Jae-in?

There will not be a repeat of "flimsy agreements" made between previous U.S. administrations and North Korea, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters in Singapore on Monday.

Pompeo said these guarantees would be "different and unique" than America has been willing to provide before.

The North has faced crippling diplomatic and economic sanctions, which began years before Trump's "maximum pressure" campaign, as it has advanced development of its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

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.