Dennis Rodman cries over Donald Trump, Kim Jong-Un Singapore summit

Erika Holt
June 13, 2018

The motorcades for U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un left their respective hotels Tuesday morning, heading for the Capella Hotel on Singapore's resort island of Sentosa, to meet in their historic summit.

Even before the two leaders had left their separate city centre hotels and driven the 13 minutes through blocked-off police-lined roads to the island summit venue, the U.S. president used Twitter to claim victory and hit back at his critics.

The two leaders discussed relations between their countries, developments in North Korea and the region, including recent positive developments on the Korean peninsula, said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a statement.

The summit continues to be a highly sensitive topic in North Korea.

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Kim said, "It has not been easy to get here" and that "the old prejudices and practices worked as obstacles, but we have overcome them and we are here today".

Should they succeed, it could bring lasting change to the security landscape of Northeast Asia, like the visit of former U.S. President Richard Nixon to China in 1972 led to the transformation of China. Trump said in a tweet.

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"President Moon and President Trump agreed Trump and Kim will be able to make a great achievement if the two leaders come together to find a common denominator through frank discussions", Blue House spokesman Kim Eu-kyeom told reporters.

It is also unclear whether USA officials will raise human rights issues in meetings with the North Koreans.

"Following the initial greeting, President Trump and Chairman Kim will participate in a one-on-one meeting, with translators only, an expanded bilateral meeting, and a working lunch", White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said. "And it's my honour and we will have a terrific relationship I have no doubt". But there are major doubts, given how hard it has been for Kim to build his program and given that the weapons are seen as the major guarantee to his holding onto unchecked power.

James Walsh, a senior research associate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with extensive experience in back-channel negotiations with the Pyongyang government said that the focus on personal chemistry rather than technical details represented a win for the North Korea.

The summit will be the first between a North Korean leader and a sitting American president, and could define the fate of millions, along with the leaders' own political futures. The U.S. president turns 72 on June 14.

Mr Lee is slated to meet separately with each leader at the Istana in the run-up to the summit.

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