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Donald Trump, Kim Jong Un shake hands in historic Singapore Summit

12 June 2018, 05:16 | Joann Bryant

Kim Trump summit: Leaders meet in Singapore

Singapore pays for Kim Jong Un's hotel during Trump summit

At 10am, North Korean vice-minister for foreign affairs, Choi Sun-hee, strode into the Ritz Carlton with her small team.

Kim arrived in a Air China 747 that touched down at Changi Airport on Sunday afternoon, Singapore's Straits Times said.

That came as Trump threw the Group of Seven's efforts to show a united front into disarray after he became angry with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and said he might double down on import tariffs by hitting the sensitive auto industry. He told reporters he wasn't sure if he would meet Kim in Singapore.

US President Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un are in Singapore ahead of their critical meet on June 12. At 11.30am Trump and Kim will take part in a "working lunch". Trump traveled to Singapore from Canada, where he attended a meeting with other world leaders.

Hours earlier, a jet carrying Kim landed.

If Trump and Kim fail in Singapore, "the result may be to enhance North Korean dependency on Seoul and Beijing as safety valves against the prospect of renewal of US-(North Korea) confrontation", according to Scott Snyder, a Korea expert at the Council on Foreign Relations.

There was no word on how Trump was spending the night before the summit.

There's excitement surrounding the summit but also skepticism that the North will relinquish a nuclear weapons program it spent decades building despite crushing sanctions.

While Trump and Kim search each other's eyes and words for signs of trust or deceit, the rest of the world will be watching, hoping that somehow these two unpredictable leaders can find a way to defuse one of the planet's most risky flashpoints.

Singapore pays for Kim Jong Un's hotel during Trump summit
President Trump, Kim Jong Un meet for historic summit

Experts believe the North is on the brink of being able to target the entire U.S. mainland with its nuclear-armed missiles, and while there's deep skepticism that Kim will quickly give up those hard-won nukes, there's also some hope that diplomacy can replace the animosity between the U.S. and the North.

According to the White House, the discussions between the US and North Korea are "ongoing and have moved more quickly than expected".

All eyes are on Singapore for this event, with 2,500 journalists from all over the world descending onto the city-state to cover the summit.

For both men, the summit, the first between leaders of North Korea and the United States, is likely to be a defining moment of their careers.

Trump had been scheduled to fly back to Washington tomorrow morning after spending today with Kim in Singapore, but on the eve of the summit, he altered his schedule, opting to return at about 8pm today after a full day of meetings with Kim - nearly 15 hours earlier than previously anticipated.

The lead-up to the summit has been marked by uncertainty and waves of frenetic diplomacy - at one point, Mr Trump even briefly called off the summit, after a senior North Korean official described remarks by US Vice-President Mike Pence as "stupid".

What was initially portrayed by the White House as a summit meant to completely rid the North of its nuclear weapons is now being cast as a chance to "start a dialogue" and for Trump the dealmaker to look into the eyes and take the measure of his nuclear-armed antagonist.

Rodman announced on Twitter that he would be attending the summit in Singapore to give "whatever support is needed to my friends" referring to both Trump and Kim.






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