Thursday, 24 January, 2019

Pompeo on Trump’s diplomatic crisis: ‘There are always irritants in relationships’

Jean Garcia | 11 June, 2018, 16:13

"Chairman Kim thanked Prime Minister Lee for Singapore's hosting of the US-DPRK Summit", the document adds.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Sung Kim, the U.S. ambassador to the Philippines who has taken the lead on policy negotiations with the North, will hold a "working group" with a North Korean delegation to discuss final preparations for the meeting.

Trump landed at Paya Lebar Airbase on board Air Force One after cutting short his time at the G7 summit in Canada.

From Pyongyang, the North's official media Monday carried comparatively detailed reports on leader Kim Jong-un's visit to Singapore, including his arrival date and plan to hold his first meeting with Trump on Tuesday.

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.

As Trump was trying to make "fool trade" happen, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tweeted a series of photos showing State Department officials meeting with foreign diplomats and generally behaving like normal White House officials headed into a high-stakes summit.

Kim smiled broadly Sunday evening as he met with Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

At the hotel lobby, grim-faced North Korean security guards warned other hotel guests not to take pictures as Kim walked to his Mercedes Benz limousine.

Trump tweeted on Sunday: "I am on my way to Singapore where we have a chance to achieve a truly wonderful result for North Korea and the world".

France warns Trump over 'fits of anger' after G7 statement u-turn
Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland: " Canada does not conduct its diplomacy through ad hominem attacks". Italy's new premier, Giuseppe Conte, tweeted that he agreed with Trump, saying: "Russia should go back into the G8".

The roads are blocked off along the routes Kim and President Trump will travel. Otherwise, the relationship between the two countries could quickly become fraught with frustration and misunderstandings.

The Trump- Kim meeting will be a first for a sitting US president and North Korean leader, and the picture would have seemed unthinkable just a year ago.

Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump impersonators, Howard X, left, and Dennis Alan, jump together as they pose for photographs on Friday. "There is a very wide gap between the USA and North Korean negotiating positions, and finding common ground will require a sustained diplomatic process with high-level buy-in from Pyongyang and Washington", Daniel Wertz, associate director of the National Committee on North Korea, told Newsweek.

"Maybe we'll start with the White House, what do you think?" he said when asked if Kim would be invited to Washington or his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters that veteran diplomat Sung Kim is leading the US delegation in a working group meeting Monday at the city-state's Ritz Carlton hotel.

Trump hopes the landmark talks will kick-start a process that eventually see Kim give up his nuclear weapons in an irreversible manner that can be verified internationally. However, the South Carolina Republican noted that he is "not here to spread democracy" or to unite the North with South Korea. She emerged as an influential figure in Pyongyang's opaque leadership in February, when she led a North Korean delegation to the Winter Olympics in South Korea.

The top United States and North Korean negotiators had earlier emerged from a last-ditch meeting at the Ritz Carlton with pursed lips, and no sign of whether an attempt to narrow the gap between U.S. and North Korean expectations of what denuclearisation should look like, had worked. Despite that, "we're going in with a very positive spirit" and "I think very well prepared".

The North Korean autocrat's every move will be followed by 3,000 journalists up until he shakes hands with Trump.

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