Saturday, 25 May, 2019

Trump, Abe agree to 'consult closely' after Singapore summit

Jung Yeon-Je Trump, Abe agree to 'consult closely' after Singapore summit
Steven Clarke | 14 June, 2018, 03:46

The White House said Trump would hold a one-on-one meeting with Kim on Tuesday on the small island of Sentosa. At a pre-summit briefing by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday, the issue didn't get a mention. He told reporters that the discussions are "moving quite rapidly and we anticipate they will come to their logical conclusion even more quickly than we had anticipated".

It would've been hard to imagine the two leaders reaching this point just nine months ago.

Kim Jong Un's entourage has left for the luxury Singapore island resort where the North Korean leader will meet with President Donald Trump.

Inside, the hotel, Kim and Trump offered brief remarks. They threatened each other with nuclear war.

Kim arrived on Sunday in Singapore, and Trump followed yesterday, after attending the G7 summit in Quebec. He told reporters he thinks he will know nearly immediately whether a deal can be made, saying: "I will know, just my touch, my feel". But there were scant details on what new commitments had been secured from Kim, even as Trump announced he would end the regular military exercises the USA conducts with South Korea.

Investors were more focused on the start of a two-day policy meeting of the Federal Reserve, looking for hints as to whether the USA central bank would move to raise rates three or four times this year.

The aim of the meeting is to put the rogue regime on the path to total denuclearisation, with the North Korean leader flagging a "changed era". Beyond the impact on both leaders' political fortunes, the summit could shape the fate of countless people - the citizens of impoverished North Korea, the tens of millions living in the shadow of the North's nuclear threat, and millions more worldwide.

Trump's motorcade pulled into the grounds of the Capella Hotel at 8:13 a.m. Tuesday local time.

The other carrot for Kim is a possible loosening of punishing UN Security Council sanctions but here too there is discord, with Washington saying sanctions can end only when denuclearisation is complete and Pyongyang wanting "phased" relief as they make progress towards that goal. He's pushing for "complete denuclearisation, " which includes removing the USA nuclear umbrella in Northeast Asia that protects allies South Korea and Japan.

Previous agreements with the North have subsequently collapsed and experts warn Kim is highly unlikely to give up the "treasured sword" of his nuclear deterrent.

U.K. Minister Phillip Lee Resigns Ahead of Brexit Bill Showdown
Pro-EU lawmakers, however, welcomed it as a signal that the government was moving towards ruling out a hardline "no deal" Brexit. But it's also worth recalling that the wording of his amendment was later deemed so weak that the Lords had to beef it up.

And Kim's commitments did not appear to go beyond what he already pledged to do in April when he met South Korean President Moon Jae-in along their countries' border.

Outside the Korean community, local peace groups called for the United States government to allow North and South Korea to negotiate a deal for peace on their own.

Here in futuristic Singapore, however, Kim was able to view the benefits of economic advancement at close range. Most importantly, few believe Kim is actually willing to give up the nuclear weapons that cement his grip on power.

After meeting privately and with aides, Trump and Kim moved into the luncheon at a long flower-bedecked table.

There is a chance for some history, however. Trump has openly floated the possibility of striking a peace deal formally ending the Korean War 65 years after an armistice ceased military hostilities.

Choe, a vice foreign minister, is the highest-level female diplomat in North Korea.

A man watches a TV news program about the summit at the Seoul Railway Station in South Korea on Monday.

In a moment that would never happen in North Korea, reporters began yelling questions to Trump and Kim after they signed the document, including whether they had discussed the case of Otto Warmbier, the American college student who suffered brain damage while in North Korean custody and died in June 2017, days after he was returned home to Ohio.

SHAPIRO: What are negotiators for the two sides doing as we tick down to the start of this summit?

Yokota said she wondered how Japan would be viewed by the rest of the world if it can not seize such a golden opportunity, expressing her hope for the realization of a meeting between Abe and Kim as well as enhanced efforts by the Japanese government toward resolving the abduction issue.

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