Trump and Kim to meet one-on-one, risking he-said/he-said scenario

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"Denuclearization" as the Kim family has used it, Lewis added, is an aspirational goal that involves everyone on the Korean peninsula, including the United States, giving up nuclear weapons.

If it doesn't, it could amp up tensions even more.

Dozens of reporters and cameramen mobbed North Korean chief negotiator Choe Son Hui as she left the hotel amid pushing and shoving.

Mr. Trump canceled the summit in late May after North Korea suddenly hurled invective at Washington - and specifically National Security Adviser John R. Bolton - for suggesting that Pyongyang's complete denuclearization must happen quickly along a "Libya model". Trump and Kim planned to meet one-on-one for most of an hour- joined only by translators.

TRT World spoke to Mark Shanahan, a lecturer in politics and global relations at Reading University in England, for more.

North Korean-US Summit
Image credit ULI-PwC report

In an interview with BBC (who really got our geography wrong yesterday), Minister of Foreign Affairs Vivian Balakrishnan confirmed what everyone was guessing a week ago: Singapore is indeed picking up the hotel tab for the North Korean contingent here.

The summit represents a major gamble for each leader, a high-wire act that carries the elevated potential for risk and reward that Trump has become increasingly comfortable with. The meeting is meant to be "start of a relationship", the official said, and there could be more to come between both sides if things go well. He brought up President Trump's further remarks on Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau from earlier Monday, and asked Pompeo whether he agreed with Trump adviser Pete Navarro "that there's a special place in hell for the Canadian prime minister".

He left early, and as he flew to Singapore, he tweeted that he was yanking the USA out of the traditional group statement.

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. It started with significant diplomatic overtures from North Korea towards South Korea during the Winter Olympics.

But US officials have since avoided such lofty declarations.

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In a choice that seems to make light of a lot of really quite serious things at once, Twitter is promoting its new #TrumpKimSummit emoji for Tuesday's summit in Singapore.

"The irony ... is that what was initially presented as a cliff-hanger dramatic summit, upon which war or peace on the Korean peninsula hung is now looking more like conventional diplomacy for the unconventional Trump White House", Cha told a Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee last week. The official wasn't authorized to discuss the plans and insisted on anonymity.

Singapore is one of the few countries that have diplomatic relations with both the United States and North Korea.

His first stop was a waterfront park with futuristic installations, Gardens by the Bay, which boasts the largest glass greenhouse and tallest indoor waterfall in the world.

Dressed in his trademark, ill-fitting, dark gray Mao suit, and sweating in Singapore's tropical humidity, Kim visited some of Singapore's most famous tourist attractions.

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Differing reports stated that Kim was on an Air China aircraft, not a private jet.

Trump mostly remained inside his Shangri-la hotel on the day before the summit, emerging only to meet with his Singaporean counterpart at the presidential palace.

Less than a week before the summit, Trump dismissed questions about his readiness, saying, "I don't think I have to prepare very much".

The Secretary of State said North Korea has unprecedented opportunity to change the trajectory of its relationship with the U.S. as he promised economic opportunities post denuclearisation.

Concrete barricades have been erected outside St Regis Singapore hotel which is within the zoned security area.

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