Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Trump-Kim summit in Singapore


Ivanka Trump @IvankaTrump


Singapore paying for North Korea's hotel stay at Trump-Kim summit

Singapore is footing the hotel bill for North Korean leader Kim Jong Un & his contingent, Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan said on Monday.

"It's hospitality that we would have offered them, & as Chairman Kim said yesterday, he would have liked to have come to Singapore anyway, with or without the summit," Dr Balakrishnan said in an interview with the BBC.

Mr Kim arrived in town on Sunday for a historic summit on Tuesday with US President Donald Trump to discuss possible denuclearisation efforts



Singapore’s really picking up the tab for the North Korean contingent’s stay at The St. Regis

The Presidential Suite on the hotel’s 20th story — and we wouldn’t expect Kim to want anything less — goes for up to S$12,260 (about US$9,200) a night, with a king-sized bed, silken throw pillows, crystal chandeliers, and marble, gold, brass, and silver adornments everywhere.

So you can only imagine how much Singapore is paying to have the North Korean leader and an entire army of bodyguards and government officials at the St. Regis.

According to the BBC interview, the cost borne for the North Korean contingent is part of the $20 million Singapore is spending on the summit in total, said Dr. Balakrishnan. The Straits Times reported that $10 million is set aside for security measures, while $5 million is for the facilitation of international journalists who’ve flown here to cover the summit. Presumably, part of the other $5 million is going towards Kim’s hotel tab.


Singapore to spend SGD 20 million for Trump-Kim summit

Singapore will spend about 20 million dollars to host the historic summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on Tuesday, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong revealed today. Singapore is one of the few countries that have diplomatic relations with both the United States and North Korea.

"It's our contribution to an international endeavour which is in our profound interest," Lee told reporters at the huge media centre the city-state had constructed to deal with the enormous demand.

Over 2,500 journalists are covering the summit, the first between a sitting United States President and a North Korean leader.



Man lashes out at S’pore police outside St Regis about S$20 million Trump-Kim summit cost
This video has been making the rounds on Facebook and chat apps in Singapore since Sunday night, June 10

The bearded, middle-aged man in sunglasses was caught on video gesticulating and shouting at the police, who appeared to ask him to take a different route.

However, his response to the police officer can be described as online ranting carried into real-life.

Other pedestrians seen in the video looked on puzzled.


‘Where is Singapore?’ Google search spikes as Americans curious about where Trump is

The most common statistic thrown around the past several years generalising the majority of Americans has been: Only 36 percent of Americans own a valid passport, which means 64 percent of them have not travelled abroad before.

So, it is no surprise Americans are googling for information about where Singapore is as a result of Trump-Kim summit — because they probably didn’t even know it existed, or if they did, believe it is in China.

Google Trends is showing a sharp spike in searches for “Where is Singapore?” since the Trump-Kim summit was announced as a thing on May 10 2018. In the week between May 6 to 12, the search for “Where is Singapore?” surged.


Google Trends Shows Spike In Searches For “Where Is Singapore Located?”

The days of Singaporeans in the United States being asked “Is Singapore a part of China?” may finally be over. And it’s all thanks to the historic summit between American President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, set to take place on Tuesday (12 Jun).

With both leaders firmly on Singaporean soil, the world’s attention has turned to the Little Red Dot. Ever the inquisitive bunch, Americans are relying on Google to find out more about our little island-nation.

Google Trends shows a sharp spike in searches for “Where is Singapore located?” ever since we were confirmed as the venue of the meeting in May.


A tale of tweeting: Kim and Trump’s road to Singapore
A combination photo shows US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (R) in Washignton, DC, US May 17, 2018 and in Panmunjom, South Korea, April 27, 2018 respectively. Source: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque and Korea Summit Press Pool

US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un have both touched down and are currently enjoying Singaporean hospitality ahead of tomorrow’s historic summit. But the road to get to this point has been far from smooth.

From trading schoolyard insults to threatening nuclear war, the relationship between America’s wheeler-dealer-in-chief and North Korea’s Supreme Leader has been fraught. But tomorrow’s summit signifies a dramatic shift in dynamics and could be the start of a blossoming relationship between the two countries.

So how did we get to this point?


It’s a government initiative, not a people’s movement – let’s not get carried away by one summit

Let Singapore be a good host for the Trump-Kim summit. Let’s give peace a chance. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

Fresh from his return from North Korean capital Pyongyang, Foreign Affairs Minister Vivian Balakrishnan declared that he was “very impressed” with the country.

“Clearly, the government has been hard at work all these decades to upgrade their infrastructure . . . so the society itself is a very impressive society and a city in its own right,” said the Minister.



Kim Jong Un brought his own toilet to the Singapore summit -- and he takes it everywhere

So, why does Kim Jong Un always travel with several lavatories at his disposal? According the The Chosun Ilbo, a South Korean newspaper, the portable toilets "will deny determined sewer divers insights into to the supreme leader's stools." The secrecy of the North Korean leader's health is, apparently, paramount.

"Rather than using a public restroom, the leader of North Korea has a personal toilet that follows him around when he travels," Lee Yun-keol, a former member of a North Korean Guard Command unit who defected, told the Washington Post in 2005. Lee explained, "The leader's excretions contain information about his health status so they can't be left behind." Kim's urine and faecal matter are periodically examined to check for illnesses and other health indicators, according to Daily NK.

US-North Korean relations have seemingly come a long way in the last few months - it was only January when a top authority on North Korea suggested that the US should bomb Kim Jong Un's personal toilet to put fear in him. "It will send an unmistakable message: We can kill you while you are dropping a deuce," Jeffrey Lewis wrote.

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Why Trump and Kim Picked Singapore for Their Summit

The U.S. and North Korea picked Singapore as the venue for a historic summit between Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un, scheduled for June 12. The move is a diplomatic coup for the city-state, which lies almost 5,000 kilometers (3,000 miles) south of the North Korean capital, Pyongyang:

  • What made Singapore an attractive choice?
  • What other meetings has Singapore hosted?
  • What venue would Kim and Trump use?
  • Do diplomatic ties count?
  • Does Singapore’s location play any part in the decision?
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Why Singapore for the Trump-Kim summit?
US President Donald Trump on Thursday confirmed that the summit - a first between a sitting US president and a North Korean leader - would take place in Singapore on June 12. PHOTO: REUTERS

It has one foot in the East and one in the West, is ultra-modern, secure and sometimes mocked as being a little dull - Singapore was the safe pick for a historic first meeting between the unpredictable leaders of the US and North Korea.


US President Donald Trump on Thursday confirmed that the summit - a first between a sitting US president and a North Korean leader - would take place in Singapore on June 12. "We will both try to make it a very special moment for World Peace!" he tweeted.


Singapore also confirmed it would host the meeting, but did not give further details.


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The perfect logic of holding a US-North Korea summit in Singapore

The historic meeting between Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump won’t happen in Mongolia or in the austere, scary, super-armed DMZ. It’s set to take place in small, wealthy Singapore.


A city-state island with a population of 5.6 million people, Singapore is the financial center of Southeast Asia. It was the pick of top US officials like secretary of state Mike Pompeo and White House chief of staff John Kelly, as a country that is diplomatically neutral, highly secure, and well practiced at pulling off sensitive events.


The US and Singapore have had friendly relations for almost half a century. More than 30,000 Americans live in Singapore, 4,200 American businesses operate in the city-state, and the free trade agreement between the two countries supports 215,000 American jobs abroad. The regional headquarters for US companies Airbnb, Google, and Facebook are all in Singapore.



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5 things to know about Singapore, the site of President Trump and Kim Jong Un's meeting
Singapore's financial skyline is seen lining the edge of the Singapore River on Thursday, May 10, 2018, in Singapore. (Photo: Wong Maye-E, AP)

President Trump announced Thursday that he will meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore on June 12.


Here's what you need to know about the city-state where this historic summit will take place:

  • It's a diverse global hub
  • It's considered a neutral site
  • That has ties to North Korea
  • And to the United States
  • It's played host to another historic meeting

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Why Are Trump & Kim Jong Un Meeting In Singapore? There’s A Good Explanation

In an announcement Thursday morning, President Trump revealed the date and location of his meeting with Kim Jong Un. The meeting between the president and North Korea's leader will take place on June 12 in Singapore, but if you're wondering why Trump and Kim Jong Un are meeting in Singapore, there's actually a few reasons.

Trump shared the news via his go-to medium of Twitter. The president wrote, "The highly anticipated meeting between Kim Jong Un and myself will take place in Singapore on June 12th. We will both try to make it a very special moment for World Peace!"


According to CNN, the choice of Singapore to host the historic meeting stems from a few of its defining traits. While Trump had publicly mentioned the demilitarized zone (DMZ) separating North and South Korea as a potential location, U.S. officials generally preferred Singapore for its distance from the heavily state-controlled North Korea. Singapore is also an independent city-state that has much more liberal and capitalist economic policies than many of its neighboring countries. The Independent also reports that Singapore provides a more neutral location, something both sides would ostensibly value.


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Staid Singapore prepares for historic Trump-Kim summit

Singapore appears to be a safe pick for the summit. It has close ties with the United States as a major trade and investment partner, and has also maintained diplomatic relations with North Korea since 1975. While Singapore’s tight control over political activities and media has drawn criticism, it’s also what makes the country an ideal location for a high-security event like the Trump-Kim summit.

Analysts, meanwhile, say the decision to meet in Singapore may suggest that Trump is entering the talks with tempered expectations.


A summit in Pyongyang, North Korea’s capital, would have been a tremendous propaganda coup for Kim, who desperately craves international legitimacy. For Trump, Pyongyang would have been the only place in the world where he would command more attention than Kim, and a dramatic stage to showcase the deal-making skills he speaks so proudly of.


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Istana may host Trump-Kim summit
A South Korean report said the Singapore President's official residence could host the summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and US President Donald Trump. FOTO: ST FILE

The Singapore President's official residence, the Istana, could host the summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and US President Donald Trump, a South Korean report said on Tuesday (May 29).

Citing unidentified diplomatic sources, South Korean newspaper Joong Ang Ilbo daily reported that the Istana is one of the places under consideration as the summit venue.

"Istana could be the venue," Joong Ang quoted a source as saying, "considering the magnitude and sensitivity of the summit."

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U.S. Relations With Singapore

For more than half a century, the United States and Singapore have forged an expansive and enduring relationship based on mutual economic interests, robust security and defense cooperation, and enduring people-to-people ties. Our two countries have worked as close partners in support of a rules-based economic and security order in the Asia-Pacific and have consistently partnered to address global threats and challenges to include terrorism, transnational crime, and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Singapore and the United States are closely linked. More than 30,000 Americans live in Singapore. The Free Trade Agreement between the United States and Singapore supports 215,000 American jobs and the United States enjoys a $20 billion trade surplus in goods and services annually. There are 4,200 American businesses in Singapore and American businesses invest over $180 billion dollars in Singapore.

The United States and Singapore work together for greater impact in the region and across the globe. The two countries hold an annual Strategic Partnership Dialogue to strengthen bilateral cooperation and to discuss ways to expand collaboration in new areas. One mechanism that further strengthens our cooperation for the benefit of the Asia-Pacific region is the Third Country Training Program (TCTP). Aimed at providing technical assistance and training to ASEAN member states, TCTP focuses on connectivity, sustainable development, and regional resilience. Since the TCTP program was established, Singapore and the United States have jointly organized 30 workshops and trained over 1,000 ASEAN member government officials in the areas of trade, environment, health, urban planning, and disaster management, among others.


U.S. Assistance to Singapore - The EXBS program has been active in Singapore since 2003 and has provided over $2 million in technical exchanges and assistance. EXBS’ goals in Singapore are to encourage active targeting and enforcement of export controls, full compliance with the four multilateral export control regimes, and cooperation on counter-proliferation prosecution and investigation matters. EXBS assistance for Singapore in 2016 totaled $250,000.


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Trump-Kim impersonators Dennis Alan & Howard X

Impersonators thrill at 'Trump and Kim' show
Trump impersonator Dennis Alan giving Kim Jong Un impersonator Howard X a firm handshake, at their meet and greet with fans yesterday.ST FOTO: KEVIN LIM

A huge crowd formed at Bugis Junction mall yesterday afternoon to catch a glimpse of 2 impersonators of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un & United States President Donald Trump.

The duo, who made headlines in February when they appeared at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, were taking part in their own "summit" ahead of the historic meeting between the two leaders on Tuesday.

The event at the shopping mall, dubbed The "Real" Trump Kim Summit, also provided an opportunity for fans to take a selfie with the impersonators.


Pope prays for successful Trump-Kim summit

Pope Francis has prayed that the summit this week between the US and North Korean leaders succeeds in laying the groundwork for peace.

Francis expressed hope today that Tuesday's talks between US President Donald Trump and North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore will "contribute to the development of a positive path that will assure a future of peace for the Korean Peninsula and the entire world."

He invited the thousands of faithful in St Peter's Square to pray with him so that the Virgin Mary "accompany these talks." Francis said he wanted yet again to send "a special thought in friendship and prayer" to the beloved Korean people.


Kim Jong-un begged Trump on his knees to revive summit, Rudy Giuliani says
Rudy Giuliani, an attorney for Donald Trump, said Kim Jong-un ‘got back on his hands and knees and begged’ for the North Korea summit to happen. Photograph: Andrew Harnik/AP

Former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani has boasted that Donald Trump had forced North Korea’s leader to beg to re-schedule a high-profile summit after the president abruptly called off the meeting.

After the cancellation, “Kim Jong-un got back on his hands and knees and begged for it, which is exactly the position you want to put him in,” Giuliani told a business conference in the Israeli city of Tel Aviv.

In an interview later with the Associated Press, Giuliani rejected suggestions that such comments might sour the atmosphere before next week’s summit, saying Kim Jong-un must understand the US is in a position of strength. “It is pointing out that the president is the stronger figure,” Giuliani said. “And you’re not going to have useful negotiations unless he accepts that.”


Trump attorney says Kim Jong Un 'begged' for summit: report
Donald Trump's attorney said North Korean leader Kim Jong Un begged "on his hands and knees" for a summit with the US president, The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday. PHOTO: REUTERS

[WASHINGTON] Donald Trump's attorney said North Korean leader Kim Jong Un begged "on his hands and knees" for a summit with the US president, The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.

"They... said they were going to go to nuclear war with us, they were going to defeat us in a nuclear war," Rudy Giuliani told a Tel Aviv investment conference, according to the newspaper. "We said we're not going to have a summit under those circumstances."

"Well, Kim Jong Un got back on his hands and knees and begged for it, which is exactly the position you want to put him in," Mr Giuliani said.


N. Korea summit back on, Trump says after meeting Kim envoy

US President Donald Trump said Friday he will meet North Korea's Kim Jong Un as originally scheduled on June 12 for a historic summit after extraordinary Oval Office talks with a top envoy from Pyongyang.

Speaking after more than an hour of talks with Kim Yong Chol in the Oval Office, Trump told reporters that denuclearization - & a formal end to the decades-old Korean war - would be on the table in Singapore.

But the US leader warned that he did not expect to immediately sign a deal to bring a halt to the North's nuclear programme.


Kim Jong Un sends Trump ‘very nice’ letter – and it’s huge
Donald Trump is presented with a letter from North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un, hand-delivered by North Korean envoy Kim Yong Chol in the Oval Office. (foto: Shealah Craighead/Twitter/Dan Scavino)

It was a letter the world had been waiting for – a message from Kim Jong Un to Donald Trump that could determine if the US-North Korean summit in Singapore would go ahead as planned.

And when Kim’s right-hand man Kim Yong Chol delivered it to President Trump at the White House on Friday (Jun 1), it was clear communications between the 2 leaders were anything but conventional.

The letter was huge.


US tries to find discreet way to pay Kim Jong-un’s hotel during Trump summit ... and it’s US$6,000 per night
The prideful but cash-poor pariah state requires that a foreign country foot the bill at its preferred lodging and The Fullerton presidential suite costs more than US$6,000 per night

At an island resort off the coast of Singapore, US event planners are working day and night with their North Korean counterparts to set up a summit designed to bring an end to Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons programme.

But a particularly awkward logistical issue remains unresolved, according to two people familiar with the talks. Who’s going to pay for Kim Jong-un’s hotel stay?

The prideful but cash-poor pariah state requires that a foreign country foot the bill at its preferred lodging: The Fullerton, a magnificent neoclassical hotel near the mouth of the Singapore River where just one presidential suite costs more than US$6,000 per night.


Singapore will bear some costs of Trump-Kim summit - minister

Singapore will bear some of the cost of the planned summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, its defence minister Ng Eng Hen said on Saturday, a day after Trump put the meeting back on agenda.

Kim's trip to Singapore, which would be the furthest he would have travelled as leader, poses logistical challenges that are likely to include using Soviet-era aircraft to carry him and his limousine, as well as dozens of security and other staff.

The Washington Post reported earlier that some unresolved logistical issues relating to the summit were who would pay the hotel bills of the leader of the cash-strapped country, whose economy has been squeezed by a series of U.N. and unilateral sanctions for its nuclear and ballistic missile programmes.


Trump-Kim Summit: A Timeline Of The On-And-Off-Again US-North Korea Meeting In The Making
Historic Trump-Kim Summit: A Condensed Overview Of Confusing Political Mixed Signals

Just as we prepared to consign ourselves to our fate, we started receiving encouraging signals once again.

Preparations for the summit are back on, folks. The tedium of having to keep up with the fluctuating desires of both camps is exhausting.

To make it easier, here’s a nifty timeline to help you make sense of things:
  • 27 April – Kim Jong Un meets South Korean President Moon Jae-in the DMZ
  • 9 May – North Korea frees three American prisoners who were detained on espionage and suspicion of “hostile acts
  • 10 May – The meeting was still on as of 10 May. President Trump tweeted confirmation of the “highly anticipated” meeting
  • 15 May – Joint US-South Korea military exercises, titled Max Thunder, were held and instantly dubbed an “intentional military provocation” by North Korea
  • 22 May – Vice President Mike Pence added his name to the not-so-smart-political-move pile in an interview with Fox News
  • 24 May – As promised, North Korea collapsed tunnels leading to a nuclear testing facility at Punggye-ri, aka its only known nuclear test site
  • 24 May – President Trump pens a letter to Mr Kim containing several bigly words
  • 25 May – Having successfully baited the Americans into looking like the bad guys in this situation, North Korea twisted the knife by issuing a very kindly-worded statement
  • 25 May – President Trump tweeted that the summit date would not change, in the event that the summit does happen
  • 26 May – A second surprise summit between both Koreas happens, again at the DMZ
  • 26 May – Press outlets reported that an American pre-advance team had set off for Singapore, signalling that the summit could be back on after all
  • 27 May – President Trump tweeted once again. In this one, he says that US officials met with their North Korean counterparts on Sunday
  • 27 May – South Korea Prime Minister Lee Nak Yon praised President Trump as being a “tough dealer‘, with a “sixth sense” and a ton of deal-making experience
  • 28 May – Mr Moon could be a surprise third attendee to the summit
  • 15 days to go - There’s still room for further twists in the tale

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U.S. officials meet with North Koreans despite uncertainty surrounding Trump-Kim summit
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s government on Friday released a statement saying he still hopes to meet with President Trump “at any time.” CNA/KNS/AFP/Getty Images)

A team of U.S. officials crossed into North Korea on Sunday for talks to prepare for a summit between President Trump and Kim Jong Un, as both sides pressed ahead with arrangements despite the question marks hanging over the meeting.

Sung Kim, a former U.S. ambassador to South Korea and former nuclear negotiator with the North, has been called in from his post as envoy to the Philippines to lead the preparations, according to a person familiar with the arrangements.

The talks are focused on what would be the substance of a potential summit between Trump and Kim Jong Un — the issue of North Korea’s nuclear weapons program.


US officials in summit planning talks with North Korea at Panmunjom

American and North Korean officials met at the border between North and South Korea on Sunday in preparation for a possible North Korea-U.S. summit, as North Korea's Kim Jong Un was cited as reaffirming his commitment to meet with U.S. President Donald Trump.

Both Pyongyang and Washington are pressing ahead on plans for a summit after Trump pulled out of the proposed June 12 meeting on Thursday, only to reconsider the decision the next day.

"A U.S. delegation is in ongoing talks with North Korean officials at Panmunjom," spokeswoman Heather Nauert said, referring to a village in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) that runs along the heavily armed border between North and South Korea.


US, North Korean Officials Hold Talks on Possible Trump-Kim Summit

U.S. and North Korean officials met at the demilitarized zone Sunday to talk about a possible summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jung Un.

After calling off the talks Thursday, Trump said the June 12 summit in Singapore may very well take place as scheduled.

"I truly believe North Korea has brilliant potential and will be a great economic and financial nation one day. Kim Jong Un agrees with me on this. It will happen," Trump tweeted Sunday.


The Singapore Sling: Pressure mounts on Trump to meet with Kim

Every week, I offer a glimpse of the kind of intelligence assessments that are likely to come across the desk of the President of the United States.

Modeled on the President's Daily Briefing, or PDB, which the director of national intelligence prepares for President Trump almost daily, my Presidential Weekly Briefing focuses on the topics and issues that Trump needs to know about to make informed decisions.
Here's this week's briefing:
  • North Korea summit: Peer pressure
  • Trade policy: Rough road ahead
  • Taiwan: Increasingly dire straits
  • Afghanistan: Threat assessment

It's over before it even started

The June 12, 2018 Singapore meeting between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un has been cancelled.

“Sadly, based on the tremendous anger and open hostility displayed in your most recent statement, I feel it is inappropriate, at this time, to have this long-planned meeting,” Trump wrote in a letter to Kim, which was released Thursday morning United States time.

White House tweet - A letter from the President to Chairman Kim Jong Un: "It is inappropriate, at this time, to have this long-planned meeting."


North Korea’s gentle response to Trump calling off his summit with Kim Jong Un

North Korea said today (May 25) it is still open to talks with the US at any time and by any means, after Donald Trump called off his much anticipated meeting with Kim Jong Un.

In a plaintive break-up letter yesterday, Trump said it would be “inappropriate” to proceed with the planned June 12 summit in Singapore, given North Korea’s “open hostility.” North Korea had in an earlier statement yesterday called US vice president Mike Pence a “dummy” and threatened the US with a nuclear strike.

But North Korea’s most recent remarks take a much softer stance. In a statement released by KCNA (link in Korean), the North’s state news agency, first vice foreign minister Kim Kye Gwan expressed “great regret” for Trump’s decision, and said the North remains “broad-minded and open all the time” for further discussions with the US.


Trump praises North Korea’s response to him canceling the summit, says peace still possible

President Donald Trump has received an answer to the letter he sent to Kim Jong Un on Thursday canceling the planned summit between the two leaders, and he’s pleased with North Korea’s response.

“Very good news to receive the warm and productive statement from North Korea. We will soon see where it will lead, hopefully to long and enduring prosperity and peace. Only time (& talent) will tell!” Trump tweeted.

Within 12 hours of Trump cancelling the summit with Kim, North Korea issued a statement that seemed to walk back some of the harsh criticism that Trump cited as his cause to exit the summit.


Trump Welcomes ‘Warm’ Statement from North Korea, Hints That Summit May Happen as Scheduled

President Donald Trump praised a “warm and productive” statement from North Korea on Friday and said that the planned June 12 summit with Kim Jong Un may still happen as scheduled.

“We’ll see what happens. It could even be the 12th. We’re talking to them now,” Trump said on Friday morning. “They very much want to do it. We’d like to do it. We’re going to see what happens.”

On Thursday, Trump abruptly canceled the planned summit with Kim Jong Un. The White House cited inflammatory comments made by Kim’s subordinate as the final straw that led to the cancellation.


‘Perplexing’, ‘the right call’, ‘embarrassing’: how the world viewed Donald Trump cancelling his meeting with Kim Jong-un

International leaders and US politicians have called US President Donald Trump’s decision to cancel talks with Kim Jong-un everything from a great move to a predictable disaster.

The announcement by US President Donald Trump that he has called off planned talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on June 12 has been received with, alternately, confusion, horror and admiration both within the US and abroad. Trump said in an open letter on Thursday that the “tremendous anger and hostility” expressed by North Korea in recent days had caused him to scuttle the talks, which were to have taken place in Singapore. He later said in a statement that their cancellation was “a tremendous setback for North Korea and indeed a setback for the world”.

Those sentiments were echoed across the world – though for some the blame didn’t lie solely with Pyongyang.


Singapore regrets cancellation of US – North Korea summit, netizens not so much

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) released a statement expressing Singapore’s regret after United States President Donald Trump called off the planned Jun 12 summit between his country and North Korea.

In response to media queries, the MFA spokesperson’s statement read: “Singapore regrets that the scheduled summit between President of the United States Donald J Trump and Democratic People’s Republic of Korea State Affairs Commission Chairman Kim Jong Un will no longer take place on 12 June 2018”.

“Singapore hopes that the dialogue and efforts to find lasting peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula will continue.”


8 FACTS ABOUT THE CANCELLATION OF US-NK SUMMIT S’POREANS SHOULD KNOW

That was the day that might, might make history. The day two countries that hate each other manage to resolve their differences.

Too bad, it’s all down the drain. Here are 8 facts about the cancellation of the United States and North Korea summit that had the world holding its breath:
  • What’s going down on 12 June 2018?
  • The thing that led to the cancellation of the summit
  • A big mistake to play with Trump, be careful or you’ll end up like Libya
  • NK called US Vice-President Mike Pence “ignorant and stupid”
  • Conclusion: Summit Cancelled
  • North Korea’s Response To The Cancellation Of The Summit
  • Reactions to the cancelled meeting
  • South and North Korea to continue talks with each other


Singaporeans Tell Us How Trump’s Ghosting Has Ruined Them

As it turns out, the summit of the millennium has officially been cancelled resulting in Trump and Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un not being able to discuss terms of nuclear disarmament or their shared penchant for ridiculous hairstyles on our sunny island.

But while The Donald acknowledges his withdrawal is to the “detriment of the world”, I’m pretty sure he’s referring only to the bigger picture at large and doesn’t give a rat’s ass about the man on the street.

Speaking to eleven-year-old Theresa during her school’s half-hour lunch break, I get a better understanding of the impact the cancellation has on our nation’s youth.


Trump-Kim Summit: Back To Business In Singapore As Reality Sinks In

Hotels Release Reserved Rooms And Police Officers Can Apply For Leave Now That Trump-Kim Summit Is Cancelled.

It seemed almost surreal when US President Donald Trump announced the cancellation of the much anticipated Trump-Kim summit on Thursday (May 24) night. The summit was originally slated to be held on 12 June.

But reality is beginning to sink in, as hotels and security forces here in Singapore respond to the surprise cancellation:
  • More rooms available
  • Police officers get to take leave again
  • Laughter at commemorative coins
  • Real disappointment


Cancellation of Trump-Kim summit: Police officers told they can now take leave, hotel rooms released
Marina Bay Sands & Shangri-La Hotel had been seen as the likeliest locations for the summit, although the actual venue was never confirmed. ST FOTO: LIM YAOHUI, KEVIN LIM

Hours after United States President Donald Trump cancelled his planned meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, which was to have been held in S'pore on June 12, police officers have been told that they are now free to apply for leave during the period.

The notice was issued on Friday morning (May 25), The Straits Times understands.

Several hotels which had blocked off or taken back rooms that were already allocated to tour agencies, as they prepared for a jump in visitors for the summit, have also returned the rooms to the travel sector.



The rapidly evolving state of US-North Korea relations, in two photos

Mike Pompeo was back in North Korea this week for the second time, finalizing plans for a June 12 summit between the US and North Korea, which will take place in Singapore. The US secretary of state also worked to ensure the release of three Americans who had been imprisoned in North Korea.


In images released by North Korea’s state media agency KCNA, Pompeo is seen shaking hands with Kim, with a slight smirk on his face. Another image shows more pronounced warmth between the two men, with big smiles.


Given the high stakes of their meeting, one might expect a tenser, less inviting image. The friendly postures above are a marked change from those captured during an earlier meeting between Pompeo, then-CIA director, and Kim in April. Below are Pompeo and Kim posing at last month’s meeting.


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The Associated PressVerified account @AP 7:34 AM - 4 May 2018




BREAKING: President Trump says US troops withdrawal in South Korea `not on the table' in summit with North Korea's Kim Jong Un.


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North Korea has freed 3 U.S. detainees — but don't think it means Kim is caving to Trump
People in Seoul watch a news report about the three Americans detained in North Korea, Kim Dong-chul, left, Tony Kim and Kim Hak-song, right, in this photo from May 3. The trio were due back in the United States today and are said to be in good health. (Ahn Young-joon/Associated Press)

Whether or not the upcoming U.S.-North Korea summit goes smoothly, Donald Trump has already scored an unequivocal win with the release of three Americans detainees.


And according to former diplomats and non-proliferation experts, Pyongyang's concession has put the onus on Washington to continue the positive brinkmanship that the isolated regime can take credit for initiating.


It's likely just as North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un intended, said Mintaro Oba, a former State Department official in the Obama administration who worked on North Korea policy.


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Trump and North Korea talks: The political gamble of the 21st Century

South Korean President Moon Jae-in - dupe or genius?

South Korean leader Moon Jae-in is either a diplomatic genius or a communist set on destroying his country and US President Donald Trump is either a master of brinkmanship or a pawn in a more devious game - depending on who you speak to.


But it is the other actor in this saga, Kim Jong-un, the only one who has yet to make a direct statement, who may just be the most significant player in this most extraordinary of political gambles.


From the moment he extended an apparent olive branch to the South in his new year message to the cordial delegations to Pyeongchang for the Winter Olympics, it became clear that Kim Jong-un had mastered the most sophisticated crafts of propaganda.


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Flurry of Top Diplomacy Precedes U.S.-N.Korea Summit

President Moon Jae-in (right) poses with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (left) and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Tokyo, Japan on Wednesday. / Newsis

A flurry of top international diplomacy is taking place in the run-up to the first U.S.-North Korea summit.


President Moon Jae-in spoke on the telephone with U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday even as U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Pyongyang.


Pompeo met with Kim for about 90 minutes and returned to the U.S. with three American citizens who had been held captive by the North.


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Meeting with Donald Trump will be positive development, says North Korean leader Kim Jong-un


Breaking his silence over the planned meeting with United States President Donald Trump, North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un said that he was looking forward to meeting the US President, which is a positive development. Kim made the remarks after he recently met with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Pyongyang to finalise the details for the summit and also ensuring the smooth release of the three American detainees.


The North’s Korean Central News Agency report said, citing Yonhap News Agency, “He (Kim) said that the coming (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) DPRK-US summit would be a historic meeting for the excellent first step toward promotion of the positive situation development in the Korean peninsula and building of a good future.” “At the meeting, an in-depth discussion was made on the practical matters for holding the DPRK-US summit and its procedure and ways. Kim Jong-un reached a satisfactory consensus on the issues discussed with the US state secretary,” the KCNA report added.


The Rodong Sinmun, the official newspaper of North Korea’s Workers’ Party, published images of the meeting between Kim and Pompeo and on their front page extensively. Earlier on Thursday, Trump and Vice-President Mike Pence received the three former American detainees – Kim Hak-song, Tony Kim and Kim Dong-Chul who returned from North Korea in Maryland Air Force Base.


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From Little Rocket Man to denuclearization: A timeline of US-North Korea relations under Kim Jong Un


February 2012: Three months after officially taking over as Supreme Leader of North Korea from his late father, Kim Jong Un signs an agreement with US President Barack Obama to freeze nuclear and ballistic missile tests.


April 2012: Despite the moratorium, the rule of Kim Jong Un would see a serious push to increase the speed and number of missile tests. Just two months after agreeing to halt launches, Pyongyang attempted to launch a Kwangmyongsong-3 or Bright Star-3 satellite. Kim said that the launch was meant to mark the 100th birthday of his grandfather, North Korean founder Kim Il Sung. Although the launch was a failure, the move was interpreted in the West as a veiled missile test.


January 2012: One month after a renewed, successful launch of a Bright Star-3, Washington pushes for a UN resolution expanding sanctions against Pyongyang, claiming that the rocket used to put the satellite in orbit could also be used to carry a bomb to the US west coast. The UN Security Council adopts the resolution, widening the scope of travel bans against North Korean individuals as well as asset freezes.


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China tries to bring North Korea back into the fold

Kim Jong Un waves to Chinese officials from the airplane before departing the city of Dalian, where he met with China’s president, Xi Jinping, on Tuesday. (Agence France-Presse/KCNA via KNS)

In April of last year, a popular post on WeChat, the Chinese social media site, compared North Korea to a “rabid dog” and implied that someone (perhaps China) should put it down. A little more than a year later, Beijing is angling to do something even more ambitious: bring North Korea to heel, strengthening China’s aim to resume its role as a great power in Asia.


Concluding his second summit in 40 days with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, China’s Communist Party boss, Xi Jinping, on Tuesday gave his blessing to Kim’s newfound passion: economic development. In addition, the pair, according to the official state-run Xinhua News Agency, agreed that any North Korean move to dismantle its nuclear and missile program would be carried out by “phased and synchronous measures” that would “eventually achieve denuclearization and lasting peace on the peninsula.”


Translation: China will support North Korea’s go-slow approach to denuclearization and give it security guarantees as well.

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We are here to serve tea and coffee


Lee Hsien Loong 10 June at 21:42

#FBLIVE: PM Lee meeting with US President Donald J. Trump at the Istana today. This is Mr Trump’s first visit to Singapore as the President. He is here for the DPRK-US Singapore Summit due to take place tomorrow. 


(PMO Video)

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