Saturday, 21 July, 2018

Dennis Rodman Came to the Trump-Kim Summit for More 'Basketball Diplomacy'

U.S. President Donald Trump flanked by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and White House Chief of Staff John Kelly attend a lunch with Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and officials at the Istana in Singapore Dennis Rodman Came to the Trump-Kim Summit for More 'Basketball Diplomacy'
Russell Knight | 12 June, 2018, 02:06

The historic first meeting between a sitting US president and and North Korea's leader will take place Tuesday at 9 a.m. when Trump and Kin will meet alone with only translators in the room.

On the day before the meeting, weeks of preparation appeared to pick up the pace, with US and North Korean officials meeting throughout Monday at a Singapore hotel.

The official wasn't authorised to discuss the plans and insisted on anonymity.

"Any agreement must instead lead to the dismantling of every aspect of north Korea's nuclear missile program, including the country's sizable fissile material stockpile", she said in a Monday statement, also urging Trump to opt against allowing to Kim to secure commitments about reducing the size of the USA military footprint in the region. The North Korean leadership, including Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Choe Son Hui has also taunted Washington, calling Vice President Mike Pence a "political dummy".

From there, the two leaders will head to a one-on-one meeting accompanied only by translators, then to a second bilateral meeting with more participants, and finally to a working lunch. The article also stresses the need for confidentiality - meaning Trump will have to resist tweeting the minutes of the meeting.

Besides, Singapore's prime minister "wished Chairman Kim success for the US-DPRK Summit and expressed hope that the US-DPRK meeting will advance the prospects for peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and the larger region".

Pompeo also said Tuesday's meeting presents a test of Kim's willingness to agree to deal his nuclear weapons away for "protections" from the United States.

He said the United States would be satisfied with nothing less than the complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula - with verification the key part of any deal.

Choe Son-hui is North Korea's Vice-Foreign Minister and was leading talks on behalf of North Korea with the United States in Panmunjom in the lead-up to the summit.

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Pompeo, addressing reporters ahead of the summit, said the US was prepared to take action to provide North Korea with "sufficient certainty" that denuclearization "is not something that ends badly for them".

Trump met with Lee on Monday, a day after Kim visited the prime minister hours after his arrival.

He greeted Kim Yong Chol during his visit to the White House last month and was one of four Americans in the meeting. I think that very quickly I'll know whether or not something good is going to happen.

They came with scores of aides, bodyguards and diplomats in tow: Donald Trump from Washington, Kim Jong Un from Pyongyang.

Pompeo, who shifted to his current role in the spring after serving as Trump's Central Intelligence Agency director, spent Monday morning preparing with his top advisers, aides said. The US wants North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons, but North Korea is widely expected to resist that and it is unclear what it might ask for in return.

President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un have sparked fears of a mushroom cloud conflict between two nuclear-armed countries.

The White House said it does not believe there is any cause for concern about getting an accurate description of the two men's words. It's where former Chinese President Hu Jin Tao stayed during the 2009 APEC Summit (and don't tell Trump, but Hillary Clinton stayed there in 2011, too). Kim's move was an encouraging sign, to be sure, but it was not an agreement on "denuclearization".

The North has faced diplomatic and economic sanctions as it has advanced development of its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

His New Year speech - the one that kick-started this diplomatic process - was all about North Korea's strategy of building the economy having achieved the goal of becoming a nuclear power.

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