Global spotlight turns to Singapore as Trump, Kim arrive for historic summit

This picture taken on December 21, 2017 and released from North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency shows North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un the 5th Conference of Cell Chairpersons of the Workers' Party of Korea in Pyongyang. I'll be on a mission of peace, and we will carry in, really - in my heart, we're going to be carrying the hearts of millions of people, people from all over the world.

The fighting ended on July 27, 1953, but the war technically continues today because instead of a difficult-to-negotiate peace treaty, military officers for the USA -led United Nations, North Korea and China signed an armistice that halted the fighting.

Kim arrived at Singapore's commercial airport on an Air China Boeing 747 just more than five hours earlier.

Trump was quiet after touching down in Singapore on Sunday night but was back online first thing Monday morning, engaging Trudeau again in a war of words.

Two South Korean media staff have been deported after being arrested for illegally entering the North Korean ambassador's residence in Singapore, police said on June 10.

The Trump administration has already said it does not seek "regime change" and has no intention of sending its forces into the country.

Singapore is hosting Tuesday's unprecedented summit between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un over dismantling the North's nuclear weapons program.

Kim would exchange "wide-ranging and profound views" on issues including "building a permanent and durable peace-keeping mechanism on the Korean peninsula" and "realising the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula", it added.

He told Al Jazeera: "A meeting where the optics are positive, meaning Trump gets a handshake with Kim Jong-un and they both go home agreeing to some kind of denuclearisation deal would go a long way domestically for President Trump as much as it would for the chairman of the state committee".

The meeting marks a sharp turnaround in the status of Mr Kim from worldwide pariah to global player.

Experts believe that Kim Jong Un will never abandon his nuclear programmes.

The official said Trump and Kim would hold a one-on-one meeting on Tuesday that could last up to two hours.

Mr Kim was driven to the city centre on Sunday in a stretch Mercedes-Benz limousine accompanied by a convoy of more than 20 vehicles.

Mr Trump's first year in office was marked by bitter exchanges with Mr Kim as North Korea conducted several ballistic missile tests in defiance of global warnings.

Kim held summits with Chinese President Xi Jinping in March and May ahead of the meeting with Trump. But the president has significantly softened the USA negotiating stance in the immediate run-up to the summit, accepting the prospect of an open-ended negotiations involving multiple future summits.

  • Joey Payne