White House says Trump plans early summit departure

Elias Hubbard
June 12, 2018

President Trump predicted early Tuesday that he and Kim Jong Un would have "a tremendous relationship" as the commander in chief and North Korean dictator shook hands and began their historic summit in Singapore.

As for where Kim will spend the night, he's opted for the St. Regis Singapore, where it is believed he has checked into the hotel's $11,500-a-night Presidential Suite. Trump arrived later in the day from a fraught G7 meeting with world leaders in Canada.

Both leaders first emerged at 9:03 a.m. local time, walking along a bright red carpet from separate sides of a staging location at the Capella Hotel resort on Sentosa Island to shake hands with a backdrop of USA and North Korean flags.

Mr. Trump and Mr. Kim are both looking for political victories that will help them at home.

The North Korean motorcade, believed to be carrying North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, travels along Singapore's Orchard Road, June 10, 2018, ahead of the summit with United States leader Donald Trump. It also has two presidential suites, so Trump and Kim won't have to duke it out over who gets the big room.

Trump is set to meet with Lee on Monday.

The size appeared created to match the number of North Korean "journalists" present, according to a press pool, and led to tension between USA media and White House officials on the ground in Singapore.

For both men, the high-stakes encounter is the most consequential meeting of their lives, addressing the future of North Korean's nuclear arsenal and a peace agreement to end the precarious and tense 65 year limbo that has endured since the Korean War.

North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un shakes hands with US President Donald Trump at the start of their historic US-North Korea summit at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa island in Singapore
White House says Trump plans early summit departure

A man watches a television news screen showing US President Donald Trump, left, and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, at a railway station in Seoul on May 25, 2018. I asked him, I said I have something to say from North Korea, and he brushed me off.

USA partners in the region, particularly South Korea and Japan, are concerned that Trump's eagerness to struck a diplomatic win might lead to him to give away too much too early, perhaps undermining United States security guarantees to its allies as a way of resassuring Kim of the safety of his regime.

Kim told Trump that there were "many obstacles" ahead of the meeting, "but we overcame all".

North Korea granted such access as part of a Clinton-era diplomatic deal and agreed to freeze its nuclear material production. China and South Korea would have to sign off on any legal treaty.

Kim is due to leave on Tuesday afternoon, a source involved in the planning of his visit has said.

Participants in a mass rally gather in Kim Il-Sung Square in Pyongyang on September 23, 2017.

At one point, reporters overheard a translator, apparently interpreting Kim's words, as saying that "many people in the world will think of this as a. form of fantasy. from a science fiction movie". But North Korea kicked out the inspectors after the Bush administration accused it of cheating.

Another possibility from the summit is a deal to end the Korean War, which North Korea has long demanded, presumably, in part, to get USA troops off the Korean Peninsula and, eventually, pave the way for a North Korean-led unified Korea. Add North Korea as an interest to stay up to date on the latest North Korea news, video, and analysis from ABC News.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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