Singapore pays for Kim Jong Un's hotel during Trump summit

Donald Trump Kim Jong-un arrive in Singapore for historic summit

It will be Trump's second unexpected early departure from a summit in just a few days.

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

North Korean leaders, who have been subject to some of the world's toughest ever sanctions, have long wanted to meet with the US president, in part because of the global legitimacy such a summit would provide.

He explained that he gave the North Korean official Trump's book, "Art of the Deal", while he was in North Korea.

On the summit's eve, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo drew a firm line, saying the USA plans to keep sanctions in place until North Korea eliminates its nuclear weapons capability.

The White House says Trump will leave Singapore Tuesday, because the talks have "moved more quickly than expected".

Singapore's Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan, who met Mr Trump and Mr Kim separately on Sunday evening, told the BBC that both leaders were feeling "supremely confident" ahead of their meeting.

Their first meeting will be just the two men, with their translators, without any advisers present.

Pompeo appeared to address that sort of North Korean concern on Monday, saying "President Trump recognizes Chairman Kim's desire for security and is prepared to ensure a North Korea free of weapons of mass destruction is also a secure North Korea". Trump had previously said the talks might extend beyond the first day.

Trump, asked last week if Rodman had been invited to Singapore, said, "No, he wasn't". Their meeting "will set the framework for the hard work that will follow", said Pompeo, as quoted by the Wall Street Journal. And in recent years, North Korean officials have repeatedly stated that the regime will seriously consider denuclearisation provided the U.S. makes security guarantees and lifts trade restrictions. They are being housed at the Formula One pit building in the city centre, while Trump stays in the Shangri-La and Kim at the St. Regis. That's why direct talks with North Korea never happened, he said.

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But Pompeo has refused to answer reporters' questions about whether the two governments had reached agreement on how to define denuclearization, and how it might play out.

Earlier in May, North Korea, too, had threatened to cancel the meeting in protest against the joint military exercise the United States had conducted with South Korea. Tuesday's meeting could pave the way toward a "new era of prosperity, security and peace", Trump said. He added he would know within minutes whether Kim was serious about negotiating away his nuclear weapons and has threatened to politely walk out if Kim doesn't meet his expectations. Unlike the administration's deliberations on the Syrian chemical weapons attack, President Trump is giving his national security advisers far more time and a wider degree of flexibility.

The president has said that he would be willing to guarantee the safety of Kim's regime - though it's not clear how he would back that up.

Meanwhile, a Hong Kong newspaper reported that the Boeing 747-4J6 plane chartered by the North Korean leader has been used by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang for his overseas trips.

It's not clear what the U.S. side has been able to extract from the North Koreans in terms of their willingness to get rid of their nuclear weapons or allow inspectors into the country to catalogue the scale of their program.

Historically, Pyongyang has wanted the United States to remove its "nuclear umbrella" protecting South Korea and Japan.

North Korea is an entirely different situation than Iraq was in 2003. That would avoid the prospect of Kim winning sanctions relief for gradual progress while remaining a nuclear power.

One of Kim's chief objectives is to sign a peace treaty to finally end the 1950-53 war with the U.S., which has been frozen under an armistice for more than six decades.

"I'm very optimistic that we will have a successful outcome from our meetings tomorrow", he said. President Trump has described it as a "get-to-know-you situation" and said "it's going to be a process".

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