Trump, Kim to meet at mother of all summits in Singapore (Roundup)

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Singapore, June 11 (IANS) US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un will meet in Singapore on Tuesday morning for a historic summit – billed as the mother of all summits – to solve arguably the worlds most seething nuclear crisis.

The summit, which was almost scrapped by a mercurial Trump last month, comes after a flurry of diplomatic activities and barrage of invective and insults traded between the US President and an equally aggressive Kim.

It is anybody’s guess whether Trump will be able to convince Kim to give up his nuclear arsenal, which the leader of the isolated country has built to nuke the US from who it fears an invasion.

Both leaders are in Singapore, flocked by thousands of journalists from the world.

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This will be the first time a US President will meet any Pyongyang leader.

The US says its discussions with North Korea were moving “more quickly than expected” ahead of the summit in Singapore.

The preliminary talks between officials were taking place ahead of the highly anticipated first meeting, the BBC reported.

The White House confirmed that Trump and Kim will hold a one-on-one meeting at 9 a.m. (local time), with only translators present.

The summit is set to kick off with a handshake between them. Trump will leave Singapore that same evening.

Earlier, North Korean state media talked about a “new relationship” with the US.

And the US has said it will offer North Korea a “unique” security assurances in return for denuclearization, according to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

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He insisted that the US would accept nothing less than complete denuclearization.

Some experts have described the upcoming meeting as “symbolic”. The North has vowed to completely denuclearize the Korean peninsula and already razed its nuclear site.

While the US seeks to exact complete denuclearization from North Korea, Kim fears giving up all nukes may invite invasion by the US.

Both North Korea and the US are decades old arch-enemies. It all began in 1950 when the North invaded the South Korea, an event which was followed by three-year war.

While China stood by the North, Seoul was backed by the US, which since then has its forces deployed in the South.

In 2017, Pyongyang fired off ballistic missiles and conducted the most powerful nuclear test till date, infuriating the US.

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Its sole ally China was left embarrassed as it is seen as North’s “big brother”. Ties between the two nose-dived after Beijing gave a go-ahead to the crippling UN sanctions on Pyongyang.

China will closely watch the summit as it cannot afford to be sitting on the fence.

This year, Kim met Chinese President Xi Jinping in a sign of revival of ties.

–IANS

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