Dennis Rodman arrives in Singapore ahead of Trump-Kim summit

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

Trump is set to meet with Kim in Singapore on Tuesday morning.

That may be even more important to Trump in the wake of the disastrous G-7 summit.

The Rodong Sinmun, the mouthpiece of the Workers' Party, also featured his departure in a full-color two-page spread, declaring on the front page that he was leaving in a Chinese plane for a "historic summit" with the U.S. president.

The story was reported the front page of the ruling party's newspaper and was the only item on Monday's first news broadcast on Korean Central Television, which for many in the North is the only channel available. Today, we start with a behind the scenes of the summit.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said there is "enormous potential" for the summit, but lowered expectations about immediate denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. Complete, verifiable, irreversible denuclearization, he told reporters, "is the only outcome that the United States will accept".

Reunification, he said, would be impossible because four powers - the US, China, Russia and Japan - do not want to see a unified Korea.

"If they don't denuclearize, that will not be acceptable".

A Trump administration official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the USA side was entering the talks with a sense of optimism and an equal dose of skepticism given North Korea's long history of developing nuclear weapons.

"The North Koreans are definitely playing it up, which suggests that they are planning for [the summit] to be successful", Dennis Wilder, an Asia expert and former National Security Council official, told the Financial Times of the North Korean coverage. Trump had previously said the talks might extend beyond the first day. Following the initial greeting, President Trump and Chairman Kim will participate in a one-on-one meeting, with translators only, an expanded bilateral meeting, and a working lunch.


Kelsey Davenport, director for Nonproliferation Policy at the Arms Control Association, said there were signs that the gaps between the two sides were narrowing but there was also risk. It will take place after some tension, when the nations exchanged insults, and Trump famously called Kim "little rocket man".

Trump has said that North Korea must decide to "denuke" or there will be no deal and economic pressure on the regime would only intensify. He credits his administration's "maximum pressure" campaign with getting Kim to the table. Trump left the summit early, and as he flew to Singapore, he tweeted that he was yanking the USA out of the group's traditional closing statement. "They wouldn't do that unless they thought they were going to have a good experience".

The process could turn on what Trump is willing to offer Kim for ending his pursuit of nuclear weapons and submitting to intrusive inspections. Trump and Kim lookalikes held a summit of their own at a local shopping mall, while one bistro is offering a libation known as the Trump-Kim "Bromance:" Beer, tequila, diet Coke and the Korean distilled rice liquor known as soju.

The historic first meeting between a sitting USA 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.

Kim Yong-chol is the most senior North Korean official to travel to the United States in almost 20 years and is considered Kim Jong-un's right-hand man.

Whatever the results, it will be one of the more unusual summits in recent history as a flamboyant, often erratic USA president gets a close-up look at a hereditary socialist despot who sits on a nuclear weapons programme.

This picture taken on June 8, 2018 shows Choi Ho-chul, a 73-year-old South Korean former bank employee - who is critical about the Trump-Kim summit, during a street interview with AFP in Seoul. Suryeong is a Korean term meaning "supreme leader".

Trump landed at Paya Lebar Airbase on board Air Force One after cutting short his time at the G7 summit in Canada.

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