"If you just look at it as, 'Give up your stuff, ' that framework is why we've been banging our head against the wall for so long", said John Delury, a North Korea scholar at Yonsei University in Seoul. "It's incredible when I said those things, when I said those damn things, when I went back home, I got so many death threats", Rodman said.
When the USA president meets with leaders of countries with dimmer views of free speech, the American role is typically to push for more access. Kim said, "It has not been easy to get here" and that "the old prejudices and practices worked as obstacles, but we have overcome them and we are here today".
Rodman said he was "naive when I went over there".
North Korea, however, has shown little appetite for surrendering nuclear weapons it considers vital to the survival of Kim's dynastic rule.
Officials remain uncertain what will come out of Tuesday's unprecedented summit, the first of its kind between a sitting USA president and the leader of North Korea.
Trump yesterday met Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong (李顯龍), was feted at lunch with an early birthday cake (his birthday is Thursday), and then went back to his hotel, the Shangri-La. "But I really believe that we have the potential to do something incredible for the world".
"I think that very quickly I'll know that something good is going to happen", Trump said in Canada where we met leaders of other G7 economies.
While there has been a wave of bipartisan voices looking to support the president's efforts to avert war in the Korean peninsula, there have also been concerns in foreign policy circles that the meeting will elevate Kim's status as a brutal dictator overseeing a regime complicit in horrendous human-rights abuses. One dispatch by the Korean Central News Agency said North Korea and the United States would exchange "wide-ranging and profound views" on establishing new relations, building a "permanent and durable peace-keeping mechanism", achieving denuclearization and "other issues of mutual concern, as required by the changed era".
Singapore is reportedly footing the bill for the summit-which will run close to $20 million-and will pay for North Korea's travel expenses.
But it's Kim's pursuit of nuclear weapons that gives his meeting with Trump such high stakes.
The thaw, however temporary, is a far cry from a year ago, when Trump threatened North Korea with "fire and fury" and mocked Kim as "Little Rocket Man", and Kim slammed Trump as the "mentally deranged USA dotard".
The White House later said discussions with the North had moved "more quickly than expected" and that Trump would leave Singapore on Tuesday night after the summit, 15 hours earlier than planned.
Later in the day, advisers will enter the room for a larger bilateral session and a working lunch.
It's so far unclear whether the USA and North Korea will release some kind of joint statement or agreement following the sit-down.
Pompeo added the U.S.is "hopeful" the summit will "set the conditions for future productive talks".
The meeting is set to take place Tuesday morning (Monday evening Washington time), when the leaders will talk one-on-one.
Many experts on North Korea remain sceptical Kim will ever completely abandon nuclear weapons, believing his engagement aims to get the United States to ease crippling sanctions. Please refresh for details.
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