Kim Jong Un impersonator held by Singapore immigration

Feb. 28 2013 North Korean leader Kim Jong Un left and former NBA star Dennis Rodman watch North Korea and the U.S. play an exhibition basketball game in Pyongyang North Korea

Trump was speaking from the G7 summit in Canada ahead of his trip to Singapore for the planned sit-down with the North Korean dictator.

Yet there has been nothing but crickets from the North on the stunning visit to the White House on June 1 by Kim's personal envoy, Kim Yong Chol.

The Southeast Asian financial hub has been bracing for the arrival of Trump and Kim - and thousands of reporters - next week, and has announced flight restrictions and police checkpoints around key meeting spots.

It's a technicality, but yes.

The Japanese-controlled Korean Peninsula was divided in 1945, at the end of World War II, into a Soviet-backed north and a US -backed south.

The diplomatic initiatives leading to the summit started in late April when Kim met South Korean President Moon Jae-in and the leaders of the rival states pledged to end hostility and establish peace on the Korean peninsula.

Trump seems to want to.

Mr Trump already has two big wins to show his domestic audience - he welcomed home three U.S. detainees on their release from North Korea and can show them Pyongyang's destruction of its only nuclear test site. "It's got to be the longest war nearly 70 years, right?" And there is a possibility of something like that.

But it doesn't want to be excluded from the talks, and Ms Sun says China flits between "war anxiety and exclusion anxiety". Trump in recent days has tamped down his threats of continued "maximum pressure" on Kim over his arsenal, and indicated any verifiable denuclearization push could take time.

As he set out for their historic summit in Singapore the USA president said he was going on a "mission of peace" but would not "waste my time" if he thought Kim was insincere. But what will also secure his legacy is the economic development his country desperately needs and Mr Kim has his eye on that prize too. The ensuing recognition as a "normal country" could then allow sanctions relief, and later global aid and investment.

Singapore has a far shorter history - it did not become an independent republic until 1965 - but it is already approaching "the stature of being the "Geneva of the East", according to Lawrence Loh, a professor of governance at the National University of Singapore. But nothing will be fully settled until China, which sent hundreds of thousands of troops into the North to prevent a quick US victory in 1950, and South Korea also sign off.

North Korea objects to the notion that it should give up its program up front and quickly with little concessions from the U.S. side, said Frank Aum, senior expert on North Korea at the U.S. Institute of Peace. "I think I'll also know whether it will happen fast".

"It's a fairly big process".

"I have a clear objective, but I have to say - it's going to be something that will always be spur of the moment".

But it's not completely barren territory for students of North Korean media.

"I personally don't believe in further shutting out North Korea from the rest of the world, and feel cultural exchange and dialogue - even through something as basic as tourism - is extremely important in better understanding each other", he said.

"I was really disappointed to see President Trump just dismissed the idea of talking about human rights", says Kristof.

US defence and intelligence officials have assessed the North to be on the threshold of having the capability to strike anywhere in the continental USA with a nuclear-tipped missile - a capacity that Trump and other USA officials have said they would not tolerate.

To achieve this long-held desire he has dramatically shifted in character from isolated angry strongman to worldwide statesman.



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