Tea for Two: What May Come of Trump-Kim Summit in Singapore?

Kim Jong

Image Kim Jong Un was surrounded by heavy security as he strolled through Singapore on Monday night

Reclusive North Korean leader Kim Jong Un went on an evening tour of Singapore on Monday, posing with city-state officials at a tropical garden before visiting an infinity pool atop a landmark waterfront hotel, to the surprise of guests.

Kim, who arrived in the city earlier on Sunday to participate in the much-anticipated meeting with US President Donald Trump, was accompanied by an army of his running bodyguards.

Police officers escorting the motorcade of North Korea leader Kim Jong Un park after he arrives at the Istana, or Presidential Palace, in Singapore on Sunday, June 10, 2018, to meet Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

Singapore's Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, and Singapore's Education Minister Ong Ye Kung pose for a photo in Singapore, June 11, 2018, in this photo obtained from social media.

The historic summit between President Trump and Kim Jong-un is the first between sitting USA and North Korean leaders.

Kim Yo Jong also enjoyed a walkabout in Singapore
Image Kim Yo Jong also enjoyed a walkabout in Singapore

In a statement Monday, British Prime Minister Theresa May said: "I want to pay a particular tribute to Prime Minister Trudeau for his leadership and skillful chairing". After greeting each other, the two leaders planned to sit for a one on one meeting that a US official said could last up to two hours, with only translators joining them.

Trump, a former real-estate developer, has approached his meeting with Kim like a business negotiation - with flattery, flashy promises and flexible terms juxtaposed with constant threats to walk away from the table.

The US delegation joining Trump at the expanded bilateral meeting will include Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, White House chief of staff John Kelly and national security adviser John Bolton.

The Trump administration is pushing for Pyongyang to dismantle its nuclear weapons program, an action South Korea has said Kim is willing to take.

Analysts say Kim will check off one of his goals simply by sharing the summit stage with Trump. "I think we can presume that North Korea made more demands to Singapore than the United States did in terms of security".

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In a sign of lingering tensions, the North Koreans have been closely scrutinizing all American staffers who are slated to be in any U.S. He has also said that North Korea would benefit economically after sanctions are lifted.

The most common prediction that most publications made was, ironically, the unpredictability of the outcome of the Trump-Kim summit, given how both leaders tend to be mavericks.

With a USA president facing the prospect of his party being trounced in midterm elections and a North Korean leader eager for a coming out party on the global stage, what can Japan expect from Tuesday's historic summit?

The rare public appearance of Kim, waving and smiling to onlookers, adds to the more affable image of the young leader that has emerged since his summit in April with South Korean leader Moon Jae-in. "We now know they have a pretty good track record in these negotiations: a flawless track record of cheating every time".

Trump, who has complained about the cost of those troops, might welcome the opportunity, though a troop withdrawal would also reinforce doubts about America's commitment to the Asia-Pacific region.

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A security guarantee could come in the form a peace treaty to formally end the Korean War.

The North has presented Kim's sudden diplomatic overtures to the country's neighbours and the USA as a logical next step and completion of his plan to develop a credible nuclear deterrent in response to what Pyongyang says is a policy of "nuclear blackmail" by Washington.

The commemorative coin issued ahead of the US-North Korea summit.

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