Saturday, 20 October, 2018

Singapore summit: Kim's running bodyguards back in action

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Kenneth Drake | 11 June, 2018, 15:42

The world is crossing its fingers.

North Korea's Kim Jong Un meets Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong Sunday.

Mr Kim's summit with Mr Trump has captured intense global attention after a turn to diplomacy in recent months replaced, for the time being, serious fears of war past year amid North Korean nuclear and missile tests.

The President would be wise not to take the North Koreans lightly, even though he is convinced he has superior dealmaking skills well beyond those of his predecessors that will help him size up Kim in an instant.

Kim is scheduled to begin a summit Tuesday with President Trump.

The U.S. president also dangled the prospect of inviting Kim to Washington if the meeting is a success.

Kim may also be seeing the gamble in a light never considered by his autocratic father and grandfather because of "his determination to modernize North Korea", according to Ryan Haas, an Asia expert at the John L. Thornton China Center.

"I think within the first minute - my touch, my feel, that's what I do", the president said, touting his deal-making experience as a businessman. As a master dealmaker, he'll just know. "They wouldn't do that unless they thought they were going to have a good experience".

But if they don't, we'll know who to blame: not Trump's lack of preparation, but our neighbor to the north.

Ha Yeon Kim, who has interpreted for TIME, says that while she was translating the 2016 US presidential election campaign into Korean for Seoul television station Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation (MBC), she was surprised by the often "very non-presidential" language Trump directed at Republican candidate Jeb Bush and others.

A complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization "is the only outcome that the United States will accept", Pompeo told reporters on Monday evening in Singapore.

Back in North Korea, the running bodyguards always accompany any state vehicle Kim is travelling on and the same was evident during the inter-Korean summit.

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Enlarge this image

Instead of "rocket man", Trump has been calling Kim a "very honorable" man.

Three distinct departures from an otherwise consistently hawkish stance are discernible in U.S. President Donald Trump's announcement last week of the rescheduled meeting with the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un.

Pompeo spoke as top officials from the two countries continued negotiations in Singapore ahead of the meeting between Trump and Kim.

Trump and Kim landed in a city teeming with media and onlookers of all stripes, from foreign policy analysts like Kelly and Enos to former basketball star Dennis Rodman, who claims to be a friend of the two leaders. We all want diplomacy to succeed.

Japan has not been engaging with North Korea itself and is counting on the United States to represent its interests - including Pyongyang's missiles with ranges that can hit Japan and North Korea's abduction of Japanese citizens in the 1970s and 1980s.

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said Sunday that Trump's public show of frustration with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and other allies was part of a larger plan.

What would be a successful or unsuccessful summit depends on who's asked.

Fifth, photo opportunities must be encouraged, not dismissed.

The reports come after months of silence about the summit in North Korea, where official news outlets have revealed little about the impending meeting - even as the rest of the world has buzzed incessantly with anticipation for it. And then they can drag this out.

Suzanne DiMaggio, director and senior fellow at New America, said a statement on denuclearization is the best that can be hoped for at this point.

He has said the talks would be more about starting a relationship with Kim for a negotiating process that would take more than one summit.

"He is going to make a basic assessment.is this guy serious or is, as some people think, this all a ruse and a North Korean deception?"


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