Kim meets with Singapore's prime minister

Former NBA player Dennis Rodman is reportedly heading to Singapore for the summit between President Trump and North Korea leader Kim Jong Un.

US President Donald Trump met Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong for a private meeting at the Istana late Monday morning (11 June).

It was reported last month that South Korean President Moon Jae-in might join in the talks between Kim and Trump if their summit in Singapore proves successful.

Trump flew into Singapore's Paya Lebar Air Base aboard Air Force One looking to strike a deal that will lead to the denuclearization of one of America's bitterest foes, following a divisive meeting in Canada with some of Washington's closest allies that further strained global trade ties. Some 2,500 journalists are reporting on the event, which is costing Singapore government about SGD 20 million.

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Sunday said he was ready to meet his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump as soon as Washington was ready, adding Vienna could be a possible venue for such a summit.

The jet carrying Mr Kim landed at the airport on Sunday afternoon local time amid huge security precautions on the city-state island. Rodman went on Instagram to announce that he will be there to "give whatever support is needed" for Trump and Jong Un.

"One of my worries is that we come out of this Singapore summit with something that looks remarkably like the Six Party Talks or anything that the president has previously criticised but it is hyped as something that's historic and new and groundbreaking", he added.

Trump will also meet with U.S. Embassy personnel later Monday.

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The Korean Central News Agency said issues of mutual concern, related to the "changed era", will be on the agenda at the summit, including bilateral relations, peace and denuclearization.

After a flurry of diplomatic efforts, including a White House meeting between by Kim's right-hand man Kim Yong-chol and Trump, the proposed summit was put back on.

Trump and Kim are staying in separate hotels in the famous Orchard Road area of Singapore, dotted with high-rise luxury apartment blocks, offices and glittering shopping malls.

But questions remain over Kim's willingness to fully abandon his nuclear program, dismantle weapons and allow independent experts in to verify and inspect every site in the country that might be involved.

Mr Kim was driven to the city centre on Sunday in a stretch Mercedes-Benz limousine accompanied by a convoy of more than 20 vehicles.

The North invaded the South in 1950 and the ensuing war pitted US-led United Nations troops backing Seoul against Pyongyang's forces which were aided by China.

Just meeting with Mr Trump will also give Mr Kim a recognition North Korea has long sought, setting him up as a global player and equal to the USA domestically and, internationally, as the leader of a "normal country" worthy of respect. The meeting was initially meant to rid North Korea of its nuclear weapons, but the talks have been portrayed by Trump in recent days more as a get-to-know-you session.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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