Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un’s summit. A win for the US president would involve the North Korean leader agreeing to shut down his nuclear weapons programme

Ilinca Tanase
By Ilinca Tanase iunie 12, 2018 00:40

Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un’s summit. A win for the US president would involve the North Korean leader agreeing to shut down his nuclear weapons programme

With Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un’s summit just hours away, the details of their first face-to-face talks. The leaders of the United States and North Korea have arrived in Singapore, where they are scheduled to meet on Tuesday at 9am local time (2am BST). (Sky News)

They will stage their summit at the five-star Capella Hotel on the resort island of Sentosa, which is fully booked on 11 and 12 June.

They are expected to enter their meeting room at the same time but through different doors – an important requirement because it avoids the appearance that one leader has arrived first and is waiting for the other.

Meanwhile, the 3,000 journalists expected to cover the summit are working from the F1 Pit Building in downtown Singapore.

North Korean security personnel run next to a motorcade believed to be carrying North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore June 10, 2018, ahead of the summit between the North Korean leader and U.S. President Donald Trump.

A special zone has been declared for all of Sentosa and more than half a mile off its southwestern shore. People and vehicles entering the area will be subject to bag and body searches and may be asked to show identification details.

Drones, flags, banners, signal flares and flammable materials are banned.

Singaporean newspaper The Straits Times reported that the government had given four vehicles exemptions from traffic rules, including speed restrictions, seatbelt rules and use of lights. The vehicles were all black 7-series BMWs.

The politics – what does Donald Trump want?

A win for the US president would involve the North Korean leader agreeing to shut down his nuclear weapons programme. A headline-grabbing made-for-TV moment on the world stage would also be welcomed by the former reality TV star.

There are concerns that he may leave out human rights issues (North Koreans live under one of the world’s most oppressive regimes) and regional security concerns (such as what is best for South Korea and Japan) but he has said more than one meeting may be needed to achieve what he wants.

What does Kim want?

Kim will not be keen to talk about human rights abuses – he is believed to see this as advocating regime change. But he won’t be able to avoid it entirely – he has been on a US treasury department blacklist for human rights abuses for two years and is likely to want to change this.

Sky News’ Asia correspondent Tom Cheshire says Kim has already made clear what he wants from the negotiations – economic development.

„Kim’s nuclear arsenal might appear to give him a position of strength but the reality is more precarious,” Cheshire says. „He must deliver economic growth to preserve his rule. But opening up will also bring its own pressures on the regime.

„And, either way, there’s still the chance that Singapore won’t even give him the opportunity to do so.”

How do the two leaders measure up?

They are opposites in many ways but there are some similarities. Mr Trump was the oldest US president in the country’s history when he took the role and celebrates his 72nd birthday two days after the meeting.

Kim, on the other hand, is only in his mid-30s and has already been in power for more than six years.

While Mr Trump is known to have a short attention span for briefings, Kim is reportedly well prepared for such meetings.

But both know what it is to rely on close family – for Kim it is his sister, Kim Yo Jong, and for Mr Trump it is two of his children in particular – Donald Jr and Ivanka.

The two leaders are both known for incendiary comments but Mr Kim has shown a recent leaning towards diplomacy, meeting this year with leaders from China, South Korea and officials from the US.

Who is paying for the summit?

This summit is at an exclusive venue in one of Asia’s priciest destinations and, judging by past form, North Korea will pay as little as possible.

The Washington Post has quoted two anonymous US officials as saying the Trump administration was „seeking a discreet way” to help pay Kim’s hotel bill, but this was denied by US state department spokeswoman Heather Nauert.

Mr Trump is believed to be staying at the Shangri-la hotel, while Kim has checked into the St Regis Singapore. Both hotels are five-star resorts.

As is tradition, host country Singapore will pick up the cost of security and logistics.

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