Chinese leaders keep close eye on Trump-Kim meeting

Kim Jong

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

There's wild speculation about how Kim will perform on the world stage, although one question was answered Sunday: His grim-faced, well-muscled bodyguards marched alongside his armored limousine at one point in Singapore, just as they did when he met the South Korean leader in April.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has landed in Singapore ahead of a summit with US President Donald Trump that could end a nuclear stand-off between the old foes and transform his impoverished country.

"North Korea's increased dialogue with other countries is a positive step, but before the world gets too excited they should remember that Kim Jong Un still presides over perhaps the most repressive system in the world", he said. One dispatch by the Korean Central News Agency said North Korea and the U.S. would exchange "wide-ranging and profound views" on establishing new relations, building a "permanent and durable peace-keeping mechanism", achieving denuclearization and "other issues of mutual concern, as required by the changed era". "But I really feel confident".

That could precede a full treaty which would raise complex issues needing extensive negotiation, and would need to involve China, which backed the North during the conflict and is a signatory to the armistice.

Kim began the year by declaring to the world that "a nuclear button is always on the desk of my office", which was widely interpreted as an allusion to his personal control over North Korea's nuclear arsenal.

"I am on a mission of peace and we're going to be carrying the hearts of millions of people from all", he said.

Trump is staying in the Shangri-La Hotel, while Kim is a little way down the road in the St. Regis.

During his preparation period, Trump continued on Monday to publicly brawl on Twitter with USA allies over trade.

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

Kim's full delegation has not yet been confirmed, but other prominent North Korean officials seen in photos included foreign minister Ri Yong Ho and Kim Chang Son - the man who has been in Singapore in recent weeks negotiating logistical details for the summit. North Korea has spent decades building up a nuclear arsenal at great cost. He told reporters in Quebec on Saturday that he'd know "in the first minute" whether he could get to a deal with Kim, repeating that he wouldn't waste his time - but suggested that the time he's invested in this initial engagement wasn't such a big deal.

He added that the South would have to provide the North with economic aid as the two were ultimately one people.

In a post on Twitter during his flight, Trump reiterated his optimism that the summit with the North Korean leader will be a success.

"The South can not simply afford to take care of the North economically", she said. "But cross-border exchanges and travels would be desirable".

Similar scenes were seen on Sunday when Kim and Trump arrived in the city, and when Kim went to meet Lee.

Other young South Koreans said they were too preoccupied with their search for work to pay attention to diplomacy.

Pompeo also expressed confidence of a "successful outcome" but said that the summit would also lead to a lot more to be done in the path ahead, providing a "framework for the hard work that will follow".

"Because of difficulties finding a job these days, I have lost much interest in those things".

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