Nixon Did It. Why Not Trump? Crib Notes for a Presidential Summit

Trump leaving summit with North Korea early as talks go quicker than planned

Rodman claimed that several officials, including former President Barack Obama, brushed him off and did not take his trips to North Korea seriously: "Obama didn't even give me the time of day", Rodman said.

"I'm very optimistic that we will have a successful outcome from our meetings tomorrow", he said.

Kim is widely believed to be a fan of the 1990s Chicago Bulls.

For both men, the high-stakes encounter is the most consequential meeting of their lives, addressing the future of North Korean's nuclear arsenal and a peace agreement to end the precarious and tense 65 year limbo that has endured since the Korean War.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Sung Kim, the USA ambassador to the Philippines who has taken the lead on policy negotiations with the North, will hold a "working group" with a North Korean delegation.

At the start of the summit, the two leaders who once threatened each other with nuclear annihilation shook hands on a red carpet in front of the island resort hotel chosen for the meeting. It's a reflection of the intense global curiosity over Kim's sudden turn to diplomacy in recent months after a slew of North Korean nuclear and missile tests previous year raised serious fears of war.

Trump will also speak with reporters in Singapore before departing for home.

James Walsh, a senior research associate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with extensive experience in back-channel negotiations with the Pyongyang government said that the focus on personal chemistry rather than technical details represented a win for the North Korea.

Rodman spoke from Singapore, where he had traveled to play his part in the summit between the two nations.

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In the hours before the summit began, Trump expressed optimism about prospects for the first-ever meeting of sitting US and North Korean leaders, while US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo injected a note of caution whether Kim would prove to be honest about his willingness to denuclearise.

Trump entered the Kim summit less than a week after an acrimonious Group of 7 meeting in which he and longtime American allies argued about trade policy. China and South Korea would have to sign off on any legal treaty.

It's unclear what Trump and Kim might decide Tuesday.

At one point, reporters overheard a translator, apparently interpreting Kim's words, as saying that "many people in the world will think of this as a. form of fantasy. from a science fiction movie".

Seoul lives under constant threat of an attack by North Korea, and the country's leadership has been adamantly promoting diplomatic talks in order to avoid a full-blown conflict, especially as Pyongyang appeared closer to developing a nuclear weapon that could fit on an intercontinental ballistic missile.

Another challenge is monitoring North Korea's nuclear scientists.

"Wide-ranging and profound views on the issue of establishing new DPRK-US relations, the issue of building a permanent and durable peace-keeping mechanism on the Korean Peninsula, the issue of realising the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula and other issues of mutual concern, as required by the changed era, will be exchanged at the DPRK-US summit talks", KCNA reported in English.

Trump, who arrived Sunday night, tweeted Monday morning: "Great to be in Singapore, excitement in the air!" For North Korea, who has long sought legitimacy on the worldwide stage, the meeting was a historic opportunity to show that it carries weight.

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