Korean officials hold marathon talks ahead of summit

On the eve of a historic summit between President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un Pompeo sounded an upbeat tone saying that preparatory talks were advancing more quickly than expected

Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Monday surprised Donald Trump with a big birthday cake, ahead of the US President's historic summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un here tomorrow. Rather, the North Koreans prefer a phased, synchronised and comprehensive solution that would fold denuclearisation into a much larger package of diplomatic and economic normalisation.

State-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) described the talks as "wide-ranging and profound", adding that the two leaders would focus on establishing new DPRK-US relations, "durable peace-keeping" and denuclearization, among other things. An identical report ran on the front page of state-run newspaper Rodong Sinmun, accompanying an editorial that discussed establishing "fair" worldwide relations.

North Korean media staff sampled Chinese dimsum, pastries and fried eggs and took souvenir photographs of each other in the grand dining hall.

Trump also called the leaders of South Korea and Japan in advance of the summit, Pompeo said. The US may also look for North Korea to declare the existence and location of all the elements of its nuclear program.

While advisers say Trump has been reviewing briefing materials, the president insists his gut instincts will matter most when he gets in the room with Kim.

"We will crush the United States attempts for a nuclear war", read one seen during a visit to the shop a year ago.

"There are many issues to discuss, from denuclearization to global assistance for North Korea", Darrell West, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, said. And the abrupt change in schedule came shortly after U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had seemed to lower expectations for the meeting, which Trump had earlier predicted could potentially yield an on-the-spot end to the Korean War.

For North Korea the greatest threat to its existence is a hostile United States.

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The outlet also listed the individuals accompanying Kim to Singapore, including Kim Yong-chol, the USA -designated terrorist whom Kim sent to the White House two weeks ago, and Kim Yo-jong, Kim Jong-un's sister, who made headlines attending the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea.

Of those two buckets, trade and North Korea, there is no doubt North Korea is a more complex problem -- touching on non-proliferation, the balance of power in East Asia and America's treaty alliances.

"It's become a political tool to justify the permanent emergency state".

But Pyongyang is demanding as yet unspecified security guarantees and the end of what it calls a "hostile policy" towards it, and has not made clear what concessions it is offering over the nuclear arsenal it calls its "treasured sword" to defend against a U.S. invasion.

One reason the nuclear issue remains unresolved is that USA policy since the 1990s has tended to separate the North Korean nuclear issue from the Korean War confrontation system that gave rise to it.

About 5,000 journalists are in Singapore for the occasion, but only a handful of American and North Korean reporters and photographers will be permitted at the venue when the two leaders greet each other.

"What grudge is there between Korea and the US?" "But we have enough intelligence to know that what they have is very substantial".

Despite this anger, Yun, like most of her countrymen, was friendly and welcoming. If that's the approach Trump is instinctively drawn to, United States officials and experts worry Trump could make the concession in his first meeting with Kim.

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