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.
Singapore has spent $S20 million hosting the summit, half of that on security costs, with Lee saying it was "in our profound interest" to contribute to such an worldwide endeavour.
The meeting was briefly canceled by Trump.
On the other hand, American and South Korean officials have described Kim as well versed on the issues and very clear on what he wants to achieve: a relaxation of punishing economic sanctions in return for real or maybe just vaguely promised denuclearization.
The U.S. president also dangled the prospect of inviting Kim to Washington if the meeting is a success. "I just think it's going to work out very nicely", said Trump at a working lunch with the prime minister of Singapore, where the meeting is being held.
Kim was the first to arrive in Singapore, landing at Changi airport on a commercial Air China plane, after intense speculation with the public tracking three separate aircraft leaving Pyongyang, the North Korean capital.
Kim's summit with Trump has captured intense global attention after a turn to diplomacy in recent months after serious fears of war a year ago amid North Korean nuclear and missile tests.
The top U.S. and North Korean negotiators had earlier emerged from a last-ditch meeting at the Ritz Carlton with pursed lips, and no sign of whether an attempt to narrow the gap between USA and North Korean expectations of what denuclearisation should look like, had worked.
Curious onlookers wait for the departure of Donald Trump's motorcade from Singapore's presidential palace.
Earlier this month, Singapore's defense minister said the US trade threats were as disruptive to the global order as China's military deployments in the disputed South China Sea.
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"It's never been done before", Trump said of a U.S.
Even if Kim offers only "a fine-sounding rhetorical commitment, and maybe a few missile surrendered or some site closures", he said, Trump will "market this thing as something extraordinary for his voters back home".
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said that the President, Secretary of State, White House Chief of Staff, and National Security Adviser have arrived in Singapore for the June 12 summit.
Trump continued to tweet angrily at Trudeau from Singapore, saying Monday "Fair Trade is now to be called Fool Trade if it is not Reciprocal".
Two days after arguing with western allies at the G-7 summit over trade, President Trump is prepared to declare victory in talks with nuclear-armed North Korea - regardless of what happens.
President says he will meet with North Korea in Singapore.
Trump and other top US officials have promised a "bright future" for the North if it quickly relinquishes its nuclear weapons - including economic inducements and a security agreement.
Pyongyang has said it is willing to deal away its entire nuclear arsenal if the United States provides it with reliable security assurances and other benefits. But there are major doubts, given how hard it has been for Kim to build his program and given that the weapons are seen as the major guarantee to his holding onto unchecked power. Last week, Trump expressed his hope for the normalization of relations with Pyongyang following the summit and did not rule out the signing of a peace treaty between the two countries.
North Korea wants a staged approach to dismantling its nuclear weapons program and a security guarantee from the USA in return. China and South Korea would have to sign off on any legal treaty.
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