Trump to depart from Singapore one day early

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo

It wasn't immediately clear what specific progress, if any, had been made in preliminary discussions between USA and North Korean officials in the run-up to the Tuesday summit.

For the USA president, expectations have fallen from the sky-high standards of early May, when Trump seemed to believe, for at least a fleeting moment, that North Korea would be coming to Singapore to turn the keys over to its nuclear program. The Koreans, in the North and in the South, understand that, and the inter-Korean 'Panmunjom Declaration" of 27 April focusses not on denuclearisation (although that is one of the stated goals) but on the two Koreas" "firm commitment to bring a swift end to the Cold War relic of longstanding division and confrontation", transforming the "unnatural state of armistice' into a "robust peace regime'.

In the run-up to the talks, Trump had hopefully predicted the two men might strike a nuclear deal or forge a formal end to the Korean War in the course of a single meeting or over several days.

North Korea should be asked to rejoin the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty which it left in 1994, and should be obliged to join the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, even though the United States is not itself a member, he said.

Before signing what Trump described as a "comprehensive" document, Kim said the two leaders had a historic meeting "and made a decision to leave the past behind". While aboard Air Force One, the president also tweeted out a plug for South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster ahead of the state's Tuesday primary.

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi said the country welcomes any attempt to restore peace and stability to the Korean Peninsula but at the same time is not optimistic that US President Donald Trump would remain committed to his pledges.

As Kim departed for Singapore, North Korea's state-run Korean Central News Agency noted that the objective of the summit would be to share "wide-ranging and profound views on the issue of establishing new DPRK-U.S. relations", with "denuclearization" receiving a perfunctory mention.

Kim Jong Un has arrived in Singapore - and, if he is following his usual habit, so has his personal toilet.

Although the schedule for the summit meeting in Singapore remains flexible, two meetings between the leaders are planned.

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Other foreign policy analysts said the failure of the G7 summit suggests Trump may not be able to strike a deal beneficial to the United States with anyone. The White House said that first meeting will be followed by an expanded meeting with their advisers as well as a working lunch.

For the USA president, the reality show-like pageantry of the Singapore summit is the chief concern.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said earlier in the day that U.S. and North Korean officials held "substantive" talks.

His abrupt change of schedule will see him leave Singapore about 8pm on Tuesday (local time) after a full day of meetings with Kim, nearly 15 hours earlier than previously anticipated. "We are prepared to take what will be security assurances that are different, unique, than America's been willing to provide previously".

Less than a year ago, Trump was threatening "fire and fury" against Kim, who in turn scorned the American president as a "mentally deranged US dotard".

The North has faced crippling diplomatic and economic sanctions, which began years before Trump's "maximum pressure" campaign, as it has advanced development of its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

"The idea is to force North Korea to do a quick and complete denuclearisation and not to drag it out, which will make the United States look like a fool", Zhang said "The problem here is: will Kim accept this?"

Trump and Kim will be making history here on Tuesday morning when they shake hands for the first time.

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