Singapore designates zone for Trump-Kim summit

Arturo Kim
June 5, 2018

The White House set a time for President Donald Trump's first meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as planning advances for the two leaders' historic summit in Singapore next week.

Kim Su Gil has risen to prominence in recent months and was reportedly seen accompanying the North Korean leader to the Kalma tourist zone on May 26, according to state news agency KCNA.

Trump aims to persuade the North Korean dictator to give up his country's nuclear arsenal in exchange for relief from US economic sanctions. "They are loyal to Kim Jong-un and no one else", he told Reuters.

As Washington pursues a negotiated end to Pyongyang's nuclear program, US officials believe there was some dissent in the military about Kim's negotiations with South Korea and the United States, a complete reversal of the North's pursuit of nuclear weapons and historic hostility. He said the army could be getting ready to take over crucial infrastructure projects.

Singapore, a small but wealthy Southeast Asian city-state, has said it would bear the cost of the summit to do its part to ensure a successful meeting.

Sanders added, USA diplomats are continuing negotiations with North Korean officials at the DMZ border.

Ryan Gaydos is an editor for Fox News.

"This is where you would send someone you could trust", said Hong Min, head of North Korea research at the state-run Korea Institute for National Unification in Seoul.

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Ri Myong-su, 84, chief of the general staff of the Korean People's Army, has been replaced by Ri Yong-gil, his deputy.

But Kim has also conducted his own parallel outreach - holding two meetings with South Korea's president, Moon Jae-in, and sending envoys to meet with teams from the South on other initiatives such as possible gatherings for families separated by the Korean War more than 60 years ago.

The removal of top North Korean military officials from their positions is inviting speculation about internal instability in the Kim Jong Un regime.

The U.S. delegation to the preparatory talks for the summit have stayed at the hotel.

Another American official, quoted by Reuters, says preparations for the US-North Korea summit have made only "halting progress", citing differences between US negotiators and the Trump administration.

In just eight days' time, the eyes of the world will be on Singapore.

"They are shaping these guys up because there is going to be a lot of foreign interaction", Madden said.

Washington insiders believe there was anger and growing frustration among Kim's top officials over his handling of talks with the US. "They know to sit there and not get too drunk at the parties. they know how to behave themselves".

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