Published: Tue, June 12, 2018
Markets | By Noel Gibbs

Ditching entourages, Trump and Kim Jong Un to meet 1 on 1

Ditching entourages, Trump and Kim Jong Un to meet 1 on 1

The official wasn't authorised to discuss the plans and insisted on anonymity.

"North Korea has previously confirmed to us its willingness to denuclearize, and we are eager to see if those words prove honest", Pompeo said.

9 p.m. ET Trump expected to participate in a greeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

When Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong visited the global media center for the summit at F1 Pit Building on Sunday, he said it will cost the city state "around 20 million Singaporean dollars" (W16.1 billion, US$1=W1,078) to host the "historic summit". "Well, I think that very quickly I'll know whether or not something good is going to happen", Trump added.

The air of uncertainty was confirmed by Trump himself. He told reporters at a news conference on Monday, "We are hopeful the summit will have set the conditions for future productive talks".

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Given Trump is resentful about coughing up millions of dollars to station large numbers of U.S. troops overseas for the benefit of other countries - a somewhat distorted view - it's possible that he may be willing to accept a reduced United States military presence in the region. Before the announcement, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo seemed to hint that the outcome of the talks might not be what Trump has promised in the past.

The US was prepared to offer certainty to North Korea so they could be "comfortable that denuclearisation isn't something that ends badly for them".

Unlike Iraq, whose military was demoralized and degraded by the Persian Gulf War in 1991 and by a sanctions regime over the next decade, North Korea is a nuclear-weapons state with ballistic missiles that have the capability to level Seoul quickly and target US bases in the region. Trump has dropped his "maximum pressure" rhetoric while also assuring Kim he will not be ousted after he has given up his atomic weapons and expressing a willingness to eventually remove sanctions; trade with China has picked up again; and Kim has gained some legitimacy that he can use for his internal messaging.

Meanwhile, a Hong Kong newspaper reported that the Boeing 747-4J6 plane chartered by the North Korean leader has been used by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang for his overseas trips. That talk is scheduled to go for 45 minutes before they are joined by advisers for "an expanded bilateral meeting". After the meeting, this could make it hard to verify what's said and whether any promises were made.

It was Kim's only foray on Monday outside of the St. Regis hotel, where he's been staying since his arrival a day earlier.

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Singapore's reputation for rigid law and order was seen as a major factor for being chosen to host Tuesday's summit.

A man in Seoul, South Korea, watches news footage of a North Korean missile launch in May 2016.

Rodman emerged from the baggage claim area at Changi Airport around midnight Monday.

White House officials have said Rodman will play no official role in the diplomatic negotiations.

Tuesday's summit in Singapore is unlikely to be a "momentous event", Kirk Wagar tells CNBC.

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