Trump upbeat ahead of N.Korean summit:The Asahi Shimbun

Trump upbeat ahead of N.Korean summit:The Asahi Shimbun

By contrast, Trump appeared to back off a military footing on Tuesday, declaring the USA will stop the "war games", an apparent reference to joint military exercises with South Korea that North Korea has long rebuked as provocative.

Having aides in meetings with adversaries is known as a way of providing the President with protection, as it prevents comments from being misinterpreted.

Trump and Kim are staying in two separate hotels elsewhere in Singapore - Kim at the St. Regis Hotel, and Trump less than half a mile away at the Shangri La Hotel.

Critics of the summit leapt at the leaders' handshake and the moonlight stroll Kim took Monday night along the glittering Singapore waterfront, saying it was further evidence that Trump was helping legitimize Kim on the world stage.

Kim was not believed to have left his hotel since a meeting with Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong soon after his arrival in the city on Sunday, but he ventured out on Monday evening.

That meeting in Geneva was only meant to last for 15 minutes, but it continued for a full hour.

As for Singapore, the White House said Trump was leaving early because negotiations had moved "more quickly than expected" but gave no details.

The agreement quickly broke down when the USA froze assets belonging to Macau-based Banco Delta Asia, which was suspected of laundering millions of dollars for the North Korean regime. With the eyes of the world upon them, here is a breakdown of how the day will unfold.

"Kim Jong Un wants security guarantees", they wrote Monday, "but history has taught time and again liberal democracies shouldn't try to guarantee the survival of a regime that runs political prison camps and commits crimes against humanity".

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Trump declares North Korea nuclear threat over via Twitter
His assessment was ridiculed by Democratic lawmakers and some analysts, who suggested that North Korea remains a serious threat. They walked in from opposite sides of the building and met in front of a row of interspersed American and North Korean flags.

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Trump's early exit will be his second from a summit in just a few days. Before he leaves he'll sit for an interview with his friend, the Fox host Sean Hannity, and convene a media availability for other reporters. The official cautioned, however, that the schedule could always change if meeting goes well and there is more to discuss.

The KCNA news agency said the two leaders will exchange "wide-ranging and profound views" during their meeting at the five-star Capella Hotel on Sentosa Island. Delegates were outlining specific goals for what the leaders should try to accomplish and multiple scenarios for resolving key issues, a senior U.S. official said, adding that the meetings were also an ice breaker of sorts, allowing the teams to get better acquainted after decades of minimal contact between their nations. "We're going to have to see what comes out".

On the way forward, Pompeo said, "I don't know exactly what the timing will be for our next conversation with the North Koreans".

The sides first spoke through intelligence channels, with USA analysts working to determine Kim's true willingness to abandon a nuclear program started by his grandfather and viewed by Pyongyang as a security blanket from outside aggressors.

Offering a preview to reporters, Pompeo said it could provide "an unprecedented opportunity to change the trajectory of our relationship and bring peace and prosperity" to North Korea.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un arrives in Singapore on June 10. The site of the historic talks was a matter of intense speculation before the US President announced on Twitter it would occur here in Singapore, the flashy Southeast Asian city-state that has eagerly accommodated the spectacle.

More than 2,500 journalists have convened here, with each leader's every movement tracked carefully.

For decades, North Korea has been a pariah state, and now its latest hereditary leader is being treated as a world statesman.

North Korean Kim Jong-un and President Donald Trump are preparing for a June 12th nuclear summit in Singapore.

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