Abductees' relatives pinning their hopes on Trump-Kim summit

14 June, 2018, 03:47 | Author: Wade Massey
  • Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and South Korean Minister of Defence Song Young-moo visit the Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea during a visit to the Joint Security Area in South Korea Oct. 27 2017

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

Trump advisers cast his actions as a show of strength before the Kim meeting.

But he said: "in the end, that doesn't matter".

"It's related to the North Korea-U.S. summit, so if anyone tries to go near the Yalu River, he or she will be accused of anti-regime crimes", the source said, referring to the waterway on the border between the North and China that is a popular route with defectors mainly when it freezes during the winter.

The two men are expected to meet on their own for the better part of an hour, with only a pair of interpreters in the room.

That decision has raised concerns about the risk of holding such a monumental meeting with barely anyone to bear witness.

Trump has taken keen interest in the pageantry of the day, insisting the pictures beamed around the world reflect a commanding leader making a decisive, world-altering move.

He would not say whether that included the possibility of withdrawing United States troops from the Korean Peninsula, but said the context of the discussions was "radically different than ever before".

Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch, said it was imperative that Trump bring up rights issues with Kim.

Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un's one-on-one meeting during their historic summit has been described as an "unacceptable danger to USA national security" by retired American officials. Analysts say Kim's diplomatic outreach in recent months after a flurry of nuclear and missile tests in 2017 indicates he is eager for sanctions relief to build his economy and the global legitimacy the summit with Trump would provide.

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It's not clear what the United States side has been able to extract from the North Koreans in terms of their willingness to get rid of their nuclear weapons or allow inspectors into the country to catalogue the scale of their program.

The PBS NewsHour's Nick Schifrin tells managing editor and anchor Judy Woodruff the latest from Singapore.

The two will huddle alone for roughly 45 minutes before being joined by aides for a larger meeting and working lunch.

Trump was the first to arrive at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa, a resort island off Singapore's port with luxury hotels, a Universal Studios theme park and man-made beaches. island, a resort. Two weeks later, however, he cancelled the meeting in a letter to Kim, citing "open hostility" from North Korea.

After a flurry of diplomatic overtures that eased tension, the leaders are headed for a history-making handshake that US officials hope could eventually lead to the dismantling of a North Korean nuclear programme that threatens the United States.

And Kim's commitments did not appear to go beyond what he already pledged to do in April when he met South Korean President Moon Jae-in along their countries' border.

As Trump and Lee sat down for a working lunch at the Istana house, the president sounded optimistic, telling Lee, "We've got a very interesting meeting in particular tomorrow, and I think things can work out very nicely".

The first-ever meeting between a USA president and a North Korean leader was to kick off at 9 a.m. Tuesday with a handshake, an image sure to be devoured from Washington to Pyongyang and beyond. Mr Kim is reported to be flying out even earlier, at 14:00 local time (6pm NZT). But on the eve of the summit, the White House unexpectedly announced Trump would depart Singapore by Tuesday evening, meaning his time with Kim would be fairly brief.

The Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) confirmed his nighttime tour of Singapore, a rare quick disclosure of the leader's detailed itinerary and schedules during his overseas trip.

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