US President Donald Trump will today hold a meeting with Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, ahead of the historic US-North Korea summit on Tuesday. The meeting between the two leaders will be followed by expanded bilateral meetings and a working lunch.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said that the President, Secretary of State, White House Chief of Staff, and National Security Adviser have arrived in Singapore for the June 12 summit. Today, Sung Kim, a former US ambassador to South Korea and former nuclear negotiator with the North, will lead a US delegation for a working group with a North Korean delegation at the Ritz Carlton hotel, Sanders said.
“We are also planning a briefing by senior administration officials in the filing centre at the JW Marriott tentatively scheduled for 5pm local time,” she said in the briefing note issued in Washington yesterday.
During the flight, the President spent time meeting with his staff, reading materials, and preparing for his meetings in Singapore. Chairman Kim on Sunday held a meeting with Prime Minister Lee. He thanked Singapore’s organisation of the summit as if it was “their own family affair”.
The two leaders discussed bilateral relations as well as the summit and the recent positive developments on the Korean peninsula. Lee complimented the bold and admirable decision by Kim and Trump to come together for the Summit.
Prime Minister Lee wished Kim a success for the summit and expressed hope that the US-DPRK meeting will advance the prospects for peace and stability in the Korean peninsula and the larger region. Singapore is one of the few countries that have diplomatic relations with both the US and North Korea.
Trump and Kim are set to meet on Tuesday at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa for talks which could see North Korea dismantle its nuclear arsenal in return for economic help and security guarantees. The summit will be the first meeting between Trump and Kim and mark a turnaround of relations between the two leaders after a long-running exchange of furious threats and insults.
The two leaders have had an extraordinary up-and-down relationship over the past 18 months. Some 2,500 journalists are reporting on the event, which is costing Singapore government about SGD 20 million.