Kim summit: USA president will leave early as talks 'moving rapidly'

Kim Jong Un invited Donald Trump to Pyongyang for a second summit in a letter delivered to the White House by emissary Kim Yong Chol earlier this month

North Koreans have received news that the country's leader, Kim Jong-un, has arrived in Singapore for what the state-run media described as a historic meeting with the U.S. president, Donald Trump.

"If diplomacy doesn't move in the right direction, sanctions will increase".

Even hours before the unprecedented meeting, it was unclear if it would produce a breakthrough or collapse in acrimony.

For the US president, the reality show-like pageantry of the Singapore summit is the chief concern.

Asked whether he would invite Kim to the White House, Trump said: "Absolutely, I will".

USA and North Korean officials huddled throughout Monday at the Ritz-Carlton hotel ahead of the sit-down aimed at resolving a standoff over Pyongyang's nuclear arsenal. But North Korea's statements have made it clear that Kim Jong-un is ready to shift focus from nuclear weapons to the economy.

For the US, the Singapore summit comes on the heels of Trump's controversial G-7 appearance, where he butted heads with key USA allies.

Singapore's Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, and Singapore's Education Minister Ong Ye Kung pose for a photo in Singapore June 11, 2018, in this picture obtained from social media.

Trump and Kim are slated to meet for "up to two hours" in private, with their translators present, before expanding the ambit of the summit to incorporate their respective lieutenants.

Kim Jong Un, center, tours the Esplanade in Singapore on Monday during a surprise late-night tour. None of this would happen immediately, but neither would North Korea offer to give up its nuclear weapons program up front.

The young North Korean leader is staying under heavy guard at a city centre hotel and had not appeared in public on Monday until about 9 p.m., when one of his security officials buzzing about the hotel lobby shouted "It's all ready!". I think things could work out very nicely.

Pompeo's remarks suggest that the United States is looking for a short transition toward denuclearisation, according to Zhang Baohui, director of the Centre for Asian Pacific Studies at Lingnan University in Hong Kong.

The discussions between the United States and North Korea are ongoing and have moved more quickly than expected.

"When I woke up this morning, I saw the news in the newspaper that our respected marshal went to Singapore for the North Korea-US summit", said Han Il-gwang, a Pyongyang resident, displaying typical discretion.

A Trump administration official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the U.S. side was entering the talks with a sense of optimism and an equal dose of scepticism given North Korea's long history of developing nuclear weapons.

While advisers say Trump has been reviewing briefing materials, the president insists his gut instincts will matter most when he gets in the room with Kim.

He would not say whether that included the possibility of withdrawing USA troops from the Korean Peninsula, but said the US was "prepared to take what will be security assurances that are different, unique, than America's been willing to provide previously".

Bandow noted that American companies could also turn to North Korea for low-priced manufacturing, which neighbors - like China and South Korea - already benefit from.

Depending on how the talks go, Trump has signalled the summit could collapse quickly or stretch into future meetings and perhaps even include a follow-up encounter at his Florida golf club, Mar-a-Lago.

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