Donald Trump, Kim Jong Un prepare for Singapore summit

The summit between Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un will be among the most improbable diplomatic encounters in history, featuring principals who could not be more different - but who also share some surprising similarities.

In an interview with BBC (who really got our geography wrong yesterday), Minister of Foreign Affairs Vivian Balakrishnan confirmed what everyone was guessing a week ago: Singapore is indeed picking up the hotel tab for the North Korean contingent here.

It wasn't immediately clear what specific progress, if any, had been made in preliminary discussions between US and North Korean officials in the run-up to the Tuesday summit. He told reporters in Quebec on Saturday that he'd know "in the first minute" whether he could get to a deal with Kim, repeating that he wouldn't waste his time - but suggested that the time he's invested in this initial engagement wasn't such a big deal.

The Presidential Suite on the hotel's 20th story - and we wouldn't expect Kim to want anything less - goes for up to S$12,260 (about US$9,200) a night, with a king-sized bed, silken throw pillows, crystal chandeliers, and marble, gold, brass, and silver adornments everywhere.

Kim Jong-un needs to tell his people why he's willing to negotiate.

State-run news said the summit would address "wide-ranging and profound views on the issue of establishing new DPRK-U.S. relations, the issue of building a permanent and durable peace-keeping mechanism on the Korean Peninsula, the issue of realizing the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula and other issues of mutual concern, as required by the changed era, will be exchanged at the DPRK-U.S. summit talks".

In a letter on Monday, Senate Democrats outlined how they believe Trump should handle negotiations with Pyongyang, saying any deal should require that North Korea give up its nuclear and ballistic weapons programs. Progress could lead to a peace treaty and formally end a state of war on the Korean peninsula, which has persisted for almost 70 years.

President Trump has described it as a "get-to-know-you situation" and said "it's going to be a process". "I look forward to meeting him and have a feeling that this one-time opportunity will not be wasted".

"Because of difficulties finding a job these days, I have lost much interest in those things".

Trump acknowledged the difficulty of gleaning much information concerning Kim, who has scant experience on the worldwide stage and about whom foreign intelligence agencies have struggled to gather much beyond basic biographical data.

"It's about attitude", Trump said.

"I think things could work out very nicely".

North Korea's Kim landed Singapore's Changi Airport earlier on Sunday, in his longest trip overseas as head of state.

Ahead of the meeting, Trump has dangled the carrot of a normalisation of diplomatic ties between the former foes and even a White House visit for Kim, which would confirm his arrival on the world stage. China and South Korea would have to sign off on any legal treaty.

The North Korean leader is said to always travel with several toilets, including one in his Mercedes. "Obviously what has been done before hasn't worked".

US officials traveling with the president - as well as analysts - have acknowledged the risk that even the smallest of perceived slights by either side could prompt one of the leaders to instantly call it all off.

Donald Trump has sat down for lunch with his Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

Trump tweeted on Sunday: "I am on my way to Singapore where we have a chance to achieve a truly wonderful result for North Korea and the world".

"A successful summit might also open the door to some confidence-building measures, such as the opening of a US diplomatic office in North Korea and vice versa, or the resumption of USA missions to recover the remains of Korean War service members killed in North Korea", Wertz said.

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