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Flight from Pyongyang lands in Singapore ahead of North Korean leader’s arrival

11 June 2018

The US-North Korean summit will mark the first-ever meeting of sitting leaders of the two countries. "It will certainly be an exciting day and I know that Kim Jong-un will work very hard to do something that has rarely been done before".

But critics charge that the meeting risks being largely a triumph of style over substance.

People crowded around poster stands at subway stations around the capital to read the news and gathered at noon in front of the city's main train station to watch a big screen display of images of Kim getting off the special Air China flight that took him to Singapore.

Kim's meeting with Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong was also covered in the seven-minute news bulletin.

Still, even as he turned his attention to the summit, Trump continued his blistering attacks on Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Monday, saying "Fair Trade is now to be called Fool Trade if it is not Reciprocal".

Officials remain uncertain what will come out of Tuesday's unprecedented summit, the first of its kind between a sitting USA president and the leader of North Korea.

At the hotel lobby, grim-faced North Korean security guards warned other hotel guests not to take pictures as Kim walked to his Mercedes Benz limousine.

Washington is demanding the "complete, verifiable and irreversible" denuclearization of the North, while Pyongyang has so far only made public pledges of its commitment to the denuclearization of the peninsula - a term open to various interpretations - while seeking security assurances in return.

On Monday, North Korean state media said Kim and Trump would discuss a "permanent and durable peace-keeping mechanism" on the Korean peninsula, denuclearisation of the peninsula and other issues of mutual concern.

"I am on my way to Singapore where we have a chance to achieve a truly wonderful result for North Korea and the World", Trump wrote in a pair of tweets.

Kim Jong Un's private jet departs Pyongyang for Singapore
That would be illegal, under the 2016 law, unless North Korea also agrees to key human rights reforms. Their relationship began after Trump's election with a long period of mutual threats and abuse.

"The success will be in the shutter clicks of the cameras", he said. The only sane reaction is to hope that they do both get along.

Speaking just before embarking on his marathon journey to Singapore for the pair's historic summit, Trump bristled with confidence as he boasted that contacts between their respective negotiating teams had been positive.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said U.S. and North Korean officials would hold working-level talks on Monday.

On Sunday, Kim Jong-un arrived in Singapore where he is expected to hold a meeting with US President Donald Trump on June 12.

The two countries have been at loggerheads for decades.

The fighting ended on July 27, 1953, but the war technically continues today because instead of a difficult-to-negotiate peace treaty, military officers for the US-led United Nations, North Korea and China signed an armistice that halted the fighting.

A vehicle carrying North Korean leader Kim Jong-un makes its way to the Istana ahead of the summit with Trump in Singapore on Sunday.

But the South's Winter Olympics in February were the catalyst for a flurry of diplomatic moves as South Korea's dovish leader Moon Jae-in sought to bring the two sides together. He may be staying at the St. Regis Hotel, where China's President Xi Jinping once stayed. "We have to step up".

"Therefore, when the two sides asked us to host the meeting, we can not say no", PM Lee said.

Flight from Pyongyang lands in Singapore ahead of North Korean leader’s arrival