Kim lands in Singapore ahead of historic US-North Korea summit

Trump is on his way to the same airport. The two will meet on Tuesday.
Kim shaking hands with Singapore's FM Photo Credit: Twitter screenshot

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un landed on Sunday in Singapore ahead of the historic Washington-Pyongyang summit slated for Tuesday. Singapore’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Vivian Balakrishnan, greeted the ruler of the pariah state at the airport and tweeted a picture of the two shaking hands after Kim exited the plane. “Welcomed Chairman Kim Jong Un, who has just arrived in Singapore,” he wrote in the tweet.

According to reports, Kim arrived in an Air China Boeing 747. US President Donald Trump is on a 20-hour flight headed toward Changi, where Singapore’s largest airport is located. Tuesday’s summit will be the first time a sitting US president and North Korea’s leader meet.

While in Canada for the 44th G7 conference, Trump told reporters that he is looking forward to his meeting with Kim but was light on the details of what he thinks they can actually achieve during the summit. “I feel that Kim Jong-un wants to do something great for his people,” Trump said. “And he has that opportunity, and he won't have that opportunity again.”

Kim’s departure from North Korea this morning was the third time he has left his country since becoming the ruler in 2011. In March, he went on his first trip abroad, traveling to neighboring China. In April, he crossed the border into South Korea for a historic meeting with Seoul’s president.

The US-North Korea summit was almost scrapped last month when Trump said that he had decided to cancel it. In a formal letter to Kim, Trump explained that his decision was “based on the tremendous anger and open hostility displayed in your most recent statement.”

Trump said he felt it was “inappropriate” to hold the meeting in light of the recent remarks made by North Korea, but also stated that he appreciated Kim’s interest in having a dialogue with the US.

At the same time, Trump used the opportunity to point out that the US has stronger nuclear capabilities than North Korea, writing: “You talk about nuclear capabilities, but ours are so massive and powerful that I pray to God they will never have to be used.”

Trump’s letter came a day after hostile statements were made by a North Korean vice minister of foreign affairs. The official called US Vice President Mike Pence a “political dummy.”

Commenting shortly after Trump made his announcement, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that North Korea’s actions led to the cancellation. “I regret the statements that the North Koreans have made over the past few days, and the fact that we've not been able to conduct the preparation between our two teams that would be necessary to have a chance for a successful summit,” he stated.



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