Kim, Trump lookalikes ham it up at Singapore mall

Kim Jong Un impersonator held by Singapore immigration

Kim Jong Un impersonator held by Singapore immigration

But there's also a recognition that optimism at what might be a once-in-a-generation chance for peace must be tempered with a clear-eyed acknowledgement of what North Korea is aiming to get out of its turn from provocation to diplomacy.

Trump and Kim plan to meet in Singapore on Tuesday.

Back in 2007, he served as a top aide to then president Roh Moo-hyun at the last Korean leaders summit.

That flight was likely carrying North Korean officials. But amid the curiosity is an even more fundamental question: Why is he taking this risk at all?

"And so not only Japan, but South Korea, China - I imagine many nations will want to participate in the North Korean economy if we are successful in Singapore", he said.

He didn't provide details in his remarks to Singaporean reporters. It's never going to be there again.

Singapore was selected as the host site because it has significant experience in staging major global events, including a summit between Chinese President Xi Jinping and then-Taiwanese President Ying-jeou in 2015, the first such meeting in almost seven decades.

Singapore's The Straits Times reported earlier this month that the Singapore government declared that four black BMW sedans with armored bodies that can withstand gunshots, explosives and grenades were exempt from certain traffic rules through June 30. The law imposes a financial ban and asset freezes on the government and its component parts, and the Workers Party of Korea, of which Kim is the chairman.

Outside the luxury St. Regis hotel, just beyond a busy upscale shopping corridor, construction crews hoisted concrete bollards into place around the perimeter of the five-star complex where the North Korean delegation is expected to stay.

The North Korean leader may also reportedly meet with Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Monday. Their appearance comes days before a summit between the real leaders in the city-state.

At the same time, the United States president thinks that Kim Jong-un can make North Korea great. Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi was later driven out of power and killed in 2011 during the Arab Spring revolution, a fate not lost on the North Koreans. North Korea spent decades developing nuclear weapons, culminating in the test of a thermonuclear device in 2017. At the root of this desire lies their central concern: "regime survival", he wrote.

The U.S. and North Korea have disagreed about what "denuclearization" would actually entail. "Given the size of the North Korean program and the secrecy in which it is shrouded, the task of completely and verifiably eliminating the DPRK's nuclear and missile capabilities in a matter of a year or two is simply not feasible". The domestic importance of Trump's visit is evidenced by the fact that much of U.S. media, and particularly conservative media, will have a presence in Singapore all of next week.

"I think I'm very well prepared - I don't think I have to prepare very much", Trump said at the White House on Thursday.

"Based on Justin's false statements at his news conference, and the fact that Canada is charging massive Tariffs to our U.S. farmers, workers and companies, I have instructed our U.S. Reps not to endorse the Communique as we look at Tariffs on automobiles flooding the U.S. Market!"

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