No panic in Singapore as summit approaches

A man sets up an electronic security gate at a vehicle checkpoint in front of the St. Regis Hotel

A man sets up an electronic security gate at a vehicle checkpoint in front of the St. Regis Hotel

She said the U.S. delegation would be led by Sung Kim, a veteran diplomat who recently held talks with North Korean officials. "It is a historic negotiation, and there is no way this president is not going to stand strong", Kudlowsaid.

Meanwhile, diplomats from the United States and North Korea met behind closed doors at The Ritz-Carlton hotel, in a bid to narrow their differences ahead of the Trump-Kim summit tomorrow.

Whether they could agree to a draft document will likely determine whether Kim and Trump can sign a tangible "outcome" at the summit.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is seen in a television monitor as speaks to the media in Singapore on June 11, 2018.

Then came the New Year, an Olympics in South Korea and change.

The two leaders are scheduled to meet for the first time on Tuesday at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa Island, where the process regarding denuclearisation of North Korea may kick-start in exchange for economic aid. But it's unclear what that security guarantee would entail.

"Maybe we'll start with the White House, what do you think?" he said when asked if Kim would be invited to Washington or his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida.

The Trump- Kim meeting will be a first for a sitting USA president and North Korean leader, and the picture would have seemed unthinkable just a year ago.

The issues on the table remain stubborn and complex for two countries that have been at odds for almost 70 years.

In turn, as the cameras rolled at a farewell ceremony at the end of their first summit, Kim held hands with the South's Moon - for several minutes.

But the spectacle was absorbing.

Kim and his delegation arrived aboard an Air China 747, according to Singapore's Straits Times.

Curious onlookers wait for the departure of Donald Trump's motorcade from Singapore's presidential palace.

Authorities in Singapore imposed tight security around the summit venue and related luxury hotels, including installing extra pot plants outside one contender for Kim's accommodation to obstruct reporters' views.

Singapore has spent $S20 million hosting the summit, half of that on security costs, with Lee saying it was "in our profound interest" to contribute to such an global endeavour.

Trump and Kim landed in a city teeming with media and onlookers of all stripes, from foreign policy analysts like Kelly and Enos to former basketball star Dennis Rodman, who claims to be a friend of the two leaders.

The cost of hosting around 2000 worldwide media was put at $S5 million, but Lee said the publicity and boost for Singapore's global standing was worth it.

"The underlying driver is a transformational process of Kim Jong-un leading North Korea into a new place in the region and the world", said John Delury, a professor of Chinese studies at Yonsei University in Seoul.

There's just no recent precedent for the gamble Kim Jong Un is taking.

Trump arrived in Singapore after another meeting with foreign leaders - a group of close American allies.

"If I think it won't happen, I'm not going to waste my time", he said.

While Singapore has authoritarian leanings, it is still a thriving bastion of capitalism and wealth, and Kim will be performing his high-stakes diplomatic tight-rope walk in front of 3,000 worldwide journalists, including a huge contingent from the ultra-aggressive South Korean press - sometimes referred to by Pyongyang as "reptile media" - two of whom were arrested by Singapore police investigating a report of trespassing at the residence of the North Korean ambassador.

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