A meeting is almost certainly due to take place between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and US President Donald Trump in Singapore, where VIP security and other preparatory measures have been underway.
South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency reported on Sunday that Kim’s Ilyushin-62M private jet departed Pyongyang airport, and a cargo plane that had accompanied the North Korean leader on his recent visit to China had also left earlier in the day, both likely headed for Singapore.
Singapore’s Straits Times newspaper reported later on Sunday that Kim had arrived in the country.
If everything goes according to plan, Trump and Kim will meet at the Capella Hotel on the resort island of Sentosa on Tuesday in the first ever US-North Korea summit.
But the high-stakes meeting remains subject to Trump’s temper. Formerly, the US president has several times threatened to scrap his plans for the summit, has once cancelled it, and has then reinstated it before suggesting that he may walk out of the meeting if it doesn’t go well.
Reports say the main goal of the summit is to discuss North Korea’s denuclearization.
Trump has boasted that a deal may be struck. But details have been scarce, and a potential deal is not a certainty.
Even if no concrete give-and-take occurs, however, some say the meeting would still serve as a publicity success for both Trump and Kim, who had less than six months ago been exchanging angry insults.
The US president, who was in Canada to attend a meeting of the Group of Seven industrialized nations (G7), departed early for the meeting with the North Korean leader.
US President Donald Trump leaves G7 summit in Canada early to head to the summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Singapore.
Trump is scheduled to arrive at Singapore’s Paya Lebar Airbase on Sunday and stay at the Shangri-La Hotel, according to the White House.
Accompanying Trump on the trip are US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, National Security Adviser John Bolton, White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, and White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders.
Ahead of the summit on June 12, Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong is to hold separate meetings with Kim and Trump on Sunday and Monday, respectively, possibly to make final diplomatic preparations.
Security is reported tight at and around Singapore’s Capella Hotel. Guards have set up checkpoints at the entrances and only guests or authorized personnel are allowed in.
The Kim-Trump summit announcement came after several months of unprecedented cordial diplomacy between South and North Koreas, which had been adversaries for decades.