Trump's North Korean gamble ends with 'special bond' with Kim

Помпео США согласятся только с полной и необратимой денуклеаризацией КНДР

Still, the USA is not expecting a final deal in Singapore.

ELISE HU, BYLINE: Hey there.

Trump departed his hotel at just past 8 a.m. and arrived at the summit location - a white-shuttered hotel on the tourist island Sentosa - about 10 minutes later. But Kim Jong Un made a decision to take a little sightseeing tour of the major spots where a lot of tourists go in Singapore with only 10, 11 hours to spare before the summit happening. He even posed for selfies with Singapore's Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan as he toured a series of major sites in the city state. Balakrishnan has been tasked with making a nervous Kim Jong-un feel at home on his furthest trip from North Korea since assuming the reins there after his father's death in 2011. Trump had earlier tweeted about "excitement in the air!"

SHAPIRO: But do we know who's going to be negotiating for the North Koreans?

HU: The key negotiator for the North Koreans on American issues is a woman named Choe Son Hui.

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., May 18, 2018. This means that North Korea is independent from all other nations, and refuses any worldwide involvement from foreign countries. She started out as an English interpreter and then became the head of the American Affairs Bureau in the ministry.

More critical, in Trump's telling, was the development of a personal bond with Kim, a brutal dictator responsible for the deaths not only of his own citizens but of at least one American, Otto Warmbier, who was returned to the USA in a coma only to die days later. And it was shortly after that that Trump briefly withdrew from this summit, which, of course, now is back on. What do the North Koreans want out of this?

Critics of the summit leapt at the leaders' handshake and the moonlight stroll Kim took Monday night along the glittering Singapore waterfront, saying it was further evidence that Trump was helping legitimize Kim on the world stage as an equal of the US president.

After Trump's stern speech about North Korea's nuclear weapon program last November, Kim's government responded by calling the US president an "old lunatic" - to which Trump responded by passively calling the North Korean leader "short and fat".

After a flurry of diplomatic overtures that eased tension, the leaders are headed for a history-making handshake that US officials hope could eventually lead to the dismantling of a North Korean nuclear programme that threatens the United States. At a pre-summit briefing by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday, the issue didn't get a mention.

USA presidents have always faced a predicament in balancing national security and geopolitical priorities with democratic values. "We are prepared to take what will be security assurances that are different, unique, than America's been willing to provide previously". We think this is both necessary and appropriate.

If successful, the meeting would lower geopolitical tensions in an area that involves three of the world's largest economies: South Korea, Japan and China.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Trump reaffirmed during a phone call Monday that he will push for the resolution of the abduction issue during the summit, following his pledge during a meeting with Abe in Washington last week.

Similarly, Kim Jong-un presides over a brutal totalitarian regime culpable for crimes against humanities. Many have been quick to point out that it isn't the best look for Singapore's Balakrishnan to be seen grinning alongside a man who just 16 months earlier had ordered his half-brother killed in an attack at Kuala Lumpur International Airport, some 200 miles north of Marina Bay Sands in Singapore.

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