Nothing to see here: North Koreans unaware of Kim-Trump summit

Pyongyang: With all the international attention focused on Singapore and the historic summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, Pyongyang must be buzzing with excitement, right?

Well, it might be, if anyone knew what was going on.

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Instead, the North Korean capital is like the centre of the storm.

With few sources of information other than the state-run media, gossip and word of mouth, most North Koreans are still largely in the dark about the momentous – and potentially life-changing – events that are about to take place outside of their isolated nation.

The official media has reported that the two leaders plan to meet, but has offered few specifics, including where and when. There was no official word that Kim had left the country on Sunday and arrived in Singapore, hours before Trump.

The top news lately has instead been tremendously mundane, all things considered – a visit by Kim to a seafood restaurant in Pyongyang.

US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un have arrived in Singapore for their summit.

US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un have arrived in Singapore for their summit.

The meeting could have a major and direct impact on the daily lives of North Koreans, so it is only natural that people would want to know. However without a robust and independent media, accurate news is unlikely and exaggeration and gossip abound.

If it follows the usual routine, state media will wait until the event is over before it puts out its first reports. News that US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visited North Korea was front page news with a big photo of him shaking Kim's hand the following day in the ruling party newspaper, the Rodong Sinmun.

But then again, nothing about this summit is routine.

AP

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