'Special moment for world peace': Trump to meet with Kim next month in Singapore

Washington: US President Donald Trump said he will meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on June 12 in Singapore for a first ever summit between the leaders of the two countries.

Donald Trump welcomes back three US prisoners released from detention in North Korea.

"I worry that this President, in his eagerness to strike a deal and get the acclaim and a photo op, will strike a quick one and a bad one, not a strong one, not a lasting one," Schumer said.

During Trump's presidency, Kim has overseen weapons tests that rattled the United States, South Korea and Japan as the North Korean leader attempted to showcase his military's progress on medium- and long-range missiles and atomic weapons.

Trump has credited a US "maximum pressure" campaign for drawing North Korea to the negotiating table and vowed to keep economic sanctions in place until Pyongyang takes concrete steps to denuclearise.

But former spy chief Kim Yong Chul, director of North Korea's United Front Department, said in a toast to Pompeo over lunch in Pyongyang this week: "We have perfected our nuclear capability. It is our policy to concentrate all efforts into economic progress… This is not the result of sanctions that have been imposed from outside."

Kim recently promised to suspend missile tests and shut a nuclear bomb test site.

North Korea is still technically at war with the United States and its ally South Korea because the 1950-53 Korean War ended in a truce, not a treaty.

The choice of Singapore will put the summit on friendly turf for Trump, as the island nation is a strong US ally and the US Navy frequently visits its port.

The wealthy financial and shipping hub is seen as a gateway between Asia and the West and has been called the “Switzerland of Asia," in contrast to North Korea's isolated economy that its leaders now want to modernise.

Nonetheless, Human Rights Watch has described Singapore as having a "stifling" political environment with severe restrictions on "basic rights".

US officials had looked at several sites other than Singapore for the historic meeting but each was seen as problematic.

Trump’s own preference was for the demilitarised zone between the two Koreas, but aides argued that this would look too much like Trump going to Kim’s turf.

Reuters

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