A South Korean parliamentary source said negotiators from both countries "were debating over whether to put [the term] CVID" in the joint communique to be released after the summit. And the abrupt change in schedule came shortly after U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had seemed to lower expectations for the meeting, which Trump had earlier predicted could potentially yield an on-the-spot end to the Korean War. It did not include an agreement to take steps toward ending the technical state of warfare between the USA and North Korea.
Before signing what Trump described as a "comprehensive" document, Kim said the two leaders had a historic meeting "and made a decision to leave the past behind". For Kim, one of the chief tasks from the summit - a legitimizing photo-op with a USA president - is now all but guaranteed.
But after a flurry of diplomatic overtures eased tension in recent months, the two leaders are now headed for a history-making handshake that U.S. officials hope could eventually lead to dismantling of a North Korean nuclear programme that threatens the United States.
"Tomorrow we will get our clearest indication to date of whether Chairman Kim Jong Un truly shares this vision", Pompeo said. Abbreviating the meeting to a single day could make it easier to cast the summit as an early, symbolic opening, rather than a substantive negotiation in which a lack of tangible progress would suggest failure on the part of the negotiators.
The US President went for a lunch earlier today with Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and even celebrated his birthday a couple of days early with a cake.
Negotiators from the U.S. and North Korea met on and off Monday to iron out details ahead of the summit, largely ignoring throngs of reporters as they hopped between luxury hotels. "Following the initial greeting, President Trump and Chairman Kim will participate in a one-on-one meeting, with translators only, an expanded bilateral meeting, and a working lunch", it added.
Trump also flew into Singapore on Sunday, shortly after attending the Group of 7 summit in Canada. (Kim will not be exposing himself to a press conference.) For North Korea, "denuclearization" is but one component of talks with the United States; diplomatic normalization, momentum toward a peace treaty, and security assurances are all of greater importance.
Less than a year ago, Trump was threatening "fire and fury" against Kim, who in turn scorned the American president as a "mentally deranged USA dotard".
The summit is scheduled to begin at 9am, the White House said.
Such treats are unheard of for most North Koreans, even for government officials, who have seen their chances of overseas travel wither in recent years as their country's isolation has increased under sanctions imposed over its nuclear and missile programs.
After initial exchanges lasting around 40 minutes, Trump and Kim emerged, walking side-by-side through the colonnaded hotel before entering a meeting room, where they were joined by their most senior officials.
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