Who has Kim Jong Un's 'nuclear button' in Pyongyang while he's away?

Postado Junho 11, 2018

After months of nuclear taunts, sports diplomacy and a rollercoaster of a will-they-or-won't-they tango, it all comes down to this: President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump: "Excitement in the air" ahead of Kim meeting Trump doubles down on criticism of EU, Canada Merkel: EU will retaliate against Trump tariffs MORE will meet face-to-face with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore on Tuesday.

President Trump is expected to meet separately with Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Monday.

All his running bodyguards were decked up in black suits and blue ties.

Kim was accompanied at the meeting by vice-chairman of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK) Kim Yong Chol, chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the WPK Ri Su Yong, and Colonel General No Kwang Chol - one of the three promoted in a recent North Korean military shakeup.

Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un were preparing for their historic summit in Singapore as both sides tried to narrow differences before the two leaders come face to face on Tuesday.

The US president and North Korean leader are staying in separate hotels, not far from each other, and will meet on Tuesday at a hotel on Sentosa, a popular tourist island a few hundred metres off the main island of Singapore.

Close US ally Japan has urged Trump to bring up the decades-old issue of its citizens abducted in 1970s and 1980s to train Pyongyang's spies in Japanese language and customs.

Most observers predicted that the outcome would be a short and vague statement build around the ambiguous aim of the "denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula" leaving it to later bilateral meetings to negotiate what that would mean in practice.

So just what will a successful meeting between Trump and Kim actually look like?

North Korea is estimated to have up to 120,000 political prisoners in its sprawling gulag system. Kim has led the USA team at the demilitarized zone working on a joint communique with North Korea. For the North Korean leader to be willing to agree to the U.S. president's conditions on denuclearisation, there need to be inducements and assurances offered to Pyongyang.

The key players have arrived, with North Korea's Kim Jong-un touching down Sunday after his longest plane journey since taking power.

USA ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim led the U.S. delegation while Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui was part of North Korea's delegation.

Special Operations Command (SOC) police officers patrol Orchard Road on June 10 ahead of the Trump-Kim summit in Singapore.

But the two leaders also share some parallels.

"I think we're going to have a relationship, and it will start on June 12", Trump said at the time.

Kim may also be seeing the gamble in a light never considered by his autocratic father and grandfather because of "his determination to modernize North Korea", according to Ryan Haas, an Asia expert at the John L. Thornton China Center.

In a letter on Monday, Senate Democrats outlined how they believe Trump should handle negotiations with Pyongyang, saying any deal should require that North Korea give up its nuclear and ballistic weapons programs.

He explained that he gave the North Korean official Trump's book, "Art of the Deal", while he was in North Korea.

North Korea has repeatedly expressed a commitment to the "denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula" - notably in a report by state agency KCNA on the eve of the summit - but the term is open to interpretation on both sides and it remains unclear what concessions Kim is prepared to offer.

"I am on a mission of peace and we're going to be carrying the hearts of millions of people from all", he said.

The North Korean autocrat's every move will be followed by 3,000 journalists up until he shakes hands with Trump.