US president and North Korean leader are set to meet on Tuesday in a landmark summit in Singapore.
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Here are all the latest developments:
Trump to leave Singapore on Tuesday
- The White House has said that Trump will depart Singapore for the US on Tuesday evening at around 8pm 12:00GMT.
- In a statement, the Trump administration said discussions between the US and North Korea are “ongoing and have moved more quickly than expected”.
- Trump and Kim will meet Tuesday morning at 9:00 am (1:00GMT). They will have a one-on-one meeting which will only include translators, a bilateral meeting and a working lunch, the statement read.
- Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Chief of Staff John Kelly and National Security Adviser John Bolton will be present at the bilateral meeting. Press Secretary Sarah Sanders, Ambassador Sung Kim and National Security Council Senior Director for Asia Matt Pottinger will join the lunch.
Denuclearisation process must be ‘anchored in international law’, ICAN
- Beatrice Fihn, the executive director of the Nobel Peace Prize-winning International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, has said a denuclearisation process must happen within the context of the international legal framework.
- “Two unpredictable and in some case unreliable leaders are controlling this global issue that can threaten the entire world,” she told Al Jazeera’s James Bays. “It’s time for the international legal framework, the treaties to really put this denuclearisation process in context.”
- Legal instruments including the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty are the basis for any denuclearisation process and can “anchor it in international law”, Fihn said.
- “This is really a historical possibility … the rest of the world needs to be involved in this process, we cannot leave it to these two countries that are clinging on to their weapons of mass destruction.”
Pompeo: Complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula only acceptable outcome
- US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said that CVID, or complete, verifiable, irreversible denuclearisation, of the Korean Peninsula remains “the only outcome that the US will accept” from diplomacy with North Korea.
- At a press briefing before Tuesday’s summit, Pompeo said “the ultimate objective” of such diplomacy had not changed.
- He expressed hope that tomorrow’s summit will “set the conditions for future productive talks”.
- Until North Korea has completely denuclearised, Pompeo said, “sanctions will remain”.
- He added Trump recognised North Korea’s “desire for security”, adding that the US was also prepared to “ensure that a North Korea free of weapons of mass destruction is also a secure North Korea”.
- Asked if a removal of US troops from South Korea was included in these security assurances, Pompeo refused to give any details but said the US is prepared to give assurances that are “different” and “unique” from what the US has been willing to provide previously. “We think this is both necessary and appropriate,” he said.
- Pompeo said that Trump was heading into the meeting with “confidence, a positive attitude and eagerness for real progress”. He added Trump had made it clear that “if Kim Jong-un denuclearises, there is a brighter future for North Korea.”
Trump, Moon speak on phone
- Trump and Moon Jae-in spoke on the phone on Monday, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reported.
- Spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom said Moon told Trump that the summit, if it succeeds, will be a “gift” to the world.
- “President Moon and President Trump agreed Trump and Kim will be able to make a great achievement if the two leaders come together to find a common denominator through frank discussions,” Kim said.
- In what Yonhap called the “unexpected” phone conversation, Trump said Secretary of State Mike Pompeo would go to Seoul immediately after the summit.
South Korea’s Moon Jae-in optimistic over talks
- South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Monday said he has “both expectations and hopes that tomorrow’s summit will be a success”, Yonhap news agency reported.
- Moon said the summit would be the start of a “long process” of denuclearising North Korea.
- “The deep-rooted hostile relationship and the North Korean nuclear issue cannot be resolved in one single action in a meeting between leaders,” he said.
- Moon added that dialogue between North Korea and the US was not enough to resolve the nuclear issue. “We must also successfully develop the South-North Korean relationship at the same time,” he said.
- Also on Monday, the special national security adviser to Moon Jae-in, Moon Chung-in, said “past behaviour should not be the yardstick to judge current or future behaviour of North Korea.” He said that while the US has previously accused North Korea of breaking promises, “now is the time to set aside all those things.”
‘Peace deal bottom line for the US’: analyst
- Speaking with Al Jazeera’s James Bays, Alexander Neill of the International Institute for Strategic Studies said that the “bottom line” for the US and North Korea is to get a peace deal.
- “That’s the lowest common denominator. They’ve got this far and there’s so much political capital invested in this that to not walk away with something along those lines would be quite catastrophic,” he said.
- An armistice ended the Korean War in 1953, but North and South Korea never signed a peace agreement and are technically still at war.
- The White House has said it wants to attain complete, verifiable, irreversible denuclearisation (CVID). Neill thinks the leaders will take incremental steps towards that goal.
- “What they’re going to be looking at I think is starting off with some cosmetic approaches, some choreography and then they’re going to move in an incremental way towards … CVID light perhaps,” he said. “This is a handshake opportunity.”
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