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Kim and Trump arrive for Singapore summit

June 10, 2018

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and US President Donald Trump have both arrived in Singapore ahead of a historic summit. The meeting is aimed at finding a path toward denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula.

Kim Jong Un and Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong
Image: picture-alliance/dpa/Wong Maye-E

The North Korean leader shook hands with Singaporean Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan shortly after arriving at Singapore's Chagi airport. US President Donald Trump is set to arrive in the city-state later on Sunday.

Balakrishnan posted a picture of himself shaking hands with Kim on Twitter.

Singaporean media reported that he had arrived at 2.38 p.m. local time (0738 UTC) on Sunday.

Kim and his delegation arrived aboard an Air China 747, according to Singapore's Straits Times.

President Trump, meanwhile, touched down on Air Force One at the Paya Lebar airbase shortly before 8.30 p.m. local time. His arrival followed a dramatic departure from the G7 summit in Canada.

Kim later met Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and was seen to be smiling broadly during the encounter.

"The entire world is watching the historic summit between the DPRK (North Korea) and the United States of America," Kim told Lee, using his country's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. "Thanks to your sincere efforts ... we were able to complete the preparation for the historic summit."

According to the tracking website Flightrader24, Kim's plane took off from Pyongyang in the morning and was headed for Beijing when it changed its flight number and route, heading south to Singapore. The two men are set to meet for a historic summit on Tuesday where they will focus on the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula in exchange for the easing of both economic and diplomatic sanctions.

The meeting comes after a flurry of diplomatic activity on the Korean Peninsula this year, with hopes high that an understanding might be reached with Pyongyang over its nuclear program. The meeting was briefly canceled by Trump. Any deal would likely depend on North Korea's willingness to open its facilities for inspection.

Read more: Is Trump's Korea policy calculated chaos?

Trump has signaled that the meeting might serve tohelp forge a relationship that would eventually lead to a deal further down the road. However, on his way to Singapore, the US president described the event as a "one-time shot." 

Authorities have imposed tight security around the venue of the summit on Singapore's Sentosa Island, where the two leaders are set to meet at a coastal luxury hotel.

rc/amp (dpa, AP, Reuters, AFP)

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