Singapore pays for Kim Jong Un's hotel during Trump summit

Sergio Conner
June 13, 2018

USA former NBA basketball player Dennis Rodman has arrived in Singapore ahead of President Donald Trump's summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

North Korean observers have noted that the country's dictatorial ruling family has always wanted to meet with a US president for the symbolism and recognition inherent in such a summit.

That was classic Trump, as was his "very, very good" response to a shouted question from CNN's Jim Acosta when the two men finished their one-on-one and headed to a bilateral meeting with their advisers.

"For long-time Korea-watchers, seeing the first-ever handshake and meeting between a sitting USA president and North Korean leader is already momentous".

President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un are due to meet on Tuesday on the resort island of Sentosa for their high-stakes summit.

If Trump and Kim fail in Singapore "the result may be to enhance North Korean dependency on Seoul and Beijing as safety valves against the prospect of renewal of U.S".

He said that the cost is all part of the $20 million Singapore is spending to host the meeting. He also said that he understands English when he talks about basketball, a sport North Koreans allegedly enjoy.

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Totalitarian North Korea's governing ideology of "Juche", which champions self-sufficiency, has brought little but decades of economic stagnation, widespread poverty and, at times, starvation.

He has said the talks would be more about starting a relationship with Kim for a negotiating process that would take more than one summit.

As the to met, Kim could be heard saying "Nice to meet you Mr. President". However, the South Carolina Republican noted that he is "not here to spread democracy" or to unite the North with South Korea.

Last month, her threat to scuttle the summit and description of U.S. Vice President Mike Pence as a "political dummy" prompted Trump to pull out of his meeting with Kim, although he quickly reversed his decision. But he wants and needs more. He told reporters he thinks he will know nearly immediately whether a deal can be made, saying: "I will know, just my touch, my feel".

Trump and leader Kim shared a historic handshake as they meet for the first time. During his stroll, crowds yelled out Kim's name and jostled to take pictures, and the North Korean leader posed for a selfie with Singapore officials. On the day before the meeting, weeks of preparation appeared to pick up in pace, with USA and North Korean officials meeting throughout Monday at a Singapore hotel. Three recent presidents were parties to agreements in which North Korea pledged to halt its nuclear activity.

Reuters could not confirm if leader Kim was staying in the Presidential Suite.

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