News ID: 216352
Published: 0138 GMT June 08, 2018

Trump dangles White House invite for Kim

Trump dangles White House invite for Kim
AFP

US President Donald Trump insisted Thursday he is "very well-prepared" for a historic and potentially fraught summit with Kim Jong-un in five days, while hinting at the signing of a peace treaty and even a future White House visit by the North Korean leader.

Hosting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Washington, Trump tried to quell concerns about his lack of diplomatic or foreign policy experience heading into the high-stakes talks, AFP reported.

"I'm very well prepared. I don’t think I have to prepare very much," Trump said with characteristic bravado. "It's about attitude, it's about willingness to get things done."

Trump will meet Kim in Singapore on June 12, a first-ever meeting between sitting North Korean and US leaders and one focused on Pyongyang's ominous nuclear weapons program.

The North Korean leader is expected to fly into Singapore’s Changi airport on Sunday ahead of the high-stakes summit with Trump, a source involved in the planning of the trip said on Friday, Reuters reported.

Pictures of US military aircraft at nearby Paya Lebar airbase, including a white-topped helicopter commonly used for transporting high-ranking US officials, were published in a newspaper on Friday.

Talks between the leaders on June 12 are expected to center on ending the North’s nuclear weapons and missiles programs in return for diplomatic and economic incentives.

Changi airport directed Reuters’ query to the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore. The Aviation Authority did not immediately have comment.

Neither delegation has made its travel plans public.

Media said Trump was likely to arrive at the Paya Lebar air base, where previous US presidents landed on visits to Singapore.

Since becoming the North’s leader in 2011, Kim has only taken one known overseas trip by air - to Dalian in China in early May - flying in his personal Ilyushin-62M jet and accompanied by a cargo plane.

Abe jetted into Washington hoping to ensure a decades-old tough united front on North Korea is not swept away by the history of the moment.

Since the first inkling that a Trump-Kim summit could be on the cards, Japan has repeatedly insisted that Washington be mindful not to let its guard down with the nuclear-armed state in Pyongyang.

Trump mused that he was willing to consider normalizing ties with North Korea, that a peace treaty to formally end the Korean War could be signed in Singapore and that the Korean leader could visit the White House.

"We could absolutely sign an agreement and we're looking at it," said Trump. "But that's the beginning. Sounds a little bit strange, but that's probably the easy part."

Trump even went so far as to say he would consider inviting Kim to visit the United States if the June 12 summit in Singapore goes well.

"Maybe we'll start with the White House, what do you think?" he said when asked if Kim would be invited to Washington or his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida.

When asked about eventual normalization of ties, he said: "That is something I would hope to do that when everything is complete."

 

   
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