News ID: 216409
Published: 0155 GMT June 09, 2018
Flight from Pyongyang lands in Singapore

For high-stakes summit with Kim, Trump trusts his gut over note cards

For high-stakes summit with Kim, Trump trusts his gut over note cards
REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque and Korea Summit Press Pool/File Photos
A combination photo shows US President Donald Trump and North Korea leader Kim Jong-un in Washignton, DC, US May 17, 2018 and in Panmunjom, South Korea, April 27, 2018 respectively.

US President Donald Trump will deploy a mix of charm and pressure to coax North Korean leader Kim Jong-un into a deal to give up nuclear weapons, trusting his gut instinct over briefing books in his ability to strike an accord, aides and former administration officials said.

A rare direct flight from Pyongyang landed in Singapore on Saturday ahead of the expected arrival of the North Korea’s leader for the summit with Trump to discuss ending the North’s isolation and its nuclear program.

Kim, who at 34 is nearly half Trump’s age, will get a concentrated blast of what friends and foes of Trump have experienced since he became president: a volatile, unpredictable leader who can be at turns friendly or tough, or both at the same time, Reuters reported.

North Korean leader Kim is expected to arrive at Changi airport today, a source involved in the planning of the trip told Reuters on Friday.

The June 12 summit in Singapore will be the first face-to-face meeting between Trump, the former reality TV star who likes to keep people guessing up to a cliffhanger finish, and Kim, the heir to a reclusive dynasty with a history of reneging on promises to curb its nuclear ambitions.

While Trump has received a steady diet of briefings, verbal and written, about what to expect when he meets Kim, he trusts his intuition more than anything else, aides and former officials said.

His briefings have covered the gamut from Kim’s family history, the history of broken agreements with Pyongyang and the status of the North’s nuclear and missile programs, one source familiar with the matter said.

The arrival of the Air China Airbus 330 flight at Changi airport raised speculation that a delegation of North Korean officials joined an advance team headed by Kim’s close aide, Kim Chang-son, who was in Singapore to prepare for the talks.

There was heightened security at the St. Regis hotel in central Singapore, one of the hotels where the leaders were expected to stay.

Plainclothes police and the Singapore Army’s Explosives and Ordnance Disposal unit were seen working to prepare for a high-security event.

The leaders meet on Tuesday on the resort island of Sentosa and talks are expected to center on ending the North’s nuclear weapons and missiles programs in return for diplomatic and economic incentives.

The diplomatic initiatives leading to the summit started in late April when Kim met South Korean President Moon Jae-in and the leaders of the rival states pledged to end hostility and establish peace on the Korean peninsula.

On May 10, Trump announced he would hold a summit with Kim in Singapore and has since indicated he would try to reach an agreement to formally end the 1950-53 Korean War.

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