The quick succession of combative G7 meetings and his arrival in Singapore for a summit with North Korea's dictator set up a striking contrast best captured by a pair of tweets Trump issued after leaving Canada in which he slammed Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as "very dishonest & weak" and reneged on U.S. plans to sign a joint communique with the G7 leaders. "Create peace and great prosperity for his land".
The Trump administration has previously insisted on "complete, verifiable, irreversible disarmament" (CVID) of North Korea, with the emphasis on unilateral steps by Pyongyang rewarded by USA security assurances.
Still, even as he turned his attention to the summit, Trump continued his blistering attacks on Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Monday, saying "Fair Trade is now to be called Fool Trade if it is not Reciprocal". [US] Amb [assador to the Philippines Sung] Kim meets with #DPRK [delegation] today.
At the Istana, Lee's official residence, the president shook hands with the prime minister, but Trump declined to answer shouted questions from reporters before the two leaders joined their aides for a luncheon. One bar offered a special "Bromance" cocktail, at least one street stall hawked a noodle dish in honor of the summit, and cardboard fans and water bottles showed stylized likenesses of Trump and Kim.
"The success will be in the shutter clicks of the cameras", he said.
Olivia Enos, policy analyst with the Asian Studies Center at The Heritage Foundation in Washington, said "a successful summit would move beyond mere statements about denuclearization".
The U.S.is hoping to leave the summit with a commitment from North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons but it is not yet clear what it would take for North Korea to agree to such an agreement.
Preliminary meetings have already begun.
When Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un meet in Singapore to discuss the parameters of a deal that would potentially denuclearize North Korea this week, they will be joined by NBA Hall of Famer Dennis Rodman, for some weird reason.
She said the U.S. delegation would be led by Sung Kim, a veteran diplomat who recently held talks with North Korean officials.
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Since January, the DPRK and South Korea have been advancing in the normalization of their ties with frequent meetings of officials and among their top leaders, who have reached a favorable consensus for bilateral reconciliation.
North Korea's concept of denuclearization, made clear through years of failed discussions with the worldwide community, "bears no resemblance to the American definition", Evans J.R. Revere, a nonresident senior fellow at Brookings, wrote in a note.
With few sources of information other than the state-run media, gossip and word of mouth, North Koreans had been left largely in the dark about the momentous - and potentially life-changing - events about to take place outside of their isolated nation. While the Air Force One carrying Donald Trump landed in Singapore on Sunday evening, Kim Jong-un reportedly travelled by a Chinese plane, deployed for his personal use, and was received by Singaporean foreign minister. The leaders are spending the night at hotels about a half-mile apart in the upscale shopping area in Tanglin.
Kim arrived on an Air China jet, NPR's Elise Hu reports.
It was a striking about-face from less than a year ago, when Trump was threatening "fire and fury" against Kim, who in turn scorned the American president as a "mentally deranged US dotard".
And as they emerged from the meal for a brief stroll together, Trump appeared to delight in showing his North Korean counterpart the interior of "The Beast", the famed US presidential limousine known for its high-tech fortifications.
For his part, Kim hailed the "historic meeting" and said they "decided to leave the past behind".
Owing to their shared communist DNA and history of fighting alongside each other in the Korean War, China and North Korea are strategic allies.
Trump will also meet with U.S. Embassy personnel later Monday.