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Trump, Kim Arrive In Singapore Ahead Of Historic Summit


North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (left) is welcomed by Singapore's Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan (center) upon his arrival on June 10.

U.S. President Donald Trump has arrived in Singapore as he prepares for a historic summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un over Pyongyang's nuclear arsenal.

The president arrived in the city-state on June 10, just hours after Kim’s plane landed ahead of the high-stakes June 12 summit on the resort island of Sentosa, which will be the first time a sitting U.S. president will meet with a North Korean leader.

Both were met at Singapore's Paya Lebar Air Base by Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan.

"Welcomed Chairman Kim Jong Un, who has just arrived in Singapore," Vivian Balakrishnan said on Twitter, with a picture of him shaking hands with Kim wearing glasses and a dark Maoist suit.

Kim later met Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

“The entire world is watching this historic summit between Kim Jong Un and the United States of America. Thanks to your sincere efforts...we were able to complete preparations for the summit," Kim said through an interpreter after the meeting.

U.S. President Donald Trump waves upon his arrival at Paya Lebar Air Base in Singapore on June 10.
U.S. President Donald Trump waves upon his arrival at Paya Lebar Air Base in Singapore on June 10.

Trump arrived after a 20-hour flight from the Group of Seven summit in Quebec, Canada. He is set to meet with Lee on June 11.

Discussions between Trump and Kim will focus on Pyongyang's nuclear weapons and efforts to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula.

Trump said the summit is a "onetime" chance for North Korea, adding, "but I feel really confident."

Trump said he would know "within a minute" if Kim was serious about giving up his nuclear weapons. He added that U.S. and North Korean officials have been working together in Singapore to prepare for the meeting.

Trump's delegation includes Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, national security adviser John Bolton, White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, and White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders.

This will be only the second known overseas trip for Kim since he became the reclusive country’s leader in 2011. He traveled on an Ilyushin-62M for his May trip to China.

Singapore's Straits Times newspaper reported that refrigerator trucks will be waiting at Changi Airport to receive the North Korean cargo flight. It said the plane is believed to be carrying food items as well as several luxury cars for the North Korean leader’s use.

An Air China Airbus 330 believed to be carrying part of the North Korean delegation arrived on June 9.

Neutral Singapore is known for its tight security and has hosted high-profile international meetings in the past, including many ASEAN summits.

It is considered one of the safest countries in the world and is one of some 48 countries where North Korea has an embassy.

With reporting by Reuters, AFP, and dpa
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