Tuesday, March 19, 2019
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Kim Jong-un meets Singapore prime minister before Trump summit

North Korean leader holds talks with Lee Hsien Loong hours after arriving in city-state for meeting with US president.

Kim Jong-un has met Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, hours after the North Korean leader arrived in the country for an historic summit with US President Donald Trump.

Kim landed in Singapore on Sunday amid huge security precautions in the city-state island.

In a statement, Singapore's ministry of foreign affairs said Kim thanked Lee for hosting the summit with Trump.

"Prime Minister Lee wished Chairman Kim success for the US-DPRK Summit and expressed hope that the US-DPRK meeting will advance the prospects for peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and the larger region," the statement added.

Trump arrived later on Sunday from the Canadian city of Quebec, where he attended a G7 summit with other world leaders.

He is also set to meet Lee on Monday.

The Trump-Kim summit, which will be held at the Capella hotel on Tuesday, will mark the first time a North Korean leader has met a sitting US president.

The talks will focus on reaching an agreement on the denuclearisation of North Korea in exchange for the easing of economic and diplomatic sanctions.

As he departed on Saturday, Trump said he was on a "mission of peace" but also warned that the face-to-face talks were a "one-time shot."

"I feel confident Kim Jong-un wants to do something great for his people," Trump said, adding that, "he won't have this opportunity again."

At stake at the summit are North Korea's nuclear weapons and peace on the Korean Peninsula.

North Korea spent decades developing nuclear weapons, culminating in the test of a thermonuclear device in 2017. It also successfully tested missiles with enough range to reach the US mainland.

The tests came amid a campaign of "maximum pressure," led by Washington that tightened economic sanctions against Pyongyang and raised the possibility of military action.

After a flurry of contacts between the two Koreas, South Korean officials suggested to Trump in March that Kim would be willing to meet face-to-face.

The summit comes after weeks of sometimes-contentious discussions and was briefly cancelled amid North Korean outrage over messaging from some US advisers.

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