Kim nuclear summit praised, but big questions loom

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Following a sit-down with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un yesterday, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong held a private meeting with US President Donald Trump this afternoon ahead of tomorrow's big summit.

In the end, he simply hitched a ride from his pal President Xi Jinping on an Air China Boeing 747 - a surprising move given North Korea's insistence on "juche" or self-reliance.

At the time, Trump's daughter Ivanka was officially visiting South Korea, as was Gina Haspel, the then deputy Central Intelligence Agency chief, and Andrew Kim, the head of the CIA's Korea Mission Center.

Trump first announced there would be "a signing" shortly after midday, during a stroll with Kim around the hotel grounds.

"I do trust him, yeah", the president said in an interview Tuesday with ABC News' George Stephanopoulos in Singapore, the site of the summit.

Geng dismissed accusations from Trump that Beijing has been easing up on the sanctions, saying it is following United Nations sanctions "comprehensively, accurately and strictly".

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Lee, State Department's interpreting services division chief, has been an "unsung hero" in negotiations with both North and South Korea for years, Frank Aum, a North Korea expert at the U.S. Institute for Peace at Johns Hopkins University, told TIME.

That matters because North Korea has pledged to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula in virtually all agreements since 1992, but implementation has broken down due to a lack of consensus on what that means.

On human rights, Trump said Tuesday's meetings only very briefly touched on the topic, but that the two sides would discuss it more in the future.

North Korea sees the annual exercises as a rehearsal for invasion, but the government in Seoul maintains they are defensive in nature. But he noted that the "war games" with South Korea that Trump said he will end, will continue if the North Korean leader doesn't follow through on his commitments.

Trump screened the video for Kim on an iPad at their meeting in Singapore, before sharing an English version with the gathered press a short time later.

Ambassador Joseph DeTrani, who served as a top US negotiator with Pyongyang before the last attempt at diplomacy broke down in 2009, was more optimistic.

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There were no immediate details on the age, appearance or nationality of the hostage taker. The area around the incident in the 10th arrondissement of Paris was ringed off by police.

The Trump administration is also dealing with a North Korea that has a much more sophisticated nuclear weapons program, with more powerful warheads and more accurate intercontinental ballistic missiles. Mr Trump said he wanted to see United States troops withdraw from the South.

"Do you now see Kim Jong-un as an equal?" asked a Time magazine correspondent.

-North Korea summit in Singapore Tuesday.

The optimistic summit was a remarkable change in dynamics 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". The best we can say is that this summit did bring the world back from the brink of another war on the Korean Peninsula. For his part, Kim hailed the "historic meeting" and said they "decided to leave the past behind". "But the President said he expected immediate action as a result of the talks".

He would not say whether that included the possibility of withdrawing US troops from the Korean Peninsula, but said the USA was "prepared to take what will be security assurances that are different, unique, than America's been willing to provide previously".

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