“I feel that Kim Jong Un wants to do something great for his people and he has that opportunity,” Trump said at a press conference just before he departed a G-7 summit in Charlevoix, Canada, for his historic Tuesday rendezvous with Kim.
“He won’t have that opportunity again.”
Pope Francis prayed on Sunday that the summit will be successful in laying the groundwork for peace on the Korean peninsular. The Pontiff invited the thousands of faithful in St. Peter’s Square to pray with him so that the Virgin Mary “accompany these talks.”
Trump departed one summit for the other, leaving chaos in his wake. The president announced Saturday that he was pulling the U.S. out of the Group of Seven’s official statement of common values and accusing Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, the host of the conference, of “false statements.”
But with the G-7 in his rearview mirror, Trump seemed ready to focus on North Korea. At a minimum, he said, he wants to begin a relationship and, he predicted, it won’t take him long to figure out whether Kim is genuinely interested in a making a deal that includes denuclearization.
“I think within the first minute, I’ll know — just my touch, my feel,” he said.
This is the furthest Kim has traveled since he became leader in 2011, meaning North Korean officials have little to no experience of preparing for diplomatic trips to other nations where they may be vulnerable to hacking, surveillance or even attack.
Despite Singapore’s strict laws and ubiquitous surveillance, the North Korean delegation are not taking any chances when it comes to security.
Refrigerator trucks were also at the ready, reportedly to transport food flown over from North Korea for its delegation. Chae Kyou-chir, chief executive of Top Guard, a prominent South Korean security and protection firm said the North Korean leader is likely to be served food prepared by a traveling chef.
Kim is due to stay at the St. Regis hotel as neither the North Korean embassy, nor the ambassador’s residence, were reportedly suitable to accommodate the North’s leader. An advance team of officials have reportedly been at the hotel since Saturday.
Experts said that the security measures will likely surpass those seen in April for the inter-Korean summit, where 12 lanky male bodyguards jogged alongside Kim’s Mercedes-Benz vehicle whenever the North Korean leader moved across the border.
Bill Neely reported from Singapore, and Saphora Smith from London.
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