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Trump reaches Singapore

| Updated: June 12, 2018 16:20:45

US President Donald Trump disembarks Air Force One as he reaches Singapore on Sunday. -Reuters Photo US President Donald Trump disembarks Air Force One as he reaches Singapore on Sunday. -Reuters Photo

US President Donald Trump reached Singapore on Sunday ahead of a historic summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Trump flew into Singapore’s Paya Lebar Air Base aboard Air Force One directly following his divisive meeting in Canada with some of Washington’s closest allies that further strained global trade ties.

After a 20-hour journey from Canada, Trump was received at the air base by Singapore’s Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan, reports Reuters.

Trump’s arrival came just hours after Kim, wearing his trademark dark “Mao suit” and distinctive high-cut hairstyle, landed in the ultra-modern city-state on his longest trip overseas as head of state.

Trump and Kim are due to meet on Tuesday on the resort island of Sentosa for their high-stakes summit, the first-ever talks between them and the culmination of a head-spinning diplomatic dance.

Such a meeting was unthinkable just months ago when Trump and Kim were exchanging insults and threats that raised fears of war in the region.

But a series of diplomatic overtures involving North Korea, South Korea and the United States reduced tensions and led Trump in March to quickly accept Kim’s invitation to meet.

Trump initially touted the potential for a grand bargain with North Korea to rid itself of a nuclear missile program that has advanced rapidly to threaten the United States, insisting he would swiftly achieve what previous US administrations have failed to do.

But he has since lowered expectations, saying the talks would be more about starting a relationship with Kim for a negotiating process that would take more than one summit.

 This has included backing away from an original demand for North Korea’s swift denuclearisation.

Kim has given little sign of any willingness to dismantle his nuclear program, which experts believe he sees a vital to the survival of his family’s dynastic rule.

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