North Korea the next frontier for United States businesses?

Remigio Civitarese
Giugno 14, 2018

It wasn't immediately clear what specific progress, if any, had been made in preliminary discussions between US and North Korean officials in the run-up to the Tuesday summit.

- Trump met Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, as Kim did on Sunday, was feted at lunch with an early birthday celebration (his birthday is June 14), and then went back to his hotel, the swanky Shangri-La.

They plan to start the first-ever face-to-face meeting between the leaders of the Korean War foes at Sentosa's Capella Hotel at 9 a.m. Tuesday.

Earlier, officials from the two sides held last-minute talks aimed at laying the groundwork for the summit between Trump and Kim, a meeting nearly unthinkable just months ago when the two were exchanging insults and threats that raised fears of war.

The North Korean nuclear crisis as we know it began in the early 1990s, shortly after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War, when the United States first accused North Korea of diverting nuclear fuel into weapons production.

Singapore, doing its bit to promote peace, has said it expects to spend about S$20 million ($15 million) on hosting the summit, including the North Koreans' hotel bill, Singapore's foreign minister told the BBC.

Experts on North Korea say that the shortened meeting time leaves nearly no room to forge a path for Pyongyang's "complete, verifiable, irreversible denuclearization", or CVID, which the US State Department was promising just last week.

The national security adviser's previous remark that disarmament should follow the "Libya model" embraced by Moammar Qaddafi - who after giving up his nuclear weapons was later overthrown and killed in a US-backed uprising - prompted an angry reply from Pyongyang. While it would be "catastrophic" for the United States to forcibly disarm the DPRK, as Defense Secretary James Mattis has acknowledged, no one - not the United States or China or South Korea - thinks North Korea deserves an India deal. "If diplomacy does not move in the right direction, those measures will increase", he said.

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

For the US president, expectations have fallen from the sky-high standards of early May, when Trump seemed to believe, for at least a fleeting moment, that North Korea would be coming to Singapore to turn the keys over to its nuclear program.

Trump has enjoyed all the attention attached to his unprecedented sit-down with Kim, basking in suggestions that he might be a candidate for a Nobel Peace Prize. About 100 reporters and Singapore residents shouted his name and took pictures with phones as Kim visited Marina Bay Sands resort, famed for its rooftop infinity pool overlooking the city.

Critics of the summit leapt at the leaders' handshake and the moonlight stroll Kim took Monday night along the glittering Singapore waterfront, saying it was further evidence that Trump was helping legitimize Kim on the world stage.

The selfie sees Kim offer a wholesome smile, a display that belies the iron-fist with which he rules over North Korea.

"We've got a very interesting meeting. tomorrow, and I just think it's going to work out very nicely", Mr Trump said. "But they did [on Monday]", the source said, forecasting that the Singapore summit is likely to be declared a "success". He was quoted in a Washington Post article about arrangements for the Singapore summit. Traffic was held up in the steamy midday sun and scores of bystanders were penned in by police when Trump went to meet Lee. "Kim must not see American weakness".

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