Iran ‘highly sceptical’ on US-N Korea nuclear talks

Mike Pompeo draws firm line on North Korea as summit hangs in balance

Trump-Kim summit: US president will leave early as talks 'moving rapidly'

U.S. President Donald Trump and top leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) Kim Jong Un will meet at the Capella Hotel on Singapore's Sentosa Island on Tuesday.

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.

After the many meetings with Kim, Trump will hold a press conference at 4 p.m. local time (4 a.m. ET), then fly back to the White House.

"We're prepared to take actions that will provide them sufficient certainty that they can be comfortable that denuclearization isn't something that ends badly for them", Pompeo said, adding that talks were "moving quite rapidly and we anticipate they will come to their logical conclusion even more quickly than we had anticipated".

He refused to go into details.

Mr Balakrishnan confirmed that Singapore was paying for the North Korean delegation's stay, describing it as "hospitality that we would have offered".

Pyongyang has demanded the end of what it calls a "hostile policy" towards it, but in public has only pledged to pursue the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula - a euphemism open to wide differences of interpretation.

Most ordinary North Koreans rely on a monotonous diet of rice, corn, kimchi and bean paste, and they lack essential fats and protein, according to testimonies from defectors and from United Nations officials allowed to visit. The ensuing recognition as a "normal country" could then allow sanctions relief, and later worldwide aid and investment.

In a statement, the White House said Mr Trump would speak to the media before departing for the U.S. at 8:00pm. Illustrating the divisions within Trump's administration about the wisdom of pursuing diplomacy with the North, Pompeo has been a driving force behind the meeting as national security adviser John Bolton has become a more behind the scenes player.

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Previously, he served as intelligence chief and is believed to have been behind two attacks in 2010 that killed 50 South Koreans. Hannity, one of the president's most ardent supporters, will talk to Trump at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa Island in Singapore .

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It was a striking about-face 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 USA dotard". During his stroll, crowds yelled out Kim's name and jostled to take pictures, and the North Korean leader posed for a selfie with Singapore officials. Kim spent the day mostly out of view - until he left his hotel for a late-night tour of Singapore sights, including the Flower Dome at Gardens by the Bay, billed as the world's biggest glass greenhouse.

Last week, Trump expressed his hope for the normalization of relations with Pyongyang following the summit and did not rule out the signing of a peace treaty between the two countries.

But critics have warned it risks becoming more of a media circus than an occasion for substantial progress.

"We can expect a one on one at the beginning", Palladino was quoted as saying by The Straits Times.

Trump says he thinks "things can work out very nicely" with North Korea on the eve of his historic summit with Kim Jong-un. China and South Korea would have to sign off on any legal treaty.

"We appreciate your hospitality and professionalism and your friendship", the U.S. president added.

The summit between the two leaders will be a crucial test of Trump's bet on North Korea: that Kim's desire to end his country's economic strangulation and pariah status can prevail over the dictator's fear of relinquishing his nuclear threat.

It formally referred to Trump by his full name in the Monday report, including his middle initial - the first time it has done so.

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