Live Briefing: Live Updates: Trump and Kim Jong-un Hold Meetings in Singapore


Mr. Trump’s team at the summit meeting included, among others, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo; John F. Kelly, the White House chief of staff; John R. Bolton, the national security adviser; and Matthew Pottinger, the National Security Council’s top Asia hand.

The administration also recruited Sung Y. Kim, a seasoned North Korea negotiator currently serving as the American ambassador to the Philippines.

Among the North Koreans attending the summit meeting is Kim Yong-chol, a former leader of North Korea’s main spy agency, who now serves as a vice chairman of the ruling Workers’ Party. He had visited Mr. Trump at the White House on June 1, delivering a personal letter from Mr. Kim.

Ri Yong-ho, North Korea’s foreign minister, and Choe Son-hui, a vice foreign minister, have haggled with the United States for decades over their country’s nuclear weapons program. Ms. Choe called Vice President Mike Pence “ignorant and stupid” last month, briefly jeopardizing the summit meeting.

Also on the trip are No Kwang-chol and Kim Yo-jong. Mr. No became minister of the People’s Armed Forces during a recent reshuffle of the top military leadership.

Ms. Kim, Mr. Kim’s only sister, has been an important face of North Korea’s recent diplomatic overtures. Mr. Kim sent her to South Korea in February to invite President Moon Jae-in to a summit meeting. She is in charge of the party’s Department of Propaganda and Agitation, one of the most powerful agencies in North Korea.

Koreatown unfazed by historic summit

In Los Angeles, the Trump-Kim meeting drew muted interest across Koreatown’s businesses, bars and restaurants on Monday evening. Few places with televisions appeared to carry the news live.

At a local billiards hall in Koreatown, Yoon Hong-jung, 69, said that he was waiting to see what emerged from the meeting before he decided whether it was a good idea.

Mr. Yoon, who moved to the United States from South Korea 18 years ago, added that he had little faith that Mr. Kim had good intentions regarding nuclear disarmament.

“He’s a terrorist,” said Mr. Yoon, who still has family in South Korea. “He killed his brother. I don’t believe Kim Jong-un. He is evil.” Asked if he was interested in news coverage of the summit meeting, he pointed at the television screen; at that very moment when Mr. Trump and Mr. Kim were shown shaking hands, the programming had changed to a Korean talk show.

Viewing from North Korea

Photo

Residents of Pyongyang, the North Korean capital, watched footage of Mr. Kim in Singapore on Monday.

Credit
Jon Chol Jin/Associated Press

North Korea wasted little time reporting on Kim Jong-un’s most spectacular foreign outing.

On Tuesday, the North’s main state-run newspaper, Rodong Sinmun, dedicated its entire front page to a report on Mr. Kim’s stroll past landmarks in Singapore on Monday evening. The newspaper carried 14 color photos, including one that showed pedestrians in Singapore treating Mr. Kim like a celebrity, taking photos of him with their cellphones. Mr. Kim waved back.

It is highly unusual for North Korea to report Mr. Kim’s activities abroad so quickly. When Mr. Kim met with the leaders of China and South Korea in recent weeks, North Korean media reported the meetings only after they were over and Mr. Kim had returned to Pyongyang, the North’s capital.

By showing Mr. Kim inspecting landmarks in Singapore, North Korean media tried to promote his image as a leader striving to modernize his decrepit country. At home, state media often shows Mr. Kim supervising the construction of pastel-colored skyscrapers and amusement parks in Pyongyang, the country’s showpiece city.

Continue reading the main story



Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *