White House optimistic for Trump-Kim summit amid positive NK report

On the eve of a historic summit between President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un Pompeo sounded an upbeat tone saying that preparatory talks were advancing more quickly than expected

On the eve of a historic summit between President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un Pompeo sounded an upbeat tone saying that preparatory talks were advancing more quickly than expected

Trump has signaled openness to establishing a US embassy in Pyongyang, according to a report from Axios, which could signal a pathway toward normalizing relations.

A second meeting on Tuesday is expected by USA officials in Singapore, but not confirmed by North Korean officials.

President Trump holds up the menu as he attends a lunch with Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the Istana in Singapore on June 11, 2018.

Former US ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul summed it up: "If Trump can't negotiate a deal on milk with one of our closest allies, how is he going to get a deal on nuclear disarmament with one of our greatest foes?"

Hatred of the United States is helped by the very real memories among older North Koreans of the brutal bombing campaign waged against their country by the United States during the Korean war, in which hundreds of thousands of civilians were killed and cities leveled between June 1950 and July 1953. A senior White House official said Trump was "feeling good" and that the summit was open-ended, adding: "They will talk for as long as they need to".

Earlier, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo confirmed the preparatory talks had been moving rapidly but played down the possibility of a quick breakthrough.

A South Korean parliamentary source said negotiators from both countries "were debating over whether to put [the term] CVID" in the joint communique to be released after the summit.

Asked whether he would invite Kim to the White House, Trump said: "Absolutely, I will". Trump is probably keen to have a successful summit after disagreements at the G7 summit and before the November mid-term elections in the United States.

US President Donald Trump arrived In Singapore ahead of the US-DPRK Summit.

The president planned to stop in Guam and Hawaii on the way back to Washington. Kim spent the day mostly out of view - until he embarked on the late-night sightseeing tour of Singapore, including the Flower Dome at Gardens by the Bay, billed as the world's biggest glass greenhouse.

Instead, in recent days, Trump has said that the summit will be the start of a process and, that if nothing else results, it'll be a positive outcome alone for the two leaders to have met.

Lobster bisque, beef tenderloin and ice cream were on the lunch menu, and there was also an early birthday cake for Mr Trump, who turns 72 on Thursday.

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".

"The bombing is treated as the American original sin in (North Korean) propaganda and it certainly was savage", Robert Kelly, a professor of political science at South Korea's Pusan National University, told CNN a year ago. The characteristic displays of pique were a potential distraction from the summit that Trump has hoped to make a legacy-defining moment and that aides and political allies have seen as a welcome break from the Russian Federation investigation and other domestic woes. Or, it could amount to little more than a much-photographed handshake.

Trump was presented with a birthday cake by his Singaporean host.

White House officials said Monday they are optimistic a shift in U.S. In April, Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri posted a selfie with King Mohammed of Morocco and Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, just months after the drama triggered by his shock resignation during a trip to Saudi Arabia.

Trump advisers cast his actions as a show of strength before the Kim meeting.

Pompeo said the summit should set the framework for "the hard work that will follow", insisting that North Korea had to move toward complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearisation.