Pompeo tries to reassure North Korea about denuclearization

Cleaned up, locked down and ready to make history. Kim Jong-un needs to tell his people why he's willing to negotiate.

The standard thinking goes that he needs quick help to stabilize and then rebuild an economy that has suffered amid a decades-long pursuit of nuclear bombs, and that the North Koreans see a unique chance to win concessions, legitimacy and protection from a meeting with a highly unconventional US president who's willing to consider options past American leaders would not. But the president has significantly softened the United States negotiating stance in the immediate run-up to the summit, accepting the prospect of an open-ended negotiations involving multiple future summits. "I think things could work out very nicely".

South Koreans are divided on generational and political lines about Tuesday's summit between the North's leader Kim Jong Un and US President Donald Trump.

Korean Studies Institute director David Kang said: "The most we can hope to get out of this is that Kim and Trump find that they can have some working relationship".

Kim began the year by declaring to the world that "a nuclear button is always on the desk of my office", which was widely interpreted as an allusion to his personal control over North Korea's nuclear arsenal.

"I think the North will denuclearise. because it knows it has no other alternatives", he said. "I look forward to meeting him and have a feeling that this one-time opportunity will not be wasted!"

The running bodyguards of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un - which made an appearance for the first time during the inter-Korean summit in April this year - are now back in action, this time in Singapore. He could be seen speeding through Singapore on Sunday in a black limousine adorned with large North Korean flags.

Still, the U.S. is not necessarily expecting to get a final deal in Singapore.

Kim also gets an "obvious and immediate win" by simply meeting with Trump, writes Joseph Yun, who was the top USA diplomat on North Korea until March.

Trump himself seemed optimistic as well.

"Wouldn't it be wonderful if we walked out and everything was settled all of a sudden from sitting down for a couple of hours?"

Authorities have beefed up security around the hotels where Trump and Kim (Saint Regis) will be staying in central Singapore.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tweeted the talks had been "substantive and detailed".

At the Quebec meeting of the leaders of seven industrial powers, Trump yanked the US endorsement of a joint economic agreement among the seven countries.

Weeks of 'Will they?

The cancelled meeting was ultimately resurrected, and now the pair are less than a day away from holding historic talks.

Mr Trump's first year in office was marked by bitter exchanges between himself and Mr Kim - as North Korea conducted several ballistic missile tests in defiance of the global community.

President Trump has described it as a "get-to-know-you situation" and said "it's going to be a process".

It's not just the logistics of Kim's trip that are unclear.

The newspaper said the summit marks the start of a "changed era" for North Korea and the US.

The format for the historic talks, at a luxury island hotel, was still far from clear.

Paul Haenle worries there's a preparation gap that has left Trump - and the US - at a disadvantage.

A confrontation between North Korea and the US has been brewing for decades.

While President Trump has spoken positively about the upcoming summit, he has been vague on details of what they might be able to actually achieve.

Japan has not been engaging with North Korea itself and is counting on the United States to represent its interests - including Pyongyang's missiles with ranges that can hit Japan and North Korea's abduction of Japanese citizens in the 1970s and 1980s.

Two big enigmas, with their fingers on nuclear buttons.

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