Published: Tue, May 29, 2018
Global Media | By Derrick Guzman

'Donald, I'm already here': Kim impersonator turns heads in Singapore

'Donald, I'm already here': Kim impersonator turns heads in Singapore

The two sides are also expected to hold separate talks on protocol and security in Singapore on Tuesday, with a White House team leaving for Singapore on Sunday.

There has been speculation that Kim, who greeted Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Pyongyang this month, would be traveling to the United States amid frenzied talks aimed at salvaging the summit, scheduled to be held in Singapore on June 12.

The talks, which Moon said Kim Jong Un requested, capped a whirlwind 24 hours of diplomatic back and forth.

Moon said North Korea and the United States will soon start working-level talks to prepare for the Kim-Trump summit. But Moon said Sunday that he and Kim made a decision to meet again, rather than have a telephone conversation, as their aides suggested "candid" face-to-face talks between the leaders.

Tongilgak was also the location of the second summit between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on Saturday, in which the two agreed to some type of complete denuclearization and efforts to successfully hold a June 12 North-U.S. summit.

Kim Chang-son is Kim Jong Un's chief aide, responsible for scheduling, itineraries, protocol and the flow of reports, policy documents and communications to and from the leader.

Washington seeks a complete, verifiable and irreversible dismantlement of the North's nuclear weapons program, but Pyongyang has rejected demands for "unilateral" denuclearization and threatened to pull out of the summit if such discussions continue.

"Sending such an experienced and professional team signals that the Trump administration is getting serious about the specifics of an agreement", said former U.S. deputy assistant secretary of defence for East Asia, Abraham Denmark.

Kim Yong Chol is a former military intelligence chief and now a vice chairman of the North Korean ruling party's central committee tasked with inter-Korean relations. The North Korean leader could now "continue to play nice in public but stall out the process behind closed doors", said Mount, of Federation of American Scientists. Analysts said the pressure from the top makes a meeting more likely.

Trump said "I'd rather not say" whether he has spoken with North Korea's leader.

The details of such a plan, however, remain in question. "It will happen!" Trump said in the same tweet. "And we'll be here satirizing the whole situation", said Howard. "It's good that the two will meet, and my hope is that would set the stage for more realistic, more direct, specific conversations later on".

A "pre-advance" team of USA officials was also travelling to Singapore to meet with North Koreans there, the White House said. Teams had already been surveying hotel ballrooms and other possible locations for the meeting when Trump declared it canceled last week.

General Kim Yong Chol landed at Beijing airport on Tuesday and will journey on to NY the following day after talks with Chinese officials, according to South Korea's Yonhap news agency, which cited diplomatic sources.

Here's where we stand with what could be a historic meeting. "What's unclear for Chairman Kim, in my opinion, is not his willingness for denuclearization but whether he can certainly trust the US saying that it'll end hostile relations and guarantee the security of his regime after his denuclearization".

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