President Donald Trump will meet North Korean leader Kim Jong-un Tuesday morning, Singapore time, on the island of Sentosa.
Trump arrived in Singapore Sunday and spent approximately two days preparing for the summit while lower-level delegations of Americans met North Korean officials for talks preceding the meeting between the two world leaders.
The White House issued official guidance for the summit Monday that reads, “The discussions between the United States and North Korea are ongoing and have moved more quickly than expected,” before revealing further details about the event.
The two world leaders will face off on the fate of the North Korean nuclear program with the U.S. demanding total, complete, and irreversible denuclearization in exchange for a promise of economic assistance. Trump envisions any possible denuclearization occurring in stages and possible future meetings, telling reporters Thursday he may invite Kim Jong-un to the White House if the first meeting goes well.
“North Korea has previously confirmed to us its willingness to denuclearize, and we are eager to see if those words prove sincere,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters Monday evening in Singapore. “The fact that our two leaders are sitting down face to face is a sign of the enormous potential to accomplish something that will immensely benefit both of our peoples and the entire world.”
Trump will take part in an official meet-and-greet with Kim Jong-un before undergoing direct one-on-one negotiations with the leader. The two leaders will be accompanied only by their official translators. Following the direct one-on-one negotiations, Trump will be joined by a U.S. delegation for an expanded bilateral meeting.
“The United States delegation at tomorrow’s expanded bilateral meeting will include Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Chief of Staff John Kelly, and National Security Advisor John Bolton. Press Secretary Sarah Sanders, Ambassador Sung Kim, and National Security Council Senior Director for Asia Matt Pottinger will join for the working lunch,” the White House said.
North Korea has reneged on previous nuclear agreements with the U.S. but has suffered under western sanctions in recent years. The regime views its nuclear weapons program as a guarantee against invasion. North Korea in particular will attempt to gain a guarantee of its security from the U.S. in exchange for any future discussion on its nuclear program, while the U.S. team will look for concrete steps towards denuclearization before giving any assurances.
Trump will also press to Kim Jong-un the future economic potential of North Korea if it gives up its nuclear program by emphasizing the benefits of entry to the global market system. Japan, South Korea, and China are expected join the U.S. in economic assistance to North Korea if it denuclearizes and removes the chief security irritant in the Asia-Pacific.
The president will then depart the summit and answer questions from the adjoining press corps Tuesday evening before flying back to the U.S.