“As you know, we’ve got a very interesting meeting tomorrow,” Trump told Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hwien Loong on Monday. “We’ve got very interesting meeting in particular tomorrow, and I just think it’s going to work out very nicely.”
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also offered up a positive assessment of the sitdown with Kim, saying preparations for the talks were moving ahead rapidly “and we anticipate that they will come to their logical conclusion even more quickly than we anticipated.” He also said the meeting will lay the groundwork for further discussions to ensure the two sides agree on “the complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.
“North Korea has previously confirmed to us its willingness to denuclearize, and we are eager to see if those words prove sincere,” Pompeo said. He also warned Pyongyang that Trump will keep up his “maximum pressure” campaign of crippling trade and economic penalties until the regime fulfills that aim. “If diplomacy doesn’t move in the right direction, sanctions will increase,” Pompeo said.
Trump is expected to sit down with Kim at 9 a.m. Tuesday (9 p.m. Monday New York time) at the Capella Resort on Sentosa Island. It will be the first time a sitting American president meets with a North Korean leader. The two leaders landed in Singapore hours apart Sunday.
Trump met with Lee on Monday, a day after Kim visited the prime minister hours after his arrival. The US and Singapore delegations enjoyed lobster bisque, beef tenderloin and ice cream. A cake was also on the menu for Trump, who celebrates his 72nd birthday Thursday.
On Monday there was no sign of Kim, who remained at the St. Regis Hotel, which was heavily guarded. North Korean media mentioned for the first time the historic gathering of the two men, remarking they would exchange “wide-ranging and profound views” to recalibrate relations. The state-run KCNA news agency heralded the summit as part of a “changed era,” Reuters reported.