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US, N Korea officials in final summit preparations

AFP  |  Singapore 

North Korean and US negotiators met in today for final preparations on the eve of an unprecedented summit between and Donald Trump, seeking to bridge the gaps over Pyongyang's nuclear arsenal.

Tomorrow's meeting will be the first between a sitting US and a leader of North Korea, whose nuclear and ballistic missile ambitions have raised global concerns and seen tensions soar.

It is an extraordinary turnaround from the rhetoric of last year, when Trump threatened the North with "fire and fury" and Kim dubbed him a "mentally deranged US dotard".

The summit has raised hopes of progress towards a peace treaty to formally end the Korean War, the last festering legacy of the Cold War, after hostilities only stopped with an armistice.

But is demanding as yet unspecified security guarantees and the end of what it calls a "hostile policy" towards it, and has not made clear what concessions it is offering over the nuclear arsenal it calls its "treasured sword" to defend against a US invasion.

The North, which has been subjected to increasingly strict sanctions by the and others, has made promises of change in the past, such as at the lengthy Six Party Talks process, only for the agreements to collapse later.

"We remain committed to the complete, verifiable, irreversible denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula," tweeted.

The mercurial US leader has whipsawed on expectations for the meeting, signalling that it could be the beginning of a "process" of several meetings, only to call it a "one-time shot" for peace as he embarked for

He would know "within the first minute" whether an agreement would be possible, he added.

"Great to be in Singapore, excitement in the air!" he tweeted Monday.

The North has sought such a meeting for decades, where its leader will meet a US as an equal rather than as the of a pariah state.

But analysts warn that it risks being more of a media event than an occasion of substantial progress and delegations from the two sides were negotiating at a in to try to address their differences.

The previous US stance, said of Foundation, was that "we don't deploy a to negotiate a treaty, we deploy a president to sign a treaty where we know where every piece of punctuation is on that piece of paper".

"One of my worries is that we come out of this Singapore summit with something that looks remarkably like the Six Party Talks or anything that the president has previously criticised but it is hyped as something that's historic and new and groundbreaking," he added.

Heavy security and armed police were in place at summit-related venues across the city-state.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, June 11 2018. 10:00 IST