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Singapore pays for Kim Jong Un's hotel during Trump summit

Singapore pays for Kim Jong Un's hotel during Trump summit

North Korean Kim Jong-un and President Donald Trump are preparing for a June 12th nuclear summit in Singapore.

In March, Trump accepted Kim's invitation to meet, breaking with predecessors who had shunned any type of a summit without major concessions from North Korea or multilateral talks that included a host of other Asian countries.

The White House also announced Trump would be leaving Singapore earlier than previously expected and holding a media availability ahead of his departure.

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

The summit has officially begun, with Trump and Kim shaking hands and posing for photographs.

The White House has not said whether the president will raise issue with North Korea's dismal human rights record, but the president took time in the hours before his meeting to take a swipe at critics of the sit-down.

A Trump administration official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the USA side was entering the talks with a sense of optimism and an equal dose of skepticism given North Korea's long history of developing nuclear weapons. Previous reports had suggested Trump would leave on Wednesday.

Both leaders would offer "clear, specific, unequivocal statements" outlining a dismantlement of North Korean weapons, an inventory and removal of all nuclear fuel and an opening up to United Nations nuclear inspectors.

The Trump administration has largely continued what it calls its "maximum pressure" campaign on the North, but has moved toward a softer tone as the summit approached.

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Any nuclear deal will hinge on North Korea's willingness to allow unfettered outside inspections of the country's warheads and nuclear fuel, much of which is likely kept in a vast complex of underground facilities.

President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un are sharing a historic handshake as they meet for the first time.

An entrance glows outside the Capella Hotel on Sentosa Island in Singapore June 5, 2018.

Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi was deposed and killed by NATO-backed militants in 2011 after halting his nascent nuclear program and North Korea has long rejected any suggestion of a Libya model.

But when pressed by reporters, the secretary of state would not say whether or not that could include reduction of the number of or removal of US troops in South Korea.

In a post on Twitter during his flight, Trump reiterated his optimism that the summit with the North Korean leader will be a success.

There has been no indication Rodman would be involved in any official talks at the summit, which is aimed at getting North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons and missiles in exchange for economic incentives and security guarantees.

In the past two months, he has met twice with South Korean President Moon Jae-in and twice with China's leader Xi Jinping.