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SINGAPORE — President Donald Trump hyped the drama surrounding his historic nuclear summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Tuesday, tweeting hours before its 9 p.m. ET start that “we will all know soon” if a “real deal” is in the offing.
Trump has placed his emphasis on the personal dynamics of the relationship he forges with Kim, whom American officials say will have to give up his nuclear arsenal and his ability to develop new weapons in order to get relief from crippling U.S. economic sanctions and assurances that the U.S. will not take military action against him.
The president heads to the meeting after staff-level talks between the two nations “moved more quickly than expected” in recent days, the White House said.
“The fact that I am having a meeting is a major loss for the U.S., say the haters & losers,” Trump also tweeted shortly before the meeting. “We have our hostages, testing, research and all missle (sic) launches have stoped (sic), and these pundits, who have called me wrong from the beginning, have nothing else they can say! We will be fine!”
Before arriving here, Trump said it wouldn’t take him long to gauge whether Kim is just looking for a photo-op or is willing to make the kinds of concessions that would end North Korea’s decades of isolation.
“I think within the first minute, I’ll know — just my touch, my feel,” Trump said recently.
The two leaders are expected to shake hands at 9 a.m. local time, then sit down for a meeting at which the only other people in the room will be translators. After that, the schedule calls for a larger bilateral dialogue in which the U.S. will be represented by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, White House chief of staff John Kelly and national security adviser John Bolton, followed by a working lunch.