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(US-NK summit) Expectations running high for successful outcomes

All News 10:30 June 11, 2018

SINGAPORE, June 11 (Yonhap) -- Both North Korea and the United States have expressed expectations for the outcomes of their first summit meeting set to open in Singapore on Tuesday.

Watchers said Monday it still remains unclear whether the two countries can reach any historic agreement on denuclearization and security guarantee, but the latest external developments from both sides seem to indicate the talks will proceed successfully.

When asked how he feels about the summit after landing in Singapore on Sunday afternoon, U.S. President Donald Trump said, "Very good."

The comment can be dismissed as casual optimism characteristic of the U.S. leader, but the watchers interpreted it as suggesting that the atmosphere in their last-minute negotiations on denuclearization may not be discouraging.

Two separate photos from the Singaporean government and AFP show North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (L) and U.S. President Trump arriving in Singapore on June 10, 2018, ahead of their historic summit. (Yonhap)

From Pyongyang, the North's official media Monday carried comparatively detailed reports on leader Kim Jong-un's visit to Singapore, including his arrival date and plan to hold his first meeting with Trump on Tuesday.

It is very unusual for Pyongyang's media to give an advance report of Kim's schedule, particularly during his overseas stay. Kim visited China twice this year, but the North's media made them public only after he returned to Pyongyang.

The latest disclosure of Kim's future schedule seems to indicate his confidence about regime security even during his absence in Pyongyang, as well as expectations for the summit outcomes, according to the watchers.

The Monday report from the Korean Central News Agency mentioned the summit agenda, including denuclearization and lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula.

Another Pyongyang report quoting Kim Yong-nam, the nominal head of state, as telling leader Kim to achieve outstanding outcomes from the summit with the U.S. has also drawn attention. The remark indicates considerable expectations in North Korea for a successful summit, while some skeptics do not rule out the possibility that the North may eventually label any summit results a success.

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