The historic Trump-Kim summit is just 48 hours away, and both leaders have arrived in Singapore. Kim arrived on an Air China plane Sunday afternoon local time, and Trump arrived just hours later at Paya Lebar Air Base.
This caps weeks of questions around the summit. President Trump withdrew from the summit after North Korea angrily condemned John Bolton’s talk of a “Libya model.” North Korea remained patient, and after another week of lower-level talks, Trump said the talks would happen as originally scheduled.
Trump has been very public about not participating in a lot of preparations before the talks, saying he believes it will be about attitude and not preparation. Trump has said a peace deal is possible in North Korea, and says any agreement will be “spur of the moment.”
A peace deal would end the Korean War, which began in 1950. Though signing such a deal isn’t specifically on the schedule, there largely isn’t anything planned, and that means such deals could happen. President Trump has said the summit is the start of a process, and raised the possibility of inviting Kim to the White House if the talks go well.
The big goal is denuclearization, with both sides having made clear that’s a major focus of the talks. Details of how long this will take is unclear, and some officials who are less pro-diplomacy, like Bolton, are suggesting “denuclearization” also covers North Korea’s missiles, chemical and biological arsenals, and their means to produce any of them.
That’s probably a non-starter, as North Korea has long said it needs a deterrent from a US attack. Bolton’s talk of a “Libya model,” in which Libya disarmed and a few years later the US led a NATO attack imposing regime change, underscores exactly why North Korea will want some deterrent left, even if it is non-nuclear.