Will Rocket Man Kim Give Up His Nuclear Programme?

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By Massita Ahmad
SINGAPORE, June 12 (Bernama) -- Will North Korea join the global economic system and enjoy the prosperity of the world and, in return, give up its nuclear programme entirely?

The answer may be forthcoming Tuesday at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa Island where North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will meet, for the first time, with United States President Donald J. Trump for their ‘nuclear peace’ talks.

"I have the expectation that this will be very successful," Kim had said during his meeting with the host country’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong a few hours after he arrived in Singapore Sunday.

Kim, 34, was in 2013, named as the world's 46th Most Powerful Person by Forbes.

Under him, North Korea has continued to develop nuclear weapons despite a series of sanctions imposed by the United Nations.

Kim reportedly said in December 2015 that his family “turned the country into a powerful nuclear weapons state ready to detonate a self-reliant A-bomb and H-bomb to reliably defend its sovereignty and the dignity of the nation”.

In March 2018, South Korean official Chung Eui-Yong reportedly announced that Kim is "committed to denuclearisation" and "North Korea will refrain from any further nuclear or missile tests”.

Last year alone, between February and November, Kim, known as the Rocket Man, launched 23 missiles in 16 nuclear tests.

Some months later, it was reported that North Korea had destroyed at least three nuclear tunnels, observation buildings, a metal foundry and living quarters at its Punggye-ri nuclear test site.

Trump and Kim's one-on-one meeting is expected to last 45 minutes, according to a news report quoting an official schedule released by the White House Monday.

Trump is expected to reach the Capella Hotel at 8.20 am, and greet Kim around 9 am.

After their one-on-one meeting, accompanied only by translators, the two leaders and their senior officials will have a 90-minute expanded bilateral meeting.

They would have a working lunch at about 11.30 am, said the report.

Trump, who arrived in Singapore five hours after Kim did so on Sunday, will address the international media at a press conference in Sentosa around 4 pm.

“Things can work out very nicely,” said Trump to Lee at their bilateral meeting Monday on the ‘denuclearisation’ summit with Kim.

About 2,500 journalists from around the world have converged in Singapore for the historic summit that could bring peace to the Korea Peninsula.

-- BERNAMA