US says North Korea talks moving ‘more quickly than expected’

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The US says its discussions with North Korea are moving “more quickly than expected” ahead of the joint summit in Singapore on Tuesday. The preliminary talks between officials have been taking place ahead of the highly anticipated first meeting. The White House also confirms that President Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un will hold a one-on-one meeting, with only translators present. Mr Trump will then leave the country that same evening. Earlier, North Korean state media talked about a “new relationship” with the US. And the US has said it will offer North Korea “unique” security assurances in return for denuclearisation, according to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

He insisted the US would accept nothing less than complete denuclearisation. Singapore’s Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan, who met Mr Trump and Mr Kim separately on Sunday evening, told the BBC that both leaders were feeling “supremely confident”. The US president and North Korean leader are staying in separate hotels, not far from each other, and will meet on Tuesday at a hotel on Sentosa, a popular tourist island a few hundred metres off the main island of Singapore.

Mr Trump has said he has a “good feeling” about Tuesday’s much-anticipated summit.Mr Kim has also said he wants to focus on building the North Korean economy and thus wants sanctions relief and international investment. The question is what concessions he is willing to make, and whether he will stick to any promises made. Still, the US is not necessarily expecting to get a final deal in Singapore. President Trump has described it as a “get-to-know-you situation” and said “it’s going to be a process”.

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