White House says Trump plans early summit departure

Dennis Rodman looks out at the court at the end of an exhibition basketball game with U.S. and North Korean players at an indoor stadium in Pyongyang North Korea

Dennis Rodman looks out at the court at the end of an exhibition basketball game with U.S. and North Korean players at an indoor stadium in Pyongyang North Korea

US President Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un are in Singapore ahead of their critical meet on June 12. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the delegations were "rapidly" making progress, but it will come down to the meeting between the two leaders.

"The discussions between the United States and North Korea are ongoing and have moved more quickly than expected", the White House said in a statement.

As for where Kim will spend the night, he's opted for the St. Regis Singapore, where it is believed he has checked into the hotel's $11,500-a-night Presidential Suite.

Against a backdrop of USA and North Korean flags, the two first shook hands for about 12 seconds, and Trump at one point grabbed before leading him toward another room where they are scheduled to meet one-on-one, with just translators present, for about 45 minutes.

El líder norcoreano Kim Jong-un y el presidente de EEUU Donald Trump
AFP 2018 Saul Loeb World Follows Every Step of Historic Trump Kim Summit

Lobster bisque, beef tenderloin and ice cream were on the lunch menu, and there was also an early birthday cake for Trump, who turns 72 on Thursday. He told reporters he thinks he will know nearly immediately whether a deal can be made, saying: "I will know, just my touch, my feel".

While Trump and Kim search each other's eyes and words for signs of trust or deceit, the rest of the world will be watching, hoping that somehow these two unpredictable leaders can find a way to defuse one of the planet's most unsafe flashpoints.

Beyond the impact on both leaders' political fortunes, the summit could shape the fate of countless people _ the citizens of impoverished North Korea, the tens of millions living in the shadow of the North's nuclear threat, and millions more worldwide.

MORE: What's up for negotiation at the North Korea summit?

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Although gaps remain over what denuclearisation would entail, Trump sounded a positive note in a lunch meeting with Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. North Korea has always been a useful buffer between China and USA forces in South Korea.

The leaders of both countries have already arrived in Singapore, but the actual summit will take place summit at the five-star Capella Hotel, situated on the resort island of Sentosa. The meeting was initially meant to rid North Korea of its nuclear weapons, but the talks have been portrayed by Trump in recent days more as a get-to-know-you session.

He explained that he gave the North Korean official Trump's book, "Art of the Deal", while he was in North Korea.

It's unclear what Trump and Kim might decide Tuesday.

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Another possibility from the summit is a deal to end the Korean War, which North Korea has long demanded, presumably, in part, to get United States troops off the Korean Peninsula and, eventually, pave the way for a North Korean-led unified Korea.

Here's how the day is scheduled to go: Trump and Kim will meet at 9am local time and sit down for a one-on-one discussion (with translators, but no advisers present) at 9.15.

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