U.S. and North Korean Leaders of the Singapore Summit: Meet the Key Players
President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un are set to meet Tuesday (Monday 9:00 p.m Eastern Time) for a historic summit in Singapore, the first of its kind between the current leaders of either nation.
The meeting between Trump and Kim is scheduled for 9 a.m. local time on Tuesday -- or 9 p.m. ET Monday. Both leaders are already in Singapore and are expected to meet first one-on-one, with the exception of translators, the White House has said. A bilateral meeting is scheduled for later, which will include, among others, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, chief of staff John Kelly and National Security Adviser John Bolton.
North Korea has faced crippling diplomatic and economic sanctions as it has advanced development of its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.
Read on for a look at some of the key players of the summit...
President Trump landed Sunday evening in Singapore for the “mission of peace” meeting with the North Korean leader.
“Great to be in Singapore, excitement in the air,” Trump said in a tweet.
Kim Jong Un
Kim Jong Un, the supreme leader of North Korea, rose to power after his father, Kim Jong Il, died in 2011. Kim arrived in Singapore hours ahead of Trump, bringing with him his intense security detail.
Lee Hsien Loong
Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong met Trump on the tarmac when the U.S. president arrived Sunday and later had a working lunch with the president. He has also met with Kim.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo briefed reporters in Singapore ahead of Trump’s summit, saying the U.S. is prepared to show North Korea that denuclearization is “the opposite” of a threat to the Asian nation. He said the U.S. is prepared to provide North Korea with “sufficient certainty” that denuclearization is “not something that ends badly for them.”
Singapore Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan visited both the U.S. and North Korea ahead of the summit in preparation, according to The Associated Press. He said he traveled to North Korea “to make sure that everything was spick and span and in place, no last minute spoilers or difficulties.”
Balakrishnan has reportedly said Singapore is spending about $20 million to host the summit, including covering the hotel costs for Kim and his group.
Kim Yong Chol
Kim Yong Chol was the most senior North Korean official to have visited the U.S. in nearly 20 years when he arrived in New York City at the end of May to meet with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. From there, he traveled to Washington, D.C., to hand-deliver a letter from Kim Jong Un to Trump. He is among the small North Korean contingent to visit Singapore for the summit.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in spoke with Trump ahead of the summit, according to the presidential office. It said Trump filled Moon in on the details of the pre-summit negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang during the 40-minute phone call. Moon reportedly told Trump that South Koreans would be praying for a “miraculous result.”
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders is in Singapore with the U.S. delegation as well and will sit in on a working lunch, the White House said.
U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim has taken the lead on policy negotiations with North Korea and held a working meeting with the North Korean delegation, Sarah Sanders said.
He is expected to join other meetings during the summit, according to the White House.
White House chief of staff John Kelly is in Singapore and will be among those representing the U.S. at a bilateral meeting.
National Security Adviser John Bolton is in Singapore and expected to attend bilateral meetings.
Bolton, who is more hawkish, has been far less visible in the planning of the summit after he made a comment about favoring the “Libya model” for denuclearization, which enraged the North Koreans. Libya gave up its nuclear program at an early stage only to see its longtime dictator eventually overthrown and violently killed.
National Security Council senior director for Asia Matt Pottinger is among the U.S. delegation to Singapore.
Ambassador Michael McKinley, a career diplomat Mike Pompeo recently tapped to be his senior adviser, joined the secretary of state on the trip, according to The Associated Press.