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President Trump meets Singaporean PM for pre-summit talks

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Singapore's Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan welcomes North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on his arrival in Singapore

But then again, nothing about this summit is routine. According to a transcription of remarks made to the press after the G7 put forward by Whitehouse.gov and reported at length by the Wall Street Journal, President Trump sees the summit as more of an opening, a first meeting, and an establishment of character.

Kim arrived in Singapore several hours before Trump, landing at Singapore Changi Airport.

Just meeting with Mr Trump will also give Mr Kim a recognition North Korea has long sought, setting him up as a global player and equal to the United States domestically and, internationally, as the leader of a "normal country" worthy of respect.

Mr Kim said "the entire world [was] watching" while Mr Trump said he had a good feeling about the summit.

Trump is also on his way to Singapore from Canada after attending the Group of Seven leaders' meeting in Quebec.

Kim arrived on an Air China jet, NPR's Elise Hu reports. Security vehicles escorted a motorcade including limousines believed to be carrying Kim to the St. Regis Hotel, where he will be staying during the rare trip.

Ambassador Sung Kim, the State Department's top Korea expert, met Choe Son-hui, the North's vice foreign minister, at the Ritz Carlton hotel in the morning.

However, he played down the possibility of a quick breakthrough and said the summit, which gets underway on Tuesday at 9am (11am AEST) should set the framework for "the hard work that will follow", insisting that North Korea had to move toward complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearisation.

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Bolton's hardline rhetoric last month infuriated North Korea and almost derailed the summit.

The cost of the summit for Singapore was some $15 million, Singapore Prime Minister Lee told reporters Sunday at the media center the city-state had constructed to deal with the enormous global demand.

The two leaders are scheduled to meet for the first time on Tuesday at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa Island, where the process regarding denuclearisation of North Korea may kick-start in exchange for economic aid.

A USA official said Monday that Trump and Kim will first meet one on one with translators in a session that could last up to two hours before they open the meeting to their respective advisers.

Pompeo said the administration will look for a deal backed by Congress to ensure permanency-Kim Jong Un would be assured that Trump's successor could not easily scrap a deal without approval from lawmakers. Because, you know, as a deal person, I've done very well with deals.

"We hope North Korea and the United States will be able to hold discussions based on mutual respect and understanding", said Eugene Lee, the ministry's spokeswoman. We appreciate the working together with North Korea.

In March, Mr Trump surprised the world by accepting an invitation from Mr Kim - delivered via Seoul - to meet in person.

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