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What to expect from President Trump’s first meeting with Kim Jong Un

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un arrives in Singapore on June 10, 2018.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un arrives in Singapore on June 10, 2018.
Terence Tan /Singapore Ministry of Communications and Information via Getty Images

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President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will meet in Singapore tonight for a historic summit.

The meeting – which will start at 9 a.m. on June 12, Singapore time – was originally announced in early March, only to be cancelled by Trump in late May. In a letter to the Chairman, Trump cited “tremendous anger and open hostility” in a recent Kim statement as his reason for backing out. On June 1, Trump announced the summit was back on after a top North Korean official met with Trump for more than 90 minutes and delivered a personal letter from Kim.

It will be the first time a North Korean leader has met with a sitting U.S. president, despite decades of tense relations. Trump is expected to be accompanied by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Chief of Staff John Kelly and National Security Adviser John Bolton, among other White House officials.

Pompeo, who was instrumental in arranging the summit, said last week that while President Trump is hopeful, he is “going into the summit with his eyes wide open.”

Larry speaks with experts in national security and the Koreas, as well as a member of L.A.’s Korean community, to get the latest reactions and expectations ahead of tonight’s summit.


Jim Walsh, international security expert and senior research associate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Security Studies Program (SSP), a graduate-level research and educational program at MIT; he tweets @DrJimWalshMIT

Sung-Yoon Lee, an expert on the Koreas and professor in Korean Studies at The Fletcher School at Tufts University

Alexandra Suh, executive director of the Koreatown Immigrant Workers Alliance (KIWA), an immigrant advocacy nonprofit; she tweets @SuhAlexandra