Trump-Kim Summit: What To Expect

Jun 10, 2018
Originally published on June 10, 2018 7:24 pm
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MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

We're going to go to Singapore now where, as we said earlier, President Trump and Kim Jong Un have arrived for their meeting. This comes, of course, after a contentious G-7 summit where President Trump clashed with allies. NPR's Elise Hu is in Singapore, and she's with us now.

Elise, thanks so much for being with us.

ELISE HU, BYLINE: Happy to be here.

MARTIN: So you're in Singapore. Could you just tell us a little bit about what the atmosphere there is like?

HU: There is a certain excitement in the air. There's a lot of folks here, whether they're residents or they're tourists who were aware that Kim Jong Un was coming through town. And when his motorcade was snaking through after he arrived, there were a lot of folks - hundreds, really - who lined up up and down the street in front of the St. Regis Hotel where he's staying - just regular people on their iPhones trying to catch a glimpse of this motorcade and those jogging bodyguards that were running next to his Mercedes vehicle - or what we think was his Mercedes.

And so, yeah, there's a mix of fascination and curiosity among the locals here because they realize how historic this moment is going to be.

MARTIN: So take us through what we think will happen on Tuesday. Can you just walk us through what we know so far?

HU: We don't know a whole lot about the schedule except that both the leaders are having individual meetings with the Singapore prime minister. Kim Jong Un's has already happened. President Trump's will happen. They both have this Monday off ahead of Tuesday's summit, and then they are expected to meet at 9 a.m. on Tuesday morning, which is Monday evening East Coast time.

And so we don't know much more beyond that, Michel. Typically, with these heads of state summits, there's so much preparation in advance. Working-level diplomats work out everything down to the dependent clauses of what's going to come out in the joint declaration. But, in this case, it's the exact opposite. President Trump has said that he really wants to improvise. He wants to decide within the first minute, just with his gut, whether Kim Jong Un is serious about denuclearization or not.

And so we're really watching a reversal of the regular diplomatic process leading up to a head of state-level summit. So anything could happen right now. In fact, we've already had a hurly-burly couple of weeks leading up to this being pulled off at all.

MARTIN: That's NPR's Elise Hu in Singapore. Elise, thank you so much.

HU: You bet. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.