Abductees' relatives pinning their hopes on Trump-Kim summit

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The stakes remain dizzyingly high and the developments are likely to come rapid-fire. On Monday, she met senior US diplomat Sung Kim at the Ritz-Carlton hotel to make final preparations for the summit.

"Meetings between staffs and representatives are going well and quickly.but in the end, that doesn't matter".

The White House did not immediately respond to questions about the call.

"I think of myself as American", he said.

Experts believe the North is close to being able to target the entire US mainland with its nuclear-armed missiles, and while there's deep skepticism that Kim will quickly give up those hard-won nukes, there's also some hope that diplomacy can replace the animosity between the USA and the North.

Investors were more focused on the start of a two-day policy meeting of the Federal Reserve, looking for hints as to whether the US central bank would move to raise rates three or four times this year.

North Koreans have always wanted a meeting with a USA president, just no previous administration was willing to do this kind of meeting unless it came with a substantive commitment or concession on denuclearization.

President Donald Trump has arrived on Singapore's Sentosa Island for his historic meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. They only ever met with former USA presidents, a symptom of six decades of hostility between the US and North Korea, which remains a pariah in the eyes of the West not just for its nuclear and missile threats but for flouting worldwide norms of diplomatic behavior.

The young North Korean leader is staying under heavy guard at a city center hotel and had not appeared in public on Monday until about 9 p.m., when one of his security officials buzzing about the hotel lobby shouted "It's all ready!"

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He said the deal is " not good for the country ", echoing similar statements he made on the campaign trail throughout 2016. The Trump administration opposed the merger while the justice department has sued to block it.

President Donald Trump said it himself to Congress and the American people: "No regime has oppressed its own citizens more totally or brutally than the cruel dictatorship in North Korea".

He said secretary of state Mike Pompeo and defence secretary Jim Mattis should have opposed the one-on-one meeting "in writing" - and called for the national security council to have a transcript of all interactions with the "brutal, nuclear armed dictator".

The US is also concerned about the proliferation of North Korea's weapons and the infrastructure supporting its nuclear programme, and will want those issues addressed as part of any deal. The outcome, of course, would still be that USA goal of complete denuclearization.

Ahead of the summit, North Korea rejected unilateral nuclear disarmament, and KCNA's reference to denuclearisation of the peninsula has historically meant it wants the United States to remove a "nuclear umbrella" protecting South Korea and Japan.

Previous agreements with the North have subsequently collapsed and experts warn Kim is highly unlikely to give up the "treasured sword" of his nuclear deterrent. She also led a large North Korean art troupe sent to South Korea during the February Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.

Talks proceeded at multiple levels, including logistical discussions to allay Kim's fears of being deposed while traveling further afield than he ever has before as the country's leader. "If they say a little too much about inflation, that's going to give the market a reason to get concerned".

Human-rights advocates who lauded Trump when he hosted eight North Korean defectors at the White House days after his State of the Union speech are now uneasy about his engagement with Kim, whom the president recently praised as "very honorable".

There is a chance for some history, however.