US and North Korea summit 'could not have happened under a different leader', expert says of Trump

US and North Korea summit 'could not have happened under a different leader', expert says of Trump

Donald Trump arrives in Singapore ahead of his meeting with Kim Jong-un. Image: Getty

Monday, June 11, 2018

President Donald Trump has said he thinks "things can work out very nicely" with North Korea on the eve of his historic summit with Kim Jong-un.

Mr Trump expressed optimism about Tuesday's meeting during a working lunch with Singapore's prime minister Lee Hsien Loong and aides to both leaders.

Mr Trump said: "We've got a very interesting meeting in particular tomorrow, and I think things can work out very nicely."

He also told Mr Lee the decision to hold the summit in the island city-state of Singapore was "made very consciously" and offered thanks.

Mr Trump told Mr Lee that "we appreciate your hospitality and professionalism and your friendship".

“We’re dealing with two very unconventional diplomacies, so it’s difficult to say what will come out of it,” said Rod Wye, of international affairs think tank Chatham House.

“Both want to walk away with a victory in hand, and for President Trump that’ll be some kind of commitment towards denuclearisation.

“They’ve already blown up their nuclear testing site, but what comes next after the summit?”

Speaking on Julia Hartley-Brewer’s show, Wye said that Trump’s approach had brought about the meeting much faster than previous leaders might have.

Listen to Rod Wye on the Julia Hartley-Brewer show above

“I do not think this could have happened in the way that it has under Donald Trump.

“A normal summit under previous regimes would have been a long laborious process with negotiations,” he said.

“This hasn’t been fully prepared… this means if you get an outcome, it’ll be a headline outcome, not a fully-fledged agreement.”

But the mood was not so positive following his attendance at the G7 summit over the weekend.

French president Emmanuel Macron and Canada’s Justin Trudeau condemned his planned trade tariffs on steel and aluminium, and Germany’s Angela Merkel called her meeting with the US president 'sobering'.

Trump's trade advisor Peter Navarro hit out at Trudeau after he said the tariffs would harm Canadian workers, saying: "There's a special place in hell for any foreign leader that engages in bad faith diplomacy with President Donald J Trump and then tries to stab him in the back on the way out the door."

Canada's foreign minister Chrystia Freeland said her country "does not conduct its diplomacy through ad hominem attacks".

Angela Merkel conceded in an interview on German public television on Sunday that the meeting's outcome "wasn't a great thing" and that "I have spoken of a sobering experience, which for me is a lot".

Mrs Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron and the other leaders clashed with MrTrump over steel and aluminium tariffs as well as his decision to abandon a deal with Iran to limit its nuclear programme.

The group managed a common statement in which they agreed to disagree on some issues, only to have Mr Trump disavow the document in a tweet after leaving the meeting.

Trump hit back in his usual style on Twitter, saying Germany’s smaller contribution to Nato justified his tariffs.