Korea officials in final summit preparations

Singapore Jun 10 US President Donald Trump arrived in Singapore today for the summit with his North Korean counterpart Kim Jong Un

President Trump and North Korean autocrat Kim Jong Un have arrived in Singapore ahead of the big show - an unprecedented meeting between Washington and Pyongyang's leaders that could, if things go well, pave the way for a historic rapprochement and the eventual end of the last major frozen conflict of the Cold War. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Sung Kim, the USA ambassador to the Philippines who has taken the lead on policy negotiations with the North, will hold a "working group" with a North Korean delegation.

One diplomatic source in Singapore said, "Tension was very high in North Korea, hence the secrecy".

In turn, North Korean state media reported on Monday that the upcoming US-North Korean talks would focus on the establishment of the new relations between the countries, the creation of a firm peace system and the denuclearization on the Korean peninsula. This area has been designated by Singaporean authorities as "special event areas".

The summit destination is Capella Hotel on Singapore's Sentosa Island.

Even after touching down in Singapore, it was clear that the trade disputes with United States allies in Quebec continued to rankle Trump.

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.

Instead of the Pyongyang-Shanghai- Singapore route that takes six-and-a-half hours but passes over sea routes that are more hard to protect, he flew via Beijing, which took around 10 hours.

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The KCNA news agency heralded the summit as part of a "changed era".

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says Monday's preparatory talks were moving quite rapidly and "and we anticipate that they will come to their logical conclusion even more quickly than we anticipated".

It's unclear what Trump and Kim might decide Tuesday.

Beyond the impact on both leaders' political fortunes, the summit could shape the fate of countless people - the citizens of impoverished North Korea, the tens of millions living in the shadow of the North's nuclear threat, and millions more worldwide.

Most observers predicted that the outcome would be a short and vague statement build around the ambiguous aim of the "denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula" leaving it to later bilateral meetings to negotiate what that would mean in practice.

The fighting ended on July 27, 1953, but the war technically continues today because instead of a difficult-to-negotiate peace treaty, military officers for the USA -led United Nations, North Korea and China signed an armistice that halted the fighting. He told reporters he thinks he will know nearly immediately whether a deal can be made, saying: "I will know, just my touch, my feel".

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