North Korea state media hails 'new era' of relations with the US

Experts question if comments represent genuine change of stance

Andrew Buncombe
Singapore
Monday 11 June 2018 07:48
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Kim Jong-un arrives in Singapore for historic summit with Donald Trump

North Korean state media has raised the startling prospect that the nation could “establish a new relationship” with the United States as leaders of the two countries meet.

On the eve of the summit between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un, an editorial in Rodong Sinmun, the official newspaper of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea, said Mr Kim had travelled to Singapore with the intention of meeting the US leader and “meet the changing demands of the new era”

According to the BBC, it added that “broad and in-depth opinions” would be exchanged to “establish a permanent and peaceful regime in the Korean peninsula and to solve problems that are of common concern, including issues to realise the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula”.

Trump arrives in Singapore ahead of meeting with Kim Jong un

It added: “Even if a country had a hostile relationship with us in the past, our attitude is that if this nation respects our autonomy... we shall seek normalisation through dialogue.”

Reports suggested that such comments in the state-run media are rare. Some observers will interpret them as a genuine shift in the perspective of the regime, while sceptics will likely perceive them to be part of the pre-summit posturing that both sides have engaged in.

Meanwhile, a report by the Korea Central News Agency said the summit would have “wide-ranging and profound talks” and said noted that it is being held “under the great attention and expectation of the whole world”.

On Monday, Mr Trump said he thought that “things can work out very nicely” with North Korea.

He told Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong: “We’ve got a very interesting meeting in particular tomorrow, and I think things can work out very nicely.”

He added: “We appreciate your hospitality and professionalism and your friendship.”

When Mr Kim met with Mr Lee on Sunday, he said: “The entire world is watching the historic summit between North Korea and the United States of America.”

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