North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has arrived in Singapore ahead of a historic summit with US President Donald Trump.
Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Sunday welcomed North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to his country ahead of a highly anticipated summit with US President Donald Trump.
The two leaders shared a historic handshake in front of reporters before retreating to private quarters for one-on-one talks.
"Prime Minister Lee welcomed Chairman Kim to Singapore. Prime Minister Lee and Chairman Kim discussed Singapore-DPRK relations, developments in the DPRK and regional developments, including the recent positive developments on the Korean Peninsula," the statement issued by the Singaporean Foreign Ministry following the talks said.
According to the statement, the Singaporean prime minister noted the "bold and admirable" decision of the US and North Korean leaders to organize a bilateral summit and expressed his hope that the event will contribute to peace and stability on the Korean peninsula.
Welcomed Chairman Kim Jong Un, who has just arrived in Singapore. pic.twitter.com/ZLK4ouIejx— Vivian Balakrishnan (@VivianBala) 10 июня 2018 г.
Traffic on #Singapore’s busy #Orchard shopping belt has come to a standstill amid reports that #KimJongUn has landed in the country for the #TrumpKimSummit. The #NorthKoream leader is said to be staying at St Regis hotel round the corner. pic.twitter.com/toKO2RkE0h— Huileng Tan 陳慧玲 (@huileng_tan) 10 июня 2018 г.
Earlier this day, Kim Jong-un boarded a Chinese private Boeing 747 jet commonly used by high-ranking Chinese officials, the Yonhap news agency reported, citing sources.
The popular plane tracking online source Flightradar24, however, reportedly did not specify the destination of the aircraft. The website has also not detected any other flights departing from North Korea. According to Yonhap, many government-chartered planes are known to keep their routes secret due to security issues.
This Air China 747 departed Pyongyang approximately 08:30 local time as CCA122 (standard FNJ-PEK flight number) and changed call sign mid-air near Beijing to CCA061 and appears to be continuing south now at FL341.— Flightradar24 (@flightradar24) 10 июня 2018 г.
Live flight track: https://t.co/1ElKvcVoJj pic.twitter.com/FEUeWnnkiR
Kim Jong-un took reportedly only one known overseas trip by air since becoming the North Korean leader in 2011. The IL-76 cargo plane has accompanied his personal Ilyushin-62M jet to China in May.
Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump has also departed for Singapore, where he is expected to meet with the North Korean leader on Tuesday, the White House said on Saturday. Trump took off from Canada on Saturday, after participating in the Group of Seven (G7) summit, and is expected to arrive in Singapore on Sunday.
Earlier, a South Korean Air Force official told the South China Morning Post that Chinese fighter jets would secure Kim's flight route to the historic meeting.
The US-North Korean summit will mark the first-ever meeting of the leaders of the two countries. The highly-anticipated talks were put at risk following Trump's May 24 declaration that he was canceling the meeting with Kim over Pyongyang's hostile rhetoric. Last week, however, Trump reinstated the summit after meeting with Kim's top aide, Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea Vice Chairman Kim Yong Chol, at the White House.