Donald Trump meets Kim Jong-un: What to expect?

  • 11/06/2018

After the turmoil of the G7 conference this weekend, many are nervous about the historic meeting between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and US President Donald Trump.

The upcoming meeting was briefly cancelled after Mr Trump said the North Koreans were showing "tremendous anger and open hostility", but it's now back on, with preparations in Singapore underway.

Will Mr Trump be able to negotiate a ground-breaking peace deal, or will the meeting - and the Korean peninsula - go up in flames?

Newshub presenter Tom McRae joined The AM Show from Singapore to discuss what we can expect - and he warns that "anything could happen".

"Both men are so completely unpredictable and completely erratic," McRae says.

"It could last a couple of minutes, it could last a couple of days."

This is the furthest Mr Kim has gone from North Korea since he took power - and will be the first time leaders of North Korea and the United States have met. Both Mr Trump and Mr Kim are known for their posturing, and are expected to attempt to show dominance in their meeting - leading to some careful planning.

"It's planned down to the second, almost. Because obviously they can't have one man sitting in the room waiting for the other because that doesn't look good," McRae told The AM Show.

"So what I understand is going to happen is they're going to be in holding rooms at either end of this five-star resort.

"They'll then be given a cue, walk down the long hallway to meet in the middle at exactly the same time."

Senior US officials say at a minimum they would like the summit to serve as a start of a dialogue with North Korea. They expect the North Koreans to ask for security guarantees, including a pledge that the US and South Korea will not invade, and also a request for economic aid.

The Trump administration has already said it does not seek "regime change" and has no intention of sending its forces into the country.

Waikato University international relations expert Alexander Gillespie says the best-case scenario is a complete denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula.

"The question though is whether North Korea really wants to give up its nukes - it's promised to do that twice before, and twice before it's broken its promise," he told Newshub earlier this month.

However there are no guarantees that anything will be signed at the end of the meeting. Mr Kim could walk away from the summit after just a few hours with photos of him with a US president, scoring a PR victory.

"Anything can happen," McRae told The AM Show.

"This is completely uncharted territory for him [Mr Kim]. It is a bold move but it is one that comes with a lot of high reward."

And if something does go wrong, it could be disastrous. Prof Gillespie says the meeting could sour quickly.

"Both men are very volatile and they are known to take offence quite easily, use extreme rhetoric and threaten each other if things go wrong, at very short notice."

And Mr Trump has warned the United States could add more sanctions if necessary.

"If they don't denuclearise, that will not be acceptable," Mr Trump said on Thursday.

"We cannot take sanctions off. The sanctions are extraordinarily powerful. And I could add a lot more but I've chosen not to do that at this time, but that may happen."