Donald Trump, Kim Jong Un prepare for Singapore summit

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The running bodyguards of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, which made an appearance for the first time during the inter-Korean summit in April this year are now back in action, this time in Singapore.

Kim had arrived hours earlier on a plane loaned by China, which for decades has been North Korea's only major ally.

He previously threatened "fire and fury" if Kim threatened the United States or its rivals and called off Tuesday's summit after taking offence at North Korean statements.

The North Korean leader then traveled to the St. Regis Hotel - where he will be staying for the duration of the visit - in his armored limousine, which arrived on a separate flight.

Despite Kim's apparent eagerness for a summit with Trump, there are doubts that he would fully relinquish his nuclear arsenal, which he may see as his guarantee of survival.

The Singaporean authorities have designated the sites related to the summit as the special event areas from Sunday through Thursday.

No one, not even Trump himself, expects this one meeting to produce a comprehensive agreement on denuclearization, but if the two men manage to get to the first historic handshake, it will be a huge achievement for them both personally and a feather in Trump's cap when it comes to his unconventional style of worldwide diplomacy.

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May 7: Mr Kim meets Mr Xi again in China and calls for stronger strategic co-operation between the traditional allies.

Then Trump hit an assortment of topics, including trade, North Korea and kept pushing for reinstatement Russia, which had been tossed from what was then the G-8 in 2014, after the country annexed Crimea and endorsed pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine.

Trump has said he hopes to make a legacy-defining deal for the North to give up its nuclear weapons, though he has recently sought to manage expectations, saying that it may take more than one meeting.

Trump is set to meet with Lee on Monday. We are where we are because Mr Trump has taken a sword and sliced his way through conventional diplomatic behaviour.

Mr Kim said "the entire world [was] watching" while Mr Trump said he had a good feeling about the summit.

Singapore has diplomatic relations with both North Korea and the US.

The behaviour of the media workers and of North Korean security guards, who later accosted tourists taking photos, offered a glimpse into how isolated, tightly regimented North Korea works, just as Tuesday's summit raises the prospect, perhaps still distant, that it might be about to take the first step towards emerging from its Cold War shell. But it remains unclear if Kim will part with what he likely views as his most important bargaining chip any time soon.

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"I am on a mission of peace and we're going to be carrying the hearts of millions of people from all over the world", he said.

After a flurry of contacts between the two Koreas, South Korean officials suggested to Trump in March that Kim would be willing to meet face-to-face.

In late April, 12 lanky male bodyguards made global headlines after they surrounded Kim Jong Un's Mercedes-Benz vehicle and jogged alongside it whenever the North Korean leader moved across the border. The 1950-53 conflict ended with an armistice, but not a formal peace treaty. It will be the first ever meeting between a sitting US President and North Korean leader.

"But I've said it many times, who knows?"

The heightened security amid media reports that the North Korean ruler might fear possible attacks during his overseas trip given the worldwide criticism of his regime's past military provocations and its records of human rights abuses.

While en route to Singapore later Saturday, Trump said he looked forward to meeting Kim on what he anticipated would be an exciting day.

Hammering out a complete plan for North Korea's denuclearization would be "an impossible chore" at this summit, Michael O'Hanlon of the Brookings Institution told NPR.

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