Trump's North Korean gamble ends with 'special bond' with Kim

Analysis: Why wit and wisdom are the most likely tactics from Kim Jong Un’s playbook

The young North Korean leader is staying under heavy guard at a city center hotel and had not appeared in public on Monday until about 9 p.m., when one of his security officials buzzing about the hotel lobby shouted "It's all ready!"

The two leaders planned to meet one-on-one for up to an hour with only their translators at their sides, before an extended meeting and a working lunch attended by their entourages. The selfie with Balakrishnan might draw raised eyebrows in the west, but it wasn't the image leading North Korean state media coverage of Kim Jong-un's trip to Singapore. "We would like to make sure this message will be conveyed (to Kim)", said Sakie Yokota, 82, whose daughter Megumi was kidnapped at age 13 on her way home from school in Niigata Prefecture in 1977.

The summit capped a dizzying few days of foreign policy activity for Trump, who shocked US allies over the weekend by using a meeting in Canada of the Group of Seven industrialized economies to alienate America's closest friends in the West. Lashing out over trade practices, Trump lobbed insults at his G-7 host, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Former U.S. National Basketball Association star Dennis Rodman arrived in Singapore late on Monday for the summit, saying he was "excited to be part of it", although there has been no indication he would be involved in any official talks.

The North Korean delegation included Kim Yong Chol, a top aide to Kim Jong-un who recently met Trump at the White House. He added he would know within minutes whether Kim was serious about negotiating away his nuclear weapons and has threatened to politely walk out if Kim doesn't meet his expectations. The moniker "mafia state" is often applied to the country too, accurately capturing North Korea's status as the only known state sponsor of counterfeit US dollar bill and methamphetamine production.

Inside, the hotel, Kim and Trump offered brief remarks.

"A lot of the tone for this week will be set out in Trump's meeting with Kim". Trump had earlier tweeted about "excitement in the air!"

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Benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury notes US10YT=RR last fell 2/32 in price to yield 2.9645 percent, from 2.957 percent late on Monday. Many have been quick to point out that it isn't the best look for Singapore's Balakrishnan to be seen grinning alongside a man who just 16 months earlier had ordered his half-brother killed in an attack at Kuala Lumpur International Airport, some 200 miles north of Marina Bay Sands in Singapore.

North Korea also wants security guarantees - a better relationship with the U.S.in order to end what it views as a hostile US policy. Or, it could amount to little more than a much-photographed handshake.

In a meeting that seemed unthinkable just months ago, Trump and Kim met with staged ceremony at a Singapore island resort.

After Trump's stern speech about North Korea's nuclear weapon program last November, Kim's government responded by calling the USA president an "old lunatic" - to which Trump responded by passively calling the North Korean leader "short and fat".

United States and North Korean officials huddled throughout Monday at the Ritz-Carlton hotel ahead of the sit-down aimed at resolving a standoff over Pyongyang's nuclear arsenal.

As he was trying to build a bridge with Kim, he was smashing longtime alliances with Western allies with his abrasive performance at the G-7.

Further complicating the task ahead: Trump says he wants any eventual deal to earn congressional approval, providing more assurance to Kim, and reducing the risk a future US Administration would reverse whatever agreement he strikes.

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