Singapore's top diplomat to visit North Korea ahead of Kim-Trump summit

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The red-shingled, colonial-style Capella is a five-star hotel on Sentosa Island, which boasts several resorts, hotels, two golf courses and a theme park.

Singapore on Tuesday unveiled a commemorative medallion ahead of next week's summit between the U.S. and North Korean leaders in the wealthy city-state, carrying the inscription "World Peace" in large letters on one side.

Speaking to reporters at an Oval Office event on Tuesday, U.S. President Trump said that plans for what will be the first meeting between a serving U.S. president and a North Korean leader, are well on track.

"We are actively preparing for the June 12 summit between the President and the North Korean leader".

Trump described a giant letter he received from Kim as "a very nice letter. a very interesting letter".

At the Foggy Bottom headquarters of the state department, secretary of state Mike Pompeo met his Singaporean counterpart, wherein among other things they discussed the N Korean summit which is being hosted by Singapore.

There was no immediate response from the North Koreans to his comments. "We're going to start a process", Trump said. "They're just excited; if we can make it happen, it's great", Hentschel said.

But Washington has made it clear that sanctions would not be lifted against North Korea unless it gave up its nuclear weapons.

"We're not paying for their expenses", she said.

The minister, who will be accompanied by foreign ministry officials, will also meet the North's ceremonial president Kim Yong Nam.

"I am getting a lot of requests from Japan and Korea", said an executive from one of the five-star hotels in Singapore. "I think that has resonated to this whole point now".

Under successive members of the Kim family, around whom a nationwide cult of personality is built, North Korea has regularly shown a willingness to engage in bellicose rhetoric, especially in response to insults of its leader.

The US President last week revived the meeting with Mr Kim after initially cancelling it, citing what he called Pyongyang's "open hostility".