Trump arrives in Singapore ahead of unprecedented U.S.-N.Korea summit

SINGAPORE, June 10 (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump arrived in Singapore on Sunday ahead of a historic summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un over the future of Pyongyang’s nuclear arsenal.

Trump flew into Singapore's Paya Lebar Air Base aboard Air Force One, looking to lay the groundwork for a nuclear deal with one of America's most bitter long-time foes, directly following his divisive meeting in Canada with some of Washington's closest allies that further strained global trade ties.

Trump's arrival came just hours after Kim, wearing his trademark dark "Mao suit" and distinctive high-cut hairstyle, landed in the ultra-modern city-state on his longest trip overseas as head of state.

SEE ALSO: Death, POWs and buried silver: Checkered history of Trump-Kim summit venue

The two are due to meet on Tuesday on the resort island of Sentosa for their high-stakes summit, the first-ever talks between a U.S. and North Korean leader and the culmination of a head-spinning diplomatic dance.

Such a meeting was unthinkable just months ago when Trump and Kim were exchanging insults and threats that raised fears of war in the region. But a series of diplomatic overtures involving North Korea, South Korea and the United States reduced tensions and led Trump in March to quickly accept Kim’s invitation to meet.

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Kim Jong Un arrives in Singapore
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Kim Jong Un arrives in Singapore
SINGAPORE, SINGAPORE - JUNE 10: In this handout provided by the Ministry of Communications and Information of Singapore, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (left) welcomed by Singapore's Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan (2nd from Right) at Changi Airport in Singapore on June 10, 2018 in Singapore, Singapore. The historic meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has been scheduled in Singapore for June 12 as the world awaits for the landmark summit in the Southeast Asian city-state. (Photo by Terence Tan for Ministry of Communications and Information Singapore/via Getty Images)
Armed police officers patrol outside the Shangri-La hotel where US President Donald Trump will stay ahead of the US-North Korea summit in Singapore on June 10, 2018. - Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump will meet on June 12 for an unprecedented summit in an attempt to address the last festering legacy of the Cold War, with the US President calling it a 'one time shot' at peace. (Photo by Ted ALJIBE / AFP) (Photo credit should read TED ALJIBE/AFP/Getty Images)
A member of the North Korean media, center, stands near a police barricade outside the St. Regis hotel, a Marriott Group property, in Singapore, on Sunday, June 10, 2018. Kim�Jong Un�arrived in Singapore on Sunday, kicking off a landmark trip by the once-reclusive North Korean leader ahead of his historic summit with U.S. President�Donald Trump. Photographer: Brent Lewin/Bloomberg via Getty Images
North Korean security personnel run next to a motorcade believed to be carrying North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore June 10, 2018, ahead of the summit between the North Korean leader and U.S. President Donald Trump. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu
A crowd is seen near the hotel as North Korea's Kim Jong Un arrives in Singapore June 10, 2018, ahead of the summit between the North Korean leader and U.S. President Donald Trump. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu
A motorcade believed to be carrying North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un travels past in Singapore June 10, 2018, ahead of the summit between the North Korean leader and U.S. President Donald Trump. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu
A vehicle believed to be carrying North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un travels past in Singapore June 10, 2018. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha
SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA - JUNE 10: South Koreans watch on a screen reporting the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un arrives in Singapore at the Seoul Railway Station on June 10, 2018 in Seoul, South Korea. The historic meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has been scheduled in Singapore for June 12 as the world awaits for the landmark summit in the Southeast Asian city-state. (Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)
North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un shakes hands with Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the Istana in Singapore June 10, 2018. REUTERS/Edgar Su
North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un meets with Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the Istana in Singapore June 10, 2018. REUTERS/Edgar Su
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Trump initially touted the potential for a grand bargain with North Korea to rid itself of a nuclear missile program that has advanced rapidly to threaten the United States, insisting he would swiftly achieve what previous U.S. administrations have failed to do.

But he has since lowered expectations, saying the talks would be more about starting a relationship with Kim for a negotiating process that would take more than one summit. This has included backing away from an original demand for North Korea's swift denuclearisation.

Kim has given little sign of any willingness to dismantle his nuclear program, which experts believe he sees a vital to the survival of his family's dynastic rule.

However, Trump and his aides insist that a U.S.-led "maximum pressure" campaign of the toughest-ever economic sanctions, diplomatic action and military threats is what has drawn Kim to the negotiating table.

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Trump arrives in Singapore ahead of summit
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Trump arrives in Singapore ahead of summit
U.S. President Donald Trump disembarks Air Force One as he arrives in Singapore June 10, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
U.S. President Donald Trump waves upon his arrival at Paya Lebar Air Base in Singapore, before his summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, June 10, 2018. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon
Women sing the U.S. national anthem as they wait for the arrival of U.S. President Donald Trump outside the Shangri-La Hotel in Singapore June 10, 2018. REUTERS/Edgar Su
US President Donald Trump waves after Air Force One arrived at Paya Lebar Air Base in Singapore on June 10, 2018, ahead of his planned meeting with North Korea's leader. - Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump will meet on June 12 for an unprecedented summit in an attempt to address the last festering legacy of the Cold War, with the US president calling it a 'one time shot' at peace. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Donald Trump walks down the stairs after Air Force One arrived at Paya Lebar Air Base in Singapore on June 10, 2018 ahead of his planned meeting with North Korea's leader. - Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump will meet on June 12 for an unprecedented summit in an attempt to address the last festering legacy of the Cold War, with the US president calling it a 'one time shot' at peace. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
Members of media wait in line at the registration desk of the media center for the DPRK-USA Singapore Summit in Singapore, on Sunday, June 10, 2018. U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will hold their historic Singapore summit at the Capella Hotel on the city-states Sentosa Island on June 12. Photographer: SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg via Getty Images
US President Donald Trump walks off Air Force One upon his arrival at Paya Lebar Air Base in Singapore on June 10, 2018, ahead of his planned meeting with North Korea's leader. - Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump will meet on June 12 for an unprecedented summit in an attempt to address the last festering legacy of the Cold War, with the US president calling it a 'one time shot' at peace. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
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Trump frequently has boasted of his negotiating prowess as a former real estate developer, and his ability to read people, even though his businesses have declared multiple bankruptcies.

He said on Thursday that he didn't think he had to prepare very much for the summit and that "it's about attitude." But some U.S. officials have questioned whether Trump was doing enough to get up to speed.

Trump told reporters in Canada on Saturday any agreement with Kim would be "spur of the moment," underscoring the uncertain outcome of what he called a "mission of peace."

That came as Trump threw the Group of Seven's efforts to show a united front into disarray after he became angry with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and said he might double down on import tariffs by hitting the sensitive auto industry.

Trump's bombshell announcement that he was backing out of the G7 communique, made after he left the summit in Canada early, torpedoed what appeared to be a fragile consensus on the trade dispute between Washington and its top allies. (Reporting by Steve Holland and Matt Spetalnick; editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan)

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