Kim Jong-un Has to Take Foreign Plane to Summit

  • By Kim Jin-myung

    June 08, 2018 09:11

    North Korean leader Kim Jong-un will fly directly on a foreign plane from Pyongyang to Singapore for his summit with U.S. President Donald Trump next week. Talks are underway to use an aircraft provided by Singapore or China.

    A diplomatic source in Seoul said, "North Korea originally considered a refueling stop in China, but chose to fly straight to Singapore. There was some trepidation about flying the 4,800 km distance aboard Kim Jong-un's own aging plane, so a third country is expected to supply it."

    Singaporean Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan visited North Korea on Thursday to discuss the matter.

    Kim's personal plane is a modified Ilyushin IL-62 from the Soviet Union and has never gone on a long-distance flight. North Korea apparently wants the same type of plane as Trump's Air Force One.

    Kim will be accompanied by his sister Yo-jong.

    Meanwhile, the U.S. government is making plans in case the summit with North Korea is extended for one more day, CNN cited a source as saying.

    Alternatively, Trump has said he could invite Kim to the White House in the future "if it goes well."

    White House counselor Kellyanne Conway told reporters that the North Korean denuclearization talks could require "two, three, four, five" meetings, but Bloomberg reported, "The White House wants North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to commit to a timetable to surrender his country's nuclear arsenal." It added the summit “could last as long as two days -- or just minutes."

    Trump warned he is "totally prepared to walk away" if negotiations break down.

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