Trump, Kim prepare for Singapore summit

Steve Holland and Jack Kim
North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un is in Singapore under very tight security ahead of the summit

The stage is set for the summit in Singapore between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un that could lay the groundwork for ending a nuclear stand-off between the old foes and the transformation of the isolated Asian nation.

When Trump and Kim meet at 9am local time on Tuesday at Sentosa, a resort island off Singapore's port, they will be making history.

Trump flew into Singapore's Paya Lebar Air Base on Sunday aboard Air Force One. He came from a divisive G7 meeting in Canada with some of Washington's closest allies that further strained global trade ties.

Trump was greeted by Singapore Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan.Asked by a reporter how he felt about the summit, Trump said: "Very good".

North Korea's Kim landed Singapore's Changi Airport earlier on Sunday, in his longest trip overseas as head of state. He has not left his country since taking office in 2011 other than to visit China and the South Korean side of the Demilitarised Zone on the border.

Arriving on a plane loaned by China, Kim was also greeted by Balakrishnan.

Travelling with him were top officials including foreign minister Ri Yong Ho, defence minister No Kwang Chol and Kim Yong Chol, a close aide who has been instrumental in the diplomacy that culminated in Tuesday's summit.

Kim Yo Jong, leader Kim's younger sister, was also spotted in his delegation. She led a North Korean delegation to the Winter Olympics in South Korea.

Officials who arrived with Trump include Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, National Security Adviser John Bolton, White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders.

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.

But he has since lowered expectations, backing away from an original demand for North Korea's swift denuclearisation.

He has said the talks would be more about starting a relationship with Kim for a negotiating process that would take more than one summit.

On Monday, North Korean state media said Kim and Trump would discuss a "permanent and durable peace-keeping mechanism" on the Korean peninsula, denuclearisation of the peninsula and other issues of mutual concern.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said US and North Korean officials would hold working-level talks on Monday. She said the US delegation would be led by Sung Kim, a veteran diplomat who recently held talks with North Korean officials.

Kim Jong Un met Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong shortly after his arrival, driving from the St. Regis Hotel where he is staying, through the famous Orchard Road shopping district, which was closed off for his tightly guarded motorcade.

Bodyguards in dark suits jogged alongside his limousine.

At the hotel lobby, grim-faced North Korean security guards warned other hotel guests not to take pictures as Kim walked to his Mercedes Benz limousine.

Trump, who is staying in a separate hotel, the Shangri-La, is due to meet Lee on Monday.