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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 October 2018

First Trump-Kim meeting scheduled for June 12

It's back on: After earlier cancelling the summit, Trump now receiving 'daily briefings' on North Korea

People watch a TV screen showing file footage of US President Donald Trump, right, and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during a news program at the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, Tuesday, June 5, 2018. The White House says Trump's meeting with Kim is set for 9 am on June 12 in Singapore. The signs read:  'Negotiations of the century.' Ahn Young-joon / AP
People watch a TV screen showing file footage of US President Donald Trump, right, and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during a news program at the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, Tuesday, June 5, 2018. The White House says Trump's meeting with Kim is set for 9 am on June 12 in Singapore. The signs read:  'Negotiations of the century.' Ahn Young-joon / AP

The White House said on Monday that a first meeting between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will take place at 9:00 am in Singapore on June 12.

"We are actively preparing for the June 12th summit between the president and the North Korean leader," spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said in announcing the timing of the meeting.

"We feel like things are continuing to move forward, and good progress has been made."

Sanders said that the White House "advance team" – which features military, security, technical and medical staff – were already on the ground in the Southeast Asian state.

They are "finalising preparations and will remain in place until the summit begins," said Ms Sanders.

She added that Mr Trump is getting daily briefings on North Korea from his national security team.

Experts have voiced concern that despite Mr Trump's claim to be the world's greatest dealmaker, he knows little about North Korea, arms control or international diplomacy.

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The on-again-off-again summit is expected to focus on US efforts to get North Korea to abandon its nuclear program.

The oppressive regime is believed to have developed a miniaturised nuclear device that could be placed on a missile that could strike the United States.

Washington has called that unacceptable and demanded North Korea embark on full and verifiable denuclearisation.

With days to go before the meeting, it remains unclear whether Pyongyang is willing to take that step, or whether it is using the promise of talks as a way of easing Mr Trump's "maximum pressure" campaign.

Mr Trump last week said he no longer wanted to use that term and indicated that he was willing to embark on a lengthy series of talks that would ease pressure on the regime.

"I think it'll be a process," he said after welcoming top official Kim Yong Chol to the White House.

"It's not – I never said it goes in one meeting. I think it's going to be a process. But the relationships are building, and that's a very positive thing."

Mr Trump also said that there would be no new sanctions while the talks are taking place, although the White House said existing economic sanctions will not be removed either.