WHILE access to the historic summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un will be tightly restricted, hundreds of Singaporeans got the next best thing today, when two lookalikes showed up at a downtown mall.
The self-proclaimed master dealmaker is facing doubts from multiple corners as he prepares to negotiate with Kim Jong Un.
Another North Korea expert from the Bush administration, Victor Cha, noted that only Trump has raised troop presence as a possible negotiating point.
Asked how long it would take for him to know if Kim was honest about giving up nuclear weapons Mr Trump said: "I think within the first minute I'll know".
"I think I'll know pretty quickly whether or not, in my opinion, something positive will happen".
"I'm not going to waste my time, I'm not going to waste his time", he added. "I think that he's going to surprise on the upside, very much on the upside". He called Kim an "unknown personality".
"The people know these are all lies because it's obvious". It's something Donald Trump found irresistible, if only for its drama.
Trump insisted Saturday that the meeting was not contentious, saying that his relationships with allies remained strong, but continued to say that the US had been "taken advantage of for decades and decades" on trade. Tensions flared between Trump and USA allies over his protectionist economic policies and decisions to exit the Iran nuclear deal and Paris climate accord.
North Korea-US summit scheduled for morning of June 12: White House
Donald Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani has said North Korea's leader "begged" for their summit to be rescheduled after the United States president cancelled it.
Kristof tells CBC's Susan Ormiston that while denuclearization and peace between North and South Korea are centre-stage at the June 12 summit, it's important not to forget the troubling human rights issues in North Korea. A Nobel Peace Prize for Trump may also be on the line.
First the nuts and bolts: How do you protect what many North Koreans consider their single most precious resource, the third member of the Kim family to rule and a direct descendant of North Korea's worshipped founder Kim Il Sung?
Delegations from both countries then launched into a frenetic period of negotiations that are expected to culminate with Tuesday's meeting.
On the preparations so far, Mr Lee said: "They've (SAF, police, MCI) done a good job, not just their own pieces but being able to put in all together and to integrate and coordinate". "We can go slowly".
"Within the first minute, I'll know". It is hard to credibly suggest progress on weapons proliferation can be durable or verifiable if North Korea remains a completely closed and totalitarian state.
Kim Jong Un's motivation for a treaty may be, in part, linked to eventually getting US troops - 28,500 of them - out of the southern part of the peninsula; many believe that the North sees this as the first step in paving the way for a single Korea ruled by Pyongyang. The impersonator, who would give only his stage name Howard X, said he was held by immigration authorities for two hours before being released and told to steer clear of summit venues.
Trump expressed frustration that some analysts have said Kim already has bested him simply by getting him to agree to a summit, noting that the regime released three American prisoners last month.
Sporadic provocations by the North have continued while Pyongyang has made increasing advances in its nuclear arsenal, which it says it needs to defend against the risk of a United States invasion.
Pessimists note that North Korea has always balked at outside nuclear inspections, at demands from outsiders to close what the United Nations calls a massive system of prison camps where dissidents are tortured and killed, and at angering a powerful military that thrives on anti-U.S. and anti-South Korean sentiment.