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Tuesday’s summit meeting between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has captured the attention and imagination of the entire world — except, that is, in North Korea itself.
As The Associated Press noted, North Korean state media initially reported the two leaders planned to meet, but offered few specifics about where and when. There also was no immediate word that Kim had left North Korea Sunday and arrived in Singapore hours ahead of the American president.
It was only Monday morning North Korea time that the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported that Kim was in Singapore, had met with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and would meet Trump on Tuesday. One dispatch said North Korea and the U.S. would exchange “wide-ranging and profound views” on establishing new relations, building a “permanent and durable peace-keeping mechanism,” achieving denuclearization and “other issues of mutual concern, as required by the changed era.”
Before that, the top news in North Korea had been tremendously mundane, all things considered — a visit by Kim to a seafood restaurant in Pyongyang.
By North Korean standards, Monday’s announcement came a bit earlier than usual. In other cases it has waited until events were over to put out its first reports. News that U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visited North Korea was front page news with a big photo of him shaking Kim’s hand the following day in the ruling party newspaper, the Rodong Sinmun.
State media announcing the meeting a day before it happens is one more sign that nothing about this summit is routine.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.