Trump, Kim Jong Un summit in Singapore expected to tackle denuclearization, economy

President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un are in Singapore where they will meet one-on-one for a historic summit Tuesday. 

After some back-and-forth on whether the meeting would actually happen, the two leaders arrived in Singapore on Sunday. They are scheduled to meet at 9 a.m. local time (9 p.m. ET Monday) with only translators present, according to the White House. 

The meeting will later expand to include other officials, such as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, chief of staff John Kelly and national security adviser John Bolton. 

The summit will be the first-ever meeting between a sitting U.S. president and a North Korean leader.

“It’s important because of the potential opening it has; there is potential diplomatic progress,” former Vice Adm. Robert B. Murrett, a professor of practice, public administration and international affairs at Syracuse University, told Fox News.

“This is something we haven’t been able to do for many years,” said Murrett, who also serves as deputy director of the Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism at the college, specializes in national security, international relations, military and defense strategy.

Why is this meeting significant?

FILE PHOTO: South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (L) are about to shake hands on their first ever meeting at the truce village of Panmunjom inside the demilitarized zone separating the two Koreas, South Korea, April 27, 2018.  Korea Summit Press Pool via Reuters/File Photo - RC1B628D5710

South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (L) are about to shake hands on their first ever meeting at the truce village of Panmunjom inside the demilitarized zone separating the two Koreas.  (Reuters)

Aside from the potential diplomatic benefits between the U.S. and North Korea, the summit could benefit other countries.

“It not just about the United States,” he said, explaining that the meeting could have also been a win for “our partners in the east, such as South Korea and Japan, but also areas in the South Pacific region such as Australia.”

He added, "These talks have the ability to reduce security tensions in East Asia and present an opportunity for the U.S. to reinforce the strong links with South Korea, Japan and even China."


What topics are Kim and Trump expected to discuss?

Denuclearization will be at the fore, Murrett said.

North Korea’s “nuclear weapons and ability to deliver them at long distances should be central,” said Murrett, who added that recent talks between North and South Korea “would suggest that it would remain a core issue.”

But Murrett also expected discussion of the Hermit Kingdom's role in the global economy.

Despite various sanctions placed on the country, North Korea’s economy grew by 3.9 percent in 2016. But Murrett said diplomatic talks represent the “prospect of North Korea rejoining the family of the Asians” if only from an economic standpoint, potentially opening the door for the country to trade with more than just China.

“It would be in the interest of the people of North Korea,” Murrett added.

Does Trump deserve credit for the summit?

In this photo taken between May 7 and 8, 2018 released by Xinhua News Agency, Chinese President Xi Jinping, right speaks to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Dalian in northeastern China's Liaoning Province. (Ju Peng/Xinhua via AP)

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and Chinese President Xi Jinping met recently in China.  (Xinhua via AP)

In short: Yes, in part.

While Trump deserves credit for agreeing to meet with Kim, his decision to do so was likely sparked by “the window of opportunity that has existed because of ongoing pressure” on North Korea to better its relations with surrounding countries and beyond, Murrett said.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in also deserves a “fair amount of credit,” he said, citing the recent summit between the two Koreas and the display of unity at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang as one of “several steps toward unification in some fashion or another.”

“Trump is one of many important players,” said Murrett, noting that Chinese President Xi Jinping and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe were also key players. 

Abe met with Trump at Mar-a-Lago in April, where the two “affirmed their strong determination to strengthen our shared resolve on North Korea, and increase the capability of the U.S.-Japan Alliance to confront all emerging threats to peace, stability, and an international order based on the rule of law,” the White House said at the time.

And President Xi and Kim secretly met in May in China, Chinese state television announced after the North Korean leader had already left the country.

"[The leaders] had an all-around and in-depth exchange of views on China-[North Korea] relations and major issues of common concern," the Chinese news agency reported, while Kim was quoted saying that he hopes to “build mutual trust with the U.S. through dialogue.”

Fox News' Serafin Gomez, Kathleen Joyce, Katherine Lam, Kaitlyn Schallhorn, Zoe Szathmary, Elizabeth Zwirz and The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

Madeline Farber is a Reporter for Fox News. You can follow her on Twitter @MaddieFarberUDK.