June 8, 2018 / 10:24 AM / 10 days ago

Exclusive - North Korea's Kim expected to land at Singapore's Changi airport on Sunday: source

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is expected to fly into Singapore’s Changi airport on Sunday ahead of a high-stakes summit with U.S. President Donald Trump, a source involved in the planning of the trip said on Friday.

FILE PHOTO: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un waves to people attending a military parade in Pyongyang, April 15, 2017. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj/File Photo

Pictures of U.S. military aircraft at nearby Paya Lebar air base, including a white-topped helicopter commonly used for transporting high-ranking U.S. officials, were published in a newspaper on Friday.

Talks between the leaders on June 12 are expected to centre on ending the North’s nuclear weapons and missiles programmes in return for diplomatic and economic incentives.

Changi airport directed Reuters’ query to the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore. The Aviation Authority did not immediately have comment.

Neither delegation has made its travel plans public.

Media said Trump was likely to arrive at the Paya Lebar air base, where previous U.S. presidents landed on visits to Singapore.

Since becoming the North’s leader in 2011, Kim has only taken one known overseas trip by air - to Dalian in China in early May - flying in his personal Ilyushin-62M jet and accompanied by a cargo plane.

Singapore is easily in the range of the Soviet-era narrow-body Il-62M aircraft which flies on four engines, but some media speculated that it may stop in China as a precaution since it was not frequently used in recent years for such a long distance.

Reporting by Dewey Sim; Writing by John Geddie; Editing by Jack Kim, Robert Birsel

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