Reporter’s Notebook: Covering history unfold behind closed doors

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CGTN anchors
CGTN’s Sean Callebs, Tian Wei and Miro Lu are in Singapore to bring you the latest updates from the Trump-Kim Summit.

It is hard to overstate what is unfolding in Singapore.

The United States and the DPRK went to war in 1950, and the tension and mistrust from years of fighting never subsided.

Now, for the first time in history, a sitting U.S. president is preparing to talk face-to-face with the leader of the hermit nation.

In talking with a host of experts on U.S. foreign relations strategy, and the DPRK a wide range of questions are being tossed around.

To what effect did the punishing lead U.S. economic sanctions to bring Kim Jong Un to the table? Will the U.S. agree to ease sanctions, and support economic investment to help millions of people in the DPRK?

Can the long-time enemies find common ground?

The challenge is covering this historic summit when so little of what is playing out will happen in public. There are nearly 3000 journalists from all corners of the world gathered in Singapore.

There is a massive international media center that is playing host to many of the reporters.

The White House also has a big filing center for all journalists accredited through Washington, D.C.

The rest of the correspondents and their cameras are popping up on streets, outside of the two hotels where team Trump and team Kim are staying —or trying to get as close to Sentosa Island, where the talks will take place on June 12.

There will be briefings of some kind at the White House filing center, but must of what is going on is happening behind closed doors, away from the prying eyes of the world’s reporters.

Rarely have so many traveled so far, to sit on the sidelines and wait for any nugget of absolute truth to trickle out.

Everyone knows what the two sides want. The United States, along with Japan, the Republic of Korea, and China have said time and again that they want a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula.

Kim Jong Un wants respect, and a way to move his nation forward from abject poverty.

A lot of the real work is going on right now, and I wish I could tell you exactly what was being said.

But diplomats from the DPRK and the U.S. are secluded, trying to reduce the differences between the two nations before two of the most unpredictable leaders in the world —Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un sit across the table from each other.

The sprint is on to find a way to move relations forward — and outside the meeting rooms, we, the assembled press corps face a race of a different kind trying to cull a hint of real news ahead to counter all the speculation.