tv NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt NBC June 11, 2018 5:30pm-6:00pm PDT
tonight, breaking news from singapore. theinal countdown as president trump and kim jong-un meet face-to-face. auclear summit unlike anything we've ever seen has arrived. the american president and the north korean dictator in the same room, and it's a long way from this -- >> rocket man should have been handled a long tim ago. they will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen. >> will north korea agree to give up its nukes? and what will president trump promise in return? also tonight, a dramatic hostage soff back home. a police officer shot, an armed man holding four small kids. >> we are urging him to release those children.
>> our team is there. a mystery solved. the air force captain with access to america's top secrets who vanished without a trace found 35 years later living a double life. a massive explosion levels a home, blowing apart a neighborhood. investigators combing for clues. and urgent new evacuations ordered as a major wildfire gets way too close to homes. >> announcer: this is ""nb nightly news" with lester holt." good evening as singapore wakes up on a tuesday morning, a dozen hours ahead of washington, the summit meeting between president donald trump and north korean leader kim jong-un is about to take place. the time for tough talk, bluster, and misdirects is over. in just a half hour or so from now, the two leaders will reveal their true hands, even as they extend their hands in a shake for the ages. on the table, north korea's nuclear weapons program and these two basic questions -- will kim give them up, and what will president trump offer in
exchange? the motorcades for both men have just arrived at the hotel where the meeting will take place, and within the last few hours, president trump tweeting that meetings between staffs and representatives are going well, while adding, we will all know soon whether or not a real deal. overnight, kim jong-un surrounded by bodyguards, out sightseeing and taking selfies with singapore's foreign minister, after landing at an american-made air china jet, just his third trip outside the country as leader, reportedly sending out decoy planes, even bringing his own food and toilet. now the stage set for the biggest diplomatic meeting in a generation. president trump arriving sunday. sounding confident. that meeting only hours away inside a luxury island resort. the two men expected to shake hands for the world's cameras
before meeting one on one. the only other people in the room, translators. the president saying he'll size up the north korean dictator within seconds. >> how long will it take? i think within the first minute i'll know. >> how? >> just my touch, my feel. that's what i do. i think that very quickly i'll kn whether or not something good is going to happen. >> it's a high-stakes mission. is kim jong-un, who's threatened the world, firing 23 missiles last year, even detonating a ve u huclear for ally ready to economic aid and security assurances? >> north korea has previously confirmed to us its willingness to denuclearize, and we are eager to see if those words prove sincere. >> the journey from the brink of war to the negotiating table here on singapors sentosa island, has been stunningly swift. last spring, we visited american
soldiers and airmen in south korea on a hair trigger alert. north korea launching missiles even while we were there. there is breaking news here in south korea, word that north korea has fired an unidentified projectile into the sea. president trump fired his own verbal missiles. >> rocket man is on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime. >> while kim threatened to push his nuclear button, calling the president a dotard. months later, we were in north korea. kim's missiles had curiously gone silent, but even then, no talk about the north abandoning its nukes. a senior government official telling us tonight the country plans to build on the success of its recent missile tests. so, after crippling sanctions and decades of isolation, is kim now ready to make a dramatic change? >> simply a matter of him just crying uncle, that the sanctions are hurting so much that he has no recourse but to capitulate?
>> i certainly think that might be the view of some on the u.s. side, but of course, the other reason north korea is coming to the table is they have said they've completed their nuclear weapons program. they have demonstrated that they have the capability to threaten e unid stes. >> the outcome for this summit is far from guaranteed. for all the talk of what north korea is willing to give up, it is equally important to consider what the u.s. is willing to put on the table to achieve it, and how would u.s. officials verify whether north korea is keeping its end of the bargain? nbc news chief foreign affairs correspondent andrea mitchell has more on the diplomatic drama. >> reporter: tonight for the first time, president trump's top diplomat is hinting at new security guarantees for kim jong-un, if he is willing to give up his nukes. >> we are prepared to take what will be security assurances that are different, unique, than have been provided, that america's been willing to provide previously. >> reporter: what could that mean? they won't say, but candidate trump talked about withdrawing
troops from south korea. now it could also mean pulling back america's nuclear umbrella. b-52s from guam, nuclear-armed submarines. first, u.s. officials say north korea would need to offer proof of what it is giving up. kim's father cheated on a nuclear deal with bill clinton in 1994 and again with george w. bush in 2002. >> simply getting to agreement is already a monumental effort. but actually verifying the denuclearization would again take enormous resources. >> reporter: and the regime's st nuclear complex is so well hidden, u.s. officials don't even know how many weapons it has. current estimates ranging from 20 to 60 warheads buried in dozens of sites, involving hundreds of buildings, staffed by thousands of people. even if kim lets inspectors in, it could take a decade or g tow of denuclearizing and agree after 65 years to finally start ending the korean war. >> and andrea joining us here
now. there are other issues between these countries. what about human rights, is that on the table today? >> their record is atrocious, but it's not likely that the president's goi tbe bringing that up, but they will probably discuss the next steps, en opening diplomatic offices in their respective countries, which would make it a whole lot easier to test whether kim jong-un is really serious about disarming. >> so, we're looking for small steps here. >> small steps over a long period of time. >> andrea mitchell, thank you very much. and tho we have gotten glimpses of kim jong-un and his motorcade whizzing about here, there is still so much mystery surrounding the young dictator. but we are getting a rare look into kim's past from a former teacher who says he knew him way back when he was just a young student in open, democratic switzerland. he spoke exclusively to nbc's keir simmons. >> reporter: now, north korea's ruthless leader is surrounded by bodyguards wherever he goes, but as a teenager, he walked to school on his own in europe. >> i never saw a bodyguard or something like this. he came to school by foot.
>> reporter: 20 years ago in switzerland, this former teacher believes his student was a teenaged kim jong-un. >> friendly, gentle, a good sense of humor. >> reporter: he'd play sports. >> used to play basketball here. >> reporter: and listen to music on an mp3 player. >> he had a very good one. >> reporter: president trump's challenge tonight, assessing kim jong-un's honesty, but even back then, it's thought he lived under an assumed name, un pak, and a disntrelative, now a defector, told us kim jong-un's father taught him to use fear as a weapon, while even cia experts call him the hardest of targets to read. >> know your adversary is the key piece of advice i would suggest. it's important to remember that kim is a complicated character. >> reporter: soon, president trump will sit down with kim jong-un, face-to-face, eye to eye. what's your advice? >> try to find a sense of humor.
>> reporter: his time in europe could impact whether he's open to the west. the stakes tonight couldn't be higher. keir simmons, n news, switzerland. and what is taking place here is an event like singapore has never seen. nearly 2,600 reporters now on site, $20 millionpent on security. you might be wondering, out of anywhere in the world, why singapore for this summit? we put just that question to a top expert here, a professor from singapore university. what makes singapore ideal for this kind of a meeting? >> it's always been seen as a neutral, objective country, sort of, you know, like the switzerland of east asia. singapore has two embassies here, both north korea and the u.s., so the north korean embassies and the u.s. embassies can communicate with their counterparts back in their own countries. >> reporter: ug small, is an economic powerhouse known as one of the world's safest places. tonight, drones have been banned and all demonstrations require a
police permit here. the whole world is watching history unfold here in singapore, but beyond the two parties at the table, there is no country with a bigger stake into what happens here than south korea. nbc news chief foreign correspondent richard engel is in seoul for us, a city on edge but hopeful of a breakthrough. >> reporter: nowhere is this summit being watched more closely tonight than here in seoul. this city o million is only 35 miles from kim jong-un's massive war machine. just over six months ago, many south koreans were furious with president trump. president trump is expected to pass by here any minute. calling him a warmonger. but today, one of the government's top foreign policy advisers, himself once a fierce critic of president trump, is now applauding him. >> all of a sudden, president trump has become kind of a hero to save korea from the nightmare
of war. >> reporter: he's become a hero? >> oh, ye demilitarized zone separating north and south korea. to hang their hopes and e prayers for peace on this border fence, hopes that ha never been higher than now. but not everyone here is comfortable having their fate in the hands of north korea's dictator and president trump. >> they're hot-headed, both of them, but the world is watching. >> reporter: although not there in singapore, the south korean president has been critical in laying the foundation for this summit, which he calls the summit of the century, which he hopes will bring peace and, down the road, a new political union with the north. lester? >> richard engel in seoul for us tonight. thank you. and meantime, as president trump prepares to sit down with a dictator, he's fresh off a new feud with some of america's closest allies, including our neighbors to the north in canada and prime minister justin trudeau.
our chief white house correspondent hallie jackson has that end of the story for us. >> reporter: as president trump tries to find peace with an enemy, he's fighting with a friend. he and his advisers throwing punches at canadian prime minister justin trudeau. >> he really kind of stabbed us in the back. >> there's a special place in hell for any foreign leader that engages in bad-faith diplomacy with president donald j. trump. >> reporter: the president calling trudeau dishonest and weak after the g7 summit in quebec. that's where trudeau made a measured comment calling new american tariffs on steel and aluminum insulting and promising to retaliate. >> canadians, we're polite, we're reasonable, but we also will not be pushed around. >> reporter: president trump keeping up his attacks this morning, firing off tweets from singapore, like "sorry, we cannot let our friends or enemies take advantage of us on trade anymore." but today, america's allies aren't backing down, either. >> this was a difficult summit with at times some very candid discussions.
>> thank you. >> reporter: the president left the g7 early, then pulled out of a planned joint statement, tense talks that had british prime minister there may highlighting how she took the fight to the u.s. >> i was very clear, i think clear directly to president trump. lear in this house and elsewhere, these are unjustified. >> reporter: and in germany, chancellor angela merkel says america's protectionism could do economic damage around the world. that diplomatic dysfunction colliding with a critical face-to-face here with secretary of state mike pompeo in singapore trying to downplay the drama. >> there are always irritants in relationships. i'm very confident that the relationships between our coies, the united states and those g7 countries, will continue to be a move forward on a strong basis. >> reporter: and as we talk about these critical economic issues, some breaking news that we are just learning about the president's top economic adviser, larry kudlow has suffered a heart tack. the president tweeting about that even as he is on sentosa island here in singapore ready to meet with kim jong-un.
he says kudlo i at walter reed medical center back in washington. lester, we just saw kudlow at the g7 summit that we're talking about in quebec. he was just out on the sunday shows. a lot of people are thinking and praying for him and his family tonight. >> certainly, our thoughts are with mr. kudlow. hallie, thank you. now to a mystery finally solved after 35 yes. a top u.s. security official with top-secret clearance disappeared 35 years ago only to fou inhe last fays living a whole other life in california. nbc's joe fryer tells us how his past finally caught up on him. >> reporter: this was air force captain william hughes jr. before he mysteriously vanished in 1983 and was declared a deserter. and this is hughes now, posing for a mug shot. during the 35 years between the photos, investigators say he went by the name barry o'beirne, and most recently, neighbors say he lived with a woman in this home south of san francisco. >> i was surprised, because they're normal people, very
private. >> reporter: back in 1983, hughes was assigned to kirtland air force base in new mexico. he had a top-secret security clearance and was dispatched to the netherlands to work with nato officers testing aircraft surveillance systems. but after returning from europe, no one saw him again. surveillance video showed him withdring more than $28,000 from his account at 19 different albuquerque banks. the big break came this month during a passport fraud investigation. confronted with inconsistencies about his identity, authorities say o'bi admitted he in fact, hughes, and left the air force because he was depressed. >> every once in a while, the armed forces will pick up a long-ago deserter. usually, it's a result of some traffic stop or something like that. >> reporter: now in his 60s, hughes is in custody, a decades-old mystery solved. joe fryer, nbc news. >> we'll take a short break and be back with more right after this. man 1: thiis my body of proof.
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we're back now with a dramatic standoff in florida. a police officer shot and authorities say an armed man now holding four small children hostage. tense negotiations going on all day long, and now into the evening, trying to coax him out peacefully. nbc's kerry sanders is there. >> reporter: tonight, an urgent standoff. four children, ages 1, 6, 10, and 11, held at gunpoint. police say the hostage-taker is 35-year-old gary wayne lindsey jr. and that two of the children are his own, the others his girlfriend's. the incident began just before midnight sunday when police responding to a domestic violence call were shot at from inside the apartment while the alleged shooter's girlfriend was outside. officer kevin valencia shot in the head. >> shooting, officer involved, westbrook apartments. the patient will be the officer. >> reporter: police say it's unclear if the children have
been harmed. lindsey, known to law enforcement, records dating back to 2007 include convictions for arson, domestic btery, and fleeing police. tonight, first responders standing by in case he sets the apartment with the kids still inside on fire. chief, are you worried that he doesn't have anything to lose after firing a shot at a cop and hitting -- >> again, we're just urging him to release the children, and let's let this come to a peaceful resolution. >> reporter: neighbors shocked. >> it's scary. four kids. i'm thinking about the le baby, one years. >> reporter: a standoff police and family hope ends safely, soon. kerry sanders, nbc news, orlando. >> we'll be right back. i can do more to lower my a1c. and i can do it with what's already within me. because my body can still make its own insulin. and once-weekly trulicity activates my body to release it. trulicity is not insulin. it comes in a once-weekly, truly easy-to-use pen.
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♪ >> this is an >> announcer: this is an nbc news special report, reporting from singapore. here's lester holt. >> good evening, everyone, from singapore, where it is just before 9:00 in the morning local time and the historic high-stakes summit between president trump and north korean leader kim jong-un is just moments away. here a live picture right now from singapore's capella hotel where the two men are about t meet and shake hands for the first time. both leaders who not long ago traded insults famously and threats, left their hotels just a short time ago en route to this meeting. this is the first time a sitting u.s. president has ever met with a north korean leader since the kim dynasty took power 70 years ago. on the agenda, of course, north korea's nuclear arsenal and the trump white house has been both raising hopes and lowering expectations about what will be accomplished here in the coming hours. joining me right now here in singapore, our chief foreign
affairs correspondent andrea mitchell and chief white house correspondent hallie jackson. hallie, let me start with you as we watchthis. the president making news in a whole other matter. actually, here's -- >> yeah. >> here's kim jong-un now exiting his limousine, walking into the capella hotel. we last saw him last evening as he was doing some sight-seeing here in singapore. but as you can see now walking into the capella hotel. the next time we see him, he will be coming out to greet president trump, who we don't believe he has arrived yet. we're going to continue to watch this. hallie, as i was leading to you a moment ago, president trump just minutes ago was tweeting about some other news back in washington. can you fill us in? >> related to his top economic adviser, lester, larry kudlow. kudlow had joined the president at the g7 summit in quebec, but the president tweeted that he has suffered a heart attack, is back in washington at the walter reed medical center, the president tweeting about this as you mentioned, moments away from that handshake with kim jong-un.
clearly, this is something that he and his staff are thinking about. kudlow is in his early 70s. we last saw him just 48 hours ago, on the sunday shows talking about the tensions that erupted in canada between president trump and canadian prime minister justin trudeau over the new steel and aluminum tariffs that the u.s. has put on our allies. we don't have any word on kudlow's condition at the moment, but we expect we should find out more. clearly, t foc now of the president's top aides who are joining him, and kudlow not on this trip, of course, perhaps a little split between what's happening at home and what's happening here. >> yeah, we're watching for president trump now to arrive at the capella hotel. andrea, as we look at that, the president also tweeted earlier today about these meetings going on. and it's important to point out that before those two sit together, their representatives had been talking and working things out. how much of the real work is happening in those rooms? >> that's where the real work has been happening, but of course, these are the deciders. a senior official just sending me a message that only these two men can make the big decisions
as to whether kim jong-un will give upweapons,t the president will offer in return, the fact that they were going to meet for 45 minutes at the beginning of this summit with only their translators present has made a lot of people nervous. it has raised some criticism. there will be notes, of course, from the translators, which become part of the presidential archive. the concern, as you see kim jong-un, who just arrived here at the hotel, moments ago, the concern is will one or the other agree to something unintentionally? will kim jong-un make a claim that the president made a concession that he didn't really make? without having the senior advisers, advisers including, of course, for the president's behalf, secretary of state pompeo, present for that, that is raising some concerns. >> clarity is obviously going to be key as we watch this. i was just informed that president trump has already arrived. we didn't see him arrive, but he is in the hotel. we will see them very soon step out here andake their first
face-to-face greeting. i want to -- as we wait for that, i want to bring in richard engel right now. he is in seoul. the man not at this table is president moon of south korea, but he has been certainly integral in trying to bring these two together. all of south korea, obviously, watching this. what's the move right now in south korea, richard engel? >> reporter: people are watching this very closely. they realize the future of both north and south korea are very much at stake today. they are watching history. since world war ii, the korean peninsula has been divided since the korean war. the north and south have been bitter enemies. and since then, since the 1950s, the north under three generations of the kim family has become a rogue state, a rogue regime that has worked for three generations to develop nuclear weapons while the south, under the u.s. security umbrella, has become a
prosperous, modern, capitalist economy. now we are seeing that divide being, if not crossed, we are seeing the united states reaching over that divide, meeting in a very short time, president trump with kim jong-un. people here are watching their past, they are watching their future, and they are seeing potentially a changing of the dynamics that has been in place on the korean peninsula since world war ii. >> richard engel, thank you very much. we see the reporters gathered there. these are the pool photographers in front of that area where the two men will come out in just a few minutes and greet each other. let me bring in chuck todd right now, our political director and moderator of "meet the press." he's in washington. chuck, everything these days is through a political filter, and certainly, there has been a lot of back-and-forth of what democrats want to see come from this versus republicans. but at the end