Reporter’s Diary: Covering history unfolding behind closed doors
By Sean Callebs
It is hard to overstate what is unfolding in Singapore. 
The US and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (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 US president is preparing to talk face-to-face with the leader of the DPRK.
In talking with a host of experts on US foreign relations strategy and the DPRK a wide range of questions are being tossed around. 
A crush of media outside the Shangri-La Hotel awaits US President Donald Trump. /CGTN Photo

A crush of media outside the Shangri-La Hotel awaits US President Donald Trump. /CGTN Photo

To what effect did the punitive US-led economic sanctions bring Kim Jong Un to the table? Will the US 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 3,000 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, DC. 
The rest of the correspondents and their cameras are popping up on the 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. 
The inside of the White House Filing Center. /CGTN Photo

The inside of the White House Filing Center. /CGTN Photo

There will be briefings of some kind at the White House filing center, but most 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. 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 US are secluded, trying to reduce the differences between the two nations before two of the “most unpredictable leaders” in the world 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.
(Cover image: CGTN’s Sean Callebs, Tian Wei, Miro Lu (L-R) are in Singapore to cover the Trump-Kim Summit. /CGTN Photo)