Published: Tue, June 12, 2018

Kim Jong-un and Trump Meet in Singapore for Historic Summit

Kim Jong-un and Trump Meet in Singapore for Historic Summit

He earlier said the event should set the framework for "the hard work that will follow", insisting that North Korea had to move toward complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearisation.

"You know they say you know if you like somebody in the first five seconds?".

When the US president meets with leaders of countries with dimmer views of free speech, the American role is typically to push for more access.

The U.S. President, who is more than twice Kim's age, then appeared to lead the way to the library where they held a one-on-one meeting, placing his hand on the North Korean leader's counterpart's back.

"I feel really great".

North Korea has faced years of economic sanctions over its nuclear and missile programs since it conducted its first nuclear test in 2006.

Heading into Tuesday's summit, the big competing items on the table came down to what by now are popular acronyms, with the USA seeking the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula, or CVID (complete, verifiable, irreversible denuclearisation), and the North Korean leadership rejecting unilateral nuclear disarmament while seeking its survival, or CVIG (complete, verifiable, irreversible guarantee of North Korea's security).

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Sung Kim, the United States ambassador to the Philippines who has taken the lead on policy negotiations with the North, will hold a "working group" with a North Korean delegation.

While there has been a wave of bipartisan voices looking to support the president's efforts to avert war in the Korean peninsula, there have also been concerns in foreign policy circles that the meeting will elevate Kim's status as a brutal dictator overseeing a regime complicit in horrendous human-rights abuses.

North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un shakes hands with US President Donald Trump at the start of their historic US-North Korea summit at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa island in Singapore

The meeting is also a striking departure for a relationship that just months ago was defined by highly personal insults and rhetoric that seemed to raise the possibility for imminent military confrontation.

"The entire world is watching the historic summit between (North Korea) and the United States of America, and thanks to your honest efforts. we were able to complete the preparations for the historic summit", Kim told Lee through an interpreter.

Trump gives his trademark thumbs up to a grinning Kim.

"Meetings between staffs and representatives are going well and quickly....but in the end, that doesn't matter", Trump tweeted before his encounter with Kim.

The thaw, however temporary, is a far cry from previous year, when Trump threatened North Korea with "fire and fury" and mocked Kim as "Little Rocket Man", and Kim slammed Trump as the "mentally deranged United States dotard".

After some initial exchanges lasting around half-an-hour, Trump and Kim emerged, walking side-by-side through the colonnaded hotel before re-entering the meeting room, where they were joined by their most senior officials. North Korea has always been a useful buffer between China and USA forces in South Korea.

"We are hopeful this summit will have set the conditions for future successful talks", Pompeo said yesterday evening. His sessions with Kim amounted to the most robust contact ever between the United States and the North Korean leader, providing critical information about a man about whom little is known.

This is a developing story.


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