Donald Trump said he expected to have a “terrific relationship” with Kim Jong-un after the two leaders shook hands ahead of a historic summit in Singapore on Tuesday,
In the first ever meeting between sitting leaders from both countries, the pair greeted each other warmly at a luxury hotel on Sentosa Island, before heading in for talks about denuclearisation.
The US president and North Korean leader approached each other while walking along outdoor corridors lined with white colonnades, with Mr Trump coming from the right and Mr Kim from the left.
Mr Trump extended his hand first as they reached each other. The handshake lasted at least 10 seconds, with Mr Trump adding a paternalistic pat on Mr Kim’s right arm.
They posed for photos in front of a row of US and North Korean flags, a remarkable backdrop which showed the extent to which relations between the two countries have thawed.
Mr Trump, who is 6 foot 3 inches, towered over Kim, who is around 5 foot 7 inches and close to 40 years younger than the US president.
Mr Trump then directed Mr Kim to walk down a hallway, where they briefly spoke.
“Nice to meet you Mister President,” Mr Kim said as he sat alongside Mr Trump, beaming broadly as the US president gave him a thumbs up.
With cameras of the world’s press trained on them, the two leaders built an initial atmosphere of friendship.
“I feel really great. We’re going to have a great discussion and will be tremendously successful. It’s my honour and we will have a terrific relationship, I have no doubt,” Mr Trump said.
“It was not easy to get here….There were obstacles but we overcame them to be here,” Mr Kim replied.
After about 40 minutes of talks, the leaders emerged, with Mr Trump predicting they will solve the “big problem” on the Korean peninsula.
Mr Trump and Mr Kim smiled and waved to the cameras before heading to wider bilateral talks with aides. Asked how the meeting had gone, Mr Trump said: “Very good. Very, very good. Excellent relationship.”
Mr Kim smiled by his side but ignored shouts of “Mr Kim, will you denuclearise” from journalists.
The US president was joined by John Kelly, his chief of staff, John Bolton, his national security adviser, and Mike Pompeo, the US secretary of state, for wider talks.
“Mr Chairman, it’s a great honour to be with you, and I know we’ll have tremendous success together,” Mr Trump said before the meeting. “We’ll solve a big problem, a big dilemma, that until this point has been unable to be solved. Working together with you, we’ll get it taken care of.”
The comments suggested that Mr Trump – who said he would know within the first minute whether Kim was serious about denuclearising – was optimistic after initial chat.
Before they meeting, the White House announced plans for Mr Trump to leave early, raising questions about whether his aspirations for an ambitious outcome had been scaled back.
Mr Pompeo had also sought to keep expectations for the summit in check.
“We are hopeful this summit will have set the conditions for future successful talks,” Mr Pompeo said, describing a far more modest goal than Mr Trump had outlined days earlier.
The White House said Mr Trump was leaving early because negotiations had moved “more quickly than expected,” but gave no details about any possible progress in preliminary talks.
China baffled by Ivanka Trump’s ‘Chinese proverb’
Chinese social media users are scratching their heads over a “Chinese proverb” Donald Trump’s daughter and advisor Ivanka posted to Twitter as her father prepared for his summit with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un.
China’s internet quickly lit up, puzzled rather than flattered by the reference.
“Our editor really can’t think of exactly which proverb this is. Please help!” the news channel for Sina – the company behind Weibo, China’s largest Twitter-like platform – wrote on its official social media account.
In thousands of comments on Weibo, users proferred scores of different suggestions without arriving at a consensus.
Some suggested the proverb “the foolish old man removed mountains” – a common phrase used to signify perseverance. It refers to a fable about a man who persisted in his attempt to level a mountain he found inconvenient by dogged digging.
Her mysterious proverb was panned on Weibo.
“She saw it in a fortune cookie at Panda Express,” one user wrote.
The view from South Korea
President Trump had a last minute phone call with Moon Jae-in, the South Korean president, on the eve of the summit, Nicola Smith reports.
On Tuesday morning President Moon expressed hope for the summit’s success, which he said would open a new era of a peaceful, nuclear-free Korean Peninsula, and admitted he had had a sleepless night, reported the Yonhap News agency.
“I guess the attention of all our people must currently be directed toward Singapore,” he said, after watching the live broadcast of the opening of the meeting.
Mr Moon and his Cabinet delayed their weekly meeting for more than 10 minutes to watch the historic handshake.
“I too spent a sleepless night. I, along with all our people, sincerely hope that it will be a successful summit that will open a new era of complete denuclearisation, peace and a new relationship between South Korea, North Korea and the United States,” Moon said, according to presidential office pool reports.
Earlier this week, Moon attempted to manage expectations for the unprecedented meeting.
He stressed that the success of the U.S.-North Korea summit would only be the start of a “long process” to completely denuclearise the North and establish lasting peace between North and South, two countries technically at war since the Korean War of 1950-53 ended with an armistice and not a peace treaty.
“The deep-rooted hostile relationship and the North Korean nuclear issue cannot be resolved in one single action in a meeting between leaders,” Moon told his top aides on Monday.
“Even after the two leaders open the dialogue, we will need a long process that may take one year, two years or even longer to completely resolve the issues.”
Although South Korea does not have a seat at the table today, the South Korean public are waiting eagerly to hear the outcome.
Trending words on South Korean social media right now include “peace declaration”, “meeting of the century”, “The North Korean flag and star spangled banner”
The meeting – in pictures
Some more remarkable pictures are emerging from the summit. And just to remind you, all this is happening about 220 miles from where Kim Jong-un’s half brother Kim Jong-nam was assassinated – allegedly at the behest of the North Korean leader.
Rodman: ‘Obama didn’t even give me the time of day’
Rob Crilly has filed on Dennis Rodman’s unusual appearance on CNN.
The former basketball star broke down on live television as he described his feelings of vindication at the historic meeting between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un.
His appearance also raised eyebrows among some North Korea experts.
Who’s at the table
The two delegations are now getting down to the serious business of resolving the problem of Kim Jong-un’s nuclear weapons, writes Nicola Smith in Singapore.
Four men from each delegation are currently sitting on opposite sides of an imposing polished wooden table.
In Team Trump, we have Mike Pompeo, the secretary of state, John Bolton, the national security advisor and John Kelly, the White House chief of staff.
Team Kim includes Ri Su Yong, a top foreign affairs official, Kim Yong Chol, the former spy chief, and Ri Yong Ho the foreign minister. No sign of Kim’s younger sister, Kim Yo-jong, who sat next to him during his talks with Moon Jae-in, the South Korean president in April.
The female interpreter is also in the room.
“Long, firm and historic’
The Telegraph’s Tim Stanley is in Singapore and has this on the handshake.
Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un’s handshake was long, firm and historic. Mr Trump arrived at the Capella hotel on Sentosa island looking slightly pensive, fiddling with his jacket buttons; Mr Kim appeared relaxed. When they met – striding towards each other in front of a row of DPRK and USA flags – one was one struck immediately by the height difference. Mr Trump, towering above the North Korean, patted him on the back, asserting dominance in the way Western politicians and businessmen have been trained to do. The handshake – that astonishing, ground-breaking handshake – lasted about 10 seconds. There was a fierce debate among my fellow reporters over which hands were bigger.
Next came the sit down for the cameras. Mr Kim, leaning forward and smiling now, said it was “not easy to get here” and spoke of “overcoming” old prejudices. Mr Trump – legs spread apart, fingers forming a triangle – said he agreed and reached out to offer another handshake. They clearly wanted to get down to business. This meeting represents a radical change in decades of policy, and yet it also seemed quite normal, even unpretentious. What comes of it we shall hopefully find out later.
Trump expects ‘great relationship’ with Kim
The pair gave a few comments before beginning talks.
Mr Trump predicts he will have a “great relationship” with Kim Jong-un and expects the summit will be a great success.
Mr Kim said they had overcome “all obstacles” to hold this summit. They then shook hands for a third time.
More on Kudlow
Larry Kudlow, the chief White House economic adviser, suffered a heart attack and is being treated at a Washington area hospital, according to a tweet sent from President Donald Trump’s Twitter account.
Ben Riley-Smith, US editor, has this from Singapore:
Just for a moment, let us dwell on quite how remarkable this meeting between Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump really is today.
Last year, Kim was an international outcast. He was testing nuclear weapons with the hope of developing one that could hit mainland America.
The brutal assassination of his half-brother Kim Jong-nam, murdered with a nerve agent in early 2017, was likely at the behest of Kim himself.
His regime had dubbed Mr Trump a “mentally deranged US dotard” – someone who is senile – and was in turn called “Little Rocket Man” by the US president.
The North Korean regime was the target of some of the hardest-hitting economic sanctions ever passed by the United Nations while Mr Trump’s administration was debating the merits of a military attack.
And yet, in 35 minutes, Mr Trump will meet alone with Kim, save for translators. No sitting US and North Korea leaders have ever met before.
Whether the talks will bring the breakthrough on denuclearisation that the Trump administration hopes is not at all clear.
US media reports have suggested North Korean officials have pushed back on the demand and experts are suspicious of Kim’s Damascene conversion to peace.
But Kim has already won one achievement – recognition.
He has met the leaders of China and South Korea twice each this year, and imminently the US leader too. The heads of Russia, Japan and even Syria could be next.
An international pariah just six months ago, the North Korean leader is now meeting the world’s most powerful men. That will likely continue, whatever happens today.
So what might happen today?
Professor Robert Kelly, (yes, that one), has outlined succinctly the possible outcomes today.
“So I figure this thing today will go 1 of two ways. 1. Team Trump really does have almost nothing out of the N Koreans. The scramble yesterday was an effort to get something, anything out of them, including conceding extraordinary security guarantees.
This is why success has been repeatedly re-defined downward from a Nobel a month to just more talks in the future today. This is also why the whole thing has been chopped to a short event. They just don’t have much.
The other possibility is that some kind of deal has been worked out, and it will be sprung upon us for the surprise theatrics Trump loves so much. This would of explain Pompeii’s confidence yesterday about ‘rapid progress,’ in which case the summit’s been chopped down, because the extra time is not needed.
Who are the negotiators?
Here’s a quick who’s who of who will be facing off in the room today.
Trump to do interview after summit
Fox News says the US President will sit down with host Sean Hannity shortly after the summit.
The broadcaster says the interview will take place at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa Island in Singapore before the US president departs the city state in the evening.
The interview will air on Fox’s “Hannity” at 9 pm on Tuesday in the US – 2am BST.
Fox News says Trump will talk about the meeting with Kim and future relations between the two countries.
Hannity is a friend and confidant of the president and speaks out in support of Trump on his show.
North Korean media on Kim’s walkabout
North Korean state media described Kim Jong-un’s walkabout in Singapore on Monday night as a tour to learn about “social and economic development.”
The Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) made a rare disclosure of the young leader’s whereabouts, confirming that he had toured some of Singapore’s most famous sites.
Kim was seen on international news broadcasts smiling and waving to astonished crowds, as he walked through some of the city-state’s business night entertainment spots, and took in the panorama of Singapore’s business district from the rooftop of the exclusive Marina Bay Sands hotel.
At the start of the excursion, Vivian Balakrishnan, posted a selfie with Kim on Twitter, with the teasing hashtag, #guesswhere?
KCNA opted for a more sober tone.
“Going round the Great Flower Garden, one of the prides of Singapore, Sky Park located on the roof of the world-famous Marina Bay Sands building and Singapore Port, he learned about the social and economic development of the Republic of Singapore,” it said.
Plan for the day
Here’s the planned running order of the day.
- 9am local [2am BST]: Trump meets Kim. One-on-one meeting (plus translators) begins 9.15 and due to last 45 minutes
- 10am: Pompeo (secretary of state), John Kelly, chief of staff, and John Bolton, National Security Adviser join a bilateral meeting
- 11:30am: Meeting is further expanded with team including Sarah Sanders, White House press secretary, and Sung Kim, key negotiator, joining for a working lunch
- 4pm: Trump press conference.
- 7pm: Trump leaves for Washington
Kim the tourist
Kim Jong-un has rarely left his country as leader, so the North Korean leader has taken the chance to do some sight-seeing in Singapore.. He even posed for what is thought to be his first “selfie”.
The North Korean dictator smiled as Vivian Balakrishnan, the city-state’s foreign minister, took a photograph of them together on his mobile phone, which he then posted on Facebook and Twitter, writes Nick Allen.
Trump kicks off the day with tweets
With less than three hours to go until the summit, the US president has started this historic day in customary fashion – on Twitter.
He was his usual combative self, taking a swipe at past presidents’ efforts to tackle North Korea as well as those critical of his current efforts.
Article Source : https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/06/11/donald-trump-kim-jong-un-summit-live-latest-news-updates-us/