BEVERLY HILLS, June 12, (THEWILL) – After months of sabre-rattling that gave way to flirtation, President Trump finally met face-to-face with Kim Jong Un at a hotel on Sentosa Island in Singapore on Tuesday morning.
Hours into a working lunch, at which the two leaders discussed a deal to denuclearise North Korea, Trump and Kim took a stroll together, and the U.S. president declared “We’re going right now for a signing.”
While it remained unclear what sort of document the two men would sign, Trump added that the meeting had gone “better than anybody could have expected.”
Their meeting began shortly after 9 a.m. local time, with Trump wearing a dark suit and red tie, and Kim dressed in a black suit. The two men walked along a white colonnade, meeting in front of a bank of 12 alternating U.S. and North Korean flags where they shook hands. The handshake lasted about 12 seconds.
According to the Shanghai Media Group, the 35-year-old Kim arrived at the summit venue seven minutes earlier than Trump, 71, to show respect to his elder.
After their initial greeting, Trump and Kim walked inside, sat down and spoke briefly to reporters.
Trump, who had insisted he would know “within the first minute” if Kim was serious about denuclearisation, said he “felt really great” and that it was his “honour” to meet with the North Korean leader.
“We’re going to have a great discussion,” Trump said. “A tremendous success. We will have a great relationship.”
“It was not easy to get here,” Kim said. “There were obstacles, but we overcame them to be here.”
Kim likened the meeting to something “from a science fiction movie,” according to a translation of his remarks.
Reuters reports that the pair then retreated to a private room where they met one-on-one, with interpreters, for about 35 minutes before an expanded bilateral meeting with both U.S. and North Korean advisers.
Meanwhile, in Seoul, South Korean President Moon Jae-in — whose country remains technically at war with the North — watched live ahead of a cabinet meeting.
“I, too, could hardly sleep last night,” he told his ministers, hoping for a “new era among the two Koreas and the United States”.