SINGAPORE – North Korea’s supreme leader Kim Jong-un and United States President Donald Trump met on Tuesday for several hours as part of a historic summit where both expressed optimism and signed a joint declaration following the meeting.
The summit began with a handshake and a photo for posterity at the entrance of the Capella Hotel on Sentosa after which Trump and Kim attended a series of meetings in which they hoped the summit would be a success.
“I feel really great. We’re going to have a great discussion and, I think, tremendous success. It will be tremendously successful,” said Trump, already seated on Kim’s left at the beginning of his first face-to-face meeting which lasted about 48 minutes.
“I think it’s gonna be really successful and I think we will have a terrific relationship, I have no doubt,” Trump added, while Kim stressed that his country and the US have overcome many obstacles to reach this historic moment.
“It was not easy to get here. The past worked as fetters on our limbs, and the old prejudices and practices worked as obstacles on our way forward. But we overcame all of them, and we are here today,” Kim said in Korean.
Although the two leaders initially appeared with serious expressions and did not smile until just before entering the room where their first meeting took place, they were seen exchanging jokes.
“Many people in the world will think of this as a (inaudible) form of fantasy ... from a science fiction movie,” Kim told Trump during their brief tour through the halls to the hotel entrance, according to the words of his translator which were captured on camera.
Kim might have referred to the historical and unexpected nature of the meeting between the two leaders, who only a year ago exchanged insults and threats during a phase of heightened tension between Pyongyang and Washington.
After the first face-to-face meeting between the two, which according to Trump went very well, they attended a second meeting, this time accompanied by their delegations.
Kim, at the beginning of the talks expressed his gratefulness for being there to talk about important issues and promised to collaborate with Trump, who said that they would resolve problems together.
During this hour-and-a-half meeting, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo – who met with Kim twice in Pyongyang –, White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and Trump’s national security advisor, John Bolton, were also present.Kim Commits to Denuclearization, Trump Offers Security Guarantees