Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un shook hands Tuesday in front of the world’s cameras, against the backdrop of flags of the United States and North Korea.
The leaders approached each other on a red carpet from separate outdoor hallways at the airy and luxurious Capella Hotel on Singapore’s Sentosa Island.
When it came time to finally shake hands, the they both flashed guarded smiles. Trump briefly touched Kim’s right upper arm, then they turned to face the cameras. The leaders moved off to the side, greeted by two individuals who appeared to be translators.
A camera from above showed them touching each others’ arms in a friendly manner, with remarkably relaxed body language considering the magnitude of the moment.
Thumbs up from Trump
In a nearby meeting room, the leaders sat side-by-side. Trump leaned forward with his hands clasped. Kim leaned to his left in a casual manner toward the US President.
Trump spoke first.
“I feel really great, we’re about to have a great discussion,” Trump said. “I think it will be tremendously successful, and it’s my honor and we will have a terrific relationship. I have no doubt.”
Kim then gave a few words.
“It has not been easy to come to this point. For us the past has been holding us back, and old practices and prejudices have been covering our eyes and ears, but we have been able to overcome everything to arrive here today,” Kim said in Korean.
In response, Trump offered Kim a thumbs up. They then reached over to shake each hands, again smiling.
Trump and Kim’s started their summit with a personal meeting, joined only by two translators. It lasted 38 minutes.
The two leaders then walked through the Capella Hotel. “Excellent relationship,” Trump said from the balcony.
At a large meeting table, Trump and Kim began their second series of talks, this time with advisers including US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, national security adviser John Bolton, and White House chief of staff John Kelly.
On the North Korean side, Kim was joined by his chief diplomat Kim Yong Chol, Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho and Ri Su Yong, Vice-Chairman of the Central Committee of the Worker’s Party of Korea.
“We will be successful,” Trump said to Kim, who sat across the table. “And I look forward to working on it with you. It will be done.”