WASHINGTON — President Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un shared their first handshake today in front of a row of alternating six American and six DPRK flags — a demand from Pyongyang that the two sides be presented as equal — at the Capella Resort on Sentosa Island, Singapore.
Minutes after 9 a.m., Kim’s interpreter could be heard saying, “Nice to meet you, Mr. President,” according to the White House pool report.
The two then walked into the hotel together, settling down in the room where they shared their one-on-one meeting attended only by an interpreter for each side.
“I feel really great. We’re going to have a great discussion and, I think, tremendous success. It will be tremendously successful. And it’s my honor. And we will have a terrific relationship,” Trump told reporters as pair sat in chairs. “I have no doubt.”
“Well, it was not easy to get here,” Kim said. “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.”
After their 38-minute closed-door meeting, Trump and Kim walked along an upper-floor walkway and paused before reporters, where Trump said they have a “very, very good, excellent relationship.”
Kim did not respond to several questions from media about whether he would give up his nuclear weapons.
Trump and Kim sat down for an extended bilateral meeting that included North Korean advisors and White House chief of staff John Kelly, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and National Security Advisor John Bolton.
“There will be challenges ahead but we will work with Trump,” Kim said. “We overcame all kinds of skepticism and speculations about this summit and I believe that this is good for the peace.”
“We will solve it… and I look forward to working on it with you,” Trump said.
The White House said before the meeting that North Korea’s human rights atrocities would not be on the agenda.
The two teams then sat down for an expanded working lunch of beef short rib confit, sweet & sour crispy pork, soy braised cod fish, and Haagen-Dazs vanilla ice cream with cherry sauce.