President Donald Trump said the summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un went “better than anybody could imagine.” He said this after both leaders emerged from a working lunch and strolled together down a paved walkway Tuesday before stopping and posing before the waiting news media.
Trump said the meeting is “going great. We had a really fantastic meeting.” He added that there has been “a lot of progress. Really very positive. I think better than anybody could imagine.”
The working lunch was the final official event scheduled for the leaders before they go their separate ways.
Trump and Kim have emerged from their expanded bilateral one-on-one meeting, which lasted about 48 minutes. Trump said the meeting was “very, very good” and that he and Kim have an “excellent relationship”.
The two leaders were joined by key advisers. On the US side, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, National Security Adviser John Bolton and Chief of Staff John Kelly joined. North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho and Kim Yong-chol, who has been described as Kim’s right hand man, were among those who joined Kim at the table.
The Singapore summit is the product of intense diplomacy that began after Mr Kim signalled earlier this year that he wanted to meet Mr Trump. The opening came as the US continued to ratchet up a campaign aimed at squeezing North Korea economically in a bid to bring Mr Kim to the negotiating table.
AP: President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un kicked off the much anticipated summit between them with a historic handshake as they meet for the first time. It’s the first ever meeting between a sitting U.S. president and North Korean leader, for which Trump and Kim converged at a luxury resort on Singapore’s Sentosa Island.
The two clasped hands for a long while Tuesday as they posed for photos in front of a row of U.S. and North Korean flags.
Trump then directed Kim to walk down a hallway, where they briefly spoke.
Trump was first to arrive at the summit site, followed by Kim, both readying for the 9 a.m. meeting that culminated dizzying weeks of negotiations over logistics and policy.
President Donald Trump is predicting that he and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will have “a terrific relationship” as they meet face to face for the first time.
Trump said Tuesday after meeting Kim that he’s feeling “really great.” He says, “We’re going to have a great discussion and a terrific relationship.”
Kim says through an interpreter that it “was not easy to get here” and that there “were obstacles but we overcame them to be here.”
The two men are expected to meet on their own for the better part of an hour, with only a pair of interpreters in the room.
That decision has raised concerns about the risk of holding such a monumental meeting with barely anyone to bear witness.