North Korea's Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump arrived in the tropical city-state on Sunday for the first ever face-to-face meeting by leaders of two countries that have been enemies since the 1950-1953 Korean War.
The understated photo op belied the intensive behind-the-scenes negotiations that continued between the US and North Korean delegations less than 24 hours before Trump was scheduled to meet Kim at the Capella Hotel on the resort island of Sentosa, just off Singapore's southern coast. A US official says the leaders then plan to meet one on one, joined only by translators, for up to two hours before admitting their respective advisers.
U.S. President Donald Trump and members of his delegation, including National Security Advisor John Bolton and White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, attend lunch during a meeting at the Istana in Singapore June 11, 2018.
Trump was joined at the meeting with Lee by US officials including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and National Security Adviser John Bolton.
The North Korean news agency KCNA reported on Monday that the summit meeting with the United States president was being watched by the world and there was great expectations. The nation also has repaired ties with China after a setback in late 2016, a shift reinforced by Lee's visit to Beijing in April.
Kim arrived at Singapore's Changi Airport after his longest trip overseas as head of state wearing his trademark dark Maoist suit and distinctive high cut hairstyle.
The first word Kim is in Singapore for Tuesday's summit came early Monday morning.
"Wide-ranging and profound views on the issue of establishing new DPRK-U.S. relations, the issue of building a permanent and durable peace-keeping mechanism on the Korean Peninsula, the issue of realizing the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula and other issues of mutual concern, as required by the changed era, will be exchanged at the DPRK-U.S. summit talks", a dispatch by the North's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said.
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As Kim's black Mercedes arrived at the St Regis hotel in downtown Singapore, it was flanked by bodyguards in identical black suits jogging alongside the vehicle.
Kim, who met Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Sunday after arriving, thanked him for hosting the event.
Citing an unnamed US government official, . Mr Trump wants Mr Kim to dismantle his nuclear arsenal entirely, thus giving up his only real deterrent and bargaining chip.
She said Sung Kim, the US ambassador to the Philippines, who has taken the lead on policy negotiations with the North, was set to hold a working group with a North Korean delegation at 10 a.m. Monday.
Trump's Air Force One touched down at the military airbase Paya Lebar later on Sunday.
The talks have been portrayed by Trump in recent days more as a get-to-know-you session.
He has said the talks would be more about starting a relationship with Kim for a negotiating process that would take more than one summit. He has also raised the possibility of further summits.
At the hotel lobby, grim-faced North Korean security guards warned other hotel guests not to take pictures as Kim walked to his Mercedes Benz limousine. China and South Korea would have to sign off on any legal treaty.