Trump and Kim 'ready to write a new chapter' after Singapore summit

  • Donald Trump told reporters in Singapore that he expects Kim Jong-un to uphold his part of a landmark agreement that requires him to destroy his entire nuclear weapons and missile programs
  • Trump said he addressed human rights with the North Korean dictator and said economic sanctions will remain as long as Pyongyang is a major abuser
  • Sanctions relief also depends on Kim's follow-through on denuclearization
  • 'Our eyes are wide open, but peace is always worth the effort, especially in this case,' Trump declared, saying he had been up for more than 25 hours to oversee the negotiations
  • Trump said joint U.S.-South Korean military exercises will end and called them 'provocative' to the North, but hs spun that decision as an economic one, not as a negotiated concession
  • The press conference began with the playing of a video, first in Korean and then in English, that Trump said his delegation showed Kim on an iPad to encourage him to choose the right path 
  • Trump said he spotted inviting-looking beaches in the footage, and said: 'Look at that beach, wouldn't that make a great condo? ... Think of it from a real estate perspective!' 
  • Trump called Kim's stockpile 'a very substantial arsenal' but predicted he would be tearing it up
  • He said 'we're much further along than I would have thought,' and projected a time when the two nations have exchanged ambassadors and he has personally visited Pyongyang and invited Kim to the White House 

By Francesca Chambers, White House Correspondent In Singapore and David Martosko, Us Political Editor For Dailymail.com

Published: 04:26 EDT, 12 June 2018 | Updated: 09:14 EDT, 12 June 2018

Kim Jong-un affirmed an 'unwavering commitment to complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula' in a signed document on Tuesday, President Donald Trump says.

'We're prepared to start a new history, and we're ready to write a new chapter between our two nations,' he told a packed room of reporters at a press conference in Singapore.

Pyongyang's nuclear weapons program will come to an end, he predicted, claiming that Kim had already left Singapore and was 'on his way back' to North Korea to begin implementing their joint vows.

'I believe he's going to live up to that document,' Trump said. 'Our eyes are wide open, but peace is always worth the effort, especially in this case.' 

Trump said he knows 'for a fact that as soon as he arrives' in Pyongyang Kim is 'going to start a process that makes a lot of people very happy' even though the statement that his White House provided to press made no mention of an agreed upon timetable for denuclearization.

'He wants to do that. This isn't the past. This isn't another administration that never got it started and therefore never got it done,' Trump said, tweaking the Obama administration. 

'We're prepared to start a new history, and we're ready to write a new chapter between our two nations,' President Donald Trump said at a press conference in Singapore, announcing the terms of a landmark nuclear disarmament agreement with North Korea
'We're prepared to start a new history, and we're ready to write a new chapter between our two nations,' President Donald Trump said at a press conference in Singapore, announcing the terms of a landmark nuclear disarmament agreement with North Korea

'We're prepared to start a new history, and we're ready to write a new chapter between our two nations,' President Donald Trump said at a press conference in Singapore, announcing the terms of a landmark nuclear disarmament agreement with North Korea

'Our eyes are wide open, but peace is always worth the effort, especially in this case,' Trump declared, saying he had been up for more than 25 hours to oversee the negotiations
'Our eyes are wide open, but peace is always worth the effort, especially in this case,' Trump declared, saying he had been up for more than 25 hours to oversee the negotiations

'Our eyes are wide open, but peace is always worth the effort, especially in this case,' Trump declared, saying he had been up for more than 25 hours to oversee the negotiations

Trump declared that 'we're much further along than I would have thought,' and projected a time when the two nations have exchanged ambassadors and he has personally visited Pyongyang and invited Kim to the White House
Trump declared that 'we're much further along than I would have thought,' and projected a time when the two nations have exchanged ambassadors and he has personally visited Pyongyang and invited Kim to the White House

Trump declared that 'we're much further along than I would have thought,' and projected a time when the two nations have exchanged ambassadors and he has personally visited Pyongyang and invited Kim to the White House

President Donald Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un concluded a day of talks in Singapore by signing what the president described as a 'very comprehensive' document
President Donald Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un concluded a day of talks in Singapore by signing what the president described as a 'very comprehensive' document

President Donald Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un concluded a day of talks in Singapore by signing what the president described as a 'very comprehensive' document

The U.S. president told reporters that he became convinced that Kim was serious when he agreed to dismantle a sophisticated missile engine testing site. 'We're much further along than I would have thought.'

At the same time, he agreed that there are no guarantees that Kim will tear apart what he called 'a very substantial arsenal.'

'Can you ensure anything?' he asked. 'All I can say is: They want to make a deal. ... Can anybody be certain? But we're going to be certain soon because the negotiations continue.' 

'I may be wrong,' he allowed. 'I may stand before you in six months and say, "Hey, I was wrong." ' 

And then with a sly smile, Trump joked: 'I don't know that I'll ever admit that, but I'll find some kind of an excuse.'

The president said he had been working around the clock helping to cement the terms of what he hopes will be an iron-clad agreement that Kim will honor. That would mark a change from North Korea's past performance on pacts with the West.

'I haven't slept in 25 hours, but I thought it was important to do,' he said, animated as ever in gesture and vocal cadence.'

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has been a key component of the Singapore summit, and is pictured waiting for Trump's press conference to start after the summit with Kim Jong'un at the Capella resort on Sentosa Island
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has been a key component of the Singapore summit, and is pictured waiting for Trump's press conference to start after the summit with Kim Jong'un at the Capella resort on Sentosa Island

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has been a key component of the Singapore summit, and is pictured waiting for Trump's press conference to start after the summit with Kim Jong'un at the Capella resort on Sentosa Island

Kim has agreed to destroy a major missile engine testing site, a gesture that Trump said convinced him his adversary was on the up-and-up
Kim has agreed to destroy a major missile engine testing site, a gesture that Trump said convinced him his adversary was on the up-and-up

Kim has agreed to destroy a major missile engine testing site, a gesture that Trump said convinced him his adversary was on the up-and-up

Trump made no promises about relaxing the economic sanctions that have strangled the hermit kingdom for years yet said he was 'actually looking forward to taking them off' if Kim follows through on his commitments. 

He speculated about exchanging ambassadors with North Korea 'hopefully soon' but cautioned that 'it's a little bit early for that.' 

A first step would be a White House invitation.  The U.S. president again said he's open to inviting Kim to the U.S. and visiting Pyongyang himself.  'At a certain time, I will,' he said of a conversation with Kim in the Oval Office.

He also projected that hostilities between the North and South 'will soon end' because 'the past does not have to define the future.'

'Anyone can make war, but only the most courageous can make peace. The current state of affairs cannot continue forever,' Trump proclaimed in his second news conference this week on foreign soil.

Trump said he addressed human rights with the North Korean dictator and said economic sanctions will remain as long as Pyongyang is a major abuser
Trump said he addressed human rights with the North Korean dictator and said economic sanctions will remain as long as Pyongyang is a major abuser

Trump said he addressed human rights with the North Korean dictator and said economic sanctions will remain as long as Pyongyang is a major abuser

AFTER YOU: Donald Trump and North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un arrive to sign a document to acknowledge the progress of the talks and pledge to keep momentum going, after their summit at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa island
AFTER YOU: Donald Trump and North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un arrive to sign a document to acknowledge the progress of the talks and pledge to keep momentum going, after their summit at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa island

AFTER YOU: Donald Trump and North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un arrive to sign a document to acknowledge the progress of the talks and pledge to keep momentum going, after their summit at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa island

It is understood that the document signed by both leaders will pledge to keep the momentum of peace talks going
It is understood that the document signed by both leaders will pledge to keep the momentum of peace talks going

It is understood that the document signed by both leaders will pledge to keep the momentum of peace talks going

Tuesday's press conference opened with a gimmick that White House official said would be surprising and was quickly smacked down as government propaganda. A video aired, first in Korean and then in English, that Trump said his delegation showed Kim on an iPad to encourage him to choose the right path - 'a version of what could happen, what could take place.'

Trump said he spotted inviting-looking beaches in the footage, and said: 'Look at that beach, wouldn't that make a great condo? ... Think of it from a real estate perspective!'

He allowed that Kim may not want as much modernization as the United States, a thrivin'g democracy, has and that the autocrat may want to 'do a smaller version of this' when sanctions are lifted.

'You may not want that with the trains and everything. Super everything. Maybe you won’t want that,' he said. 'It will be up to them. It will be up to them and up to the people. They may not want that. I can understand that, too.' 

The president in a shocking giveaway to North Korea said the U.S. would soon end or scale back longstanding joint military exercises with South Korea, and agreed that they were 'provocative' toward the North. He characterized them as 'very expensive,' however, and portrayed their end as an economic decision rather than a negotiated concession that the U.S. had previously said it wouldn't budge on.

'We stopped playing those war games that cost us a fortune,' he said in an interview with ABC that was taped before the presser. 'You know, we’re spending a fortune, every couple of months we’re doing war games with South Korea, and I said, "What’s this costing?" 

Trump said, 'We’re flying planes in from Guam, we’re bombing empty mountains for practice. I said, "I want to stop that and I will stop that, and I think it’s very provocative.' 

The president said at his news conference that he had addressed human rights issues during the summit, but downplayed Kim's brutal past.

'I believe it's a rough situation over there. No question about it. We did discuss it today pretty strongly,' he said. 'Knowing what the main purpose of what we are doing is here denuking. Discussed at good length. We will be doing something on it. It’s rough.'

Trump insisted that Kim's human rights abuses were a primary topic of conversation, aside from denuclearization. 

'I think it will change. I think it probably has to,' he said of changes that Kim will have to embrace in order to hail in the 'glorious new era' that he says is North Korea's for the taking.  

Trump also predicted that among the 'winners' in the future will be the tens of thousands of people held in North Korea's prison camps. 

And he said Kim was 'very gracious' about the prospect of returning the remains of American soldiers buried in North Korea more than a half-century ago: 'He said "It makes sense, let's do it".'

In between the end of his meetings with Kim and his news conference, Trump sat down for several interviews, including one with ABC. 

He revealed then that he had spoke to Kim prior to today - a question from reporters he'd previously avoiding answering.

Of the agreement he signed with Kim, Trump said in the interview, 'It’s a starter, but it’s a terrific document. I think far more -- and there are things that we negotiated after that document that are also very important.' 

He said that the document does not include a guarantee to stop producing ballistic missiles at certain sites but that Kim said he would. 'We’re gonna put that out later,' he explained.

Trump also said that Kim 'committed to not starting again' weapons testing that has been on pause already for seven months.

'That won’t be happening. He means it he really wants to do something I think terrific for their country and it’s the only way it can be it’s the only way it can be terrific.'

As the summit concluded Trump flattered Kim by saying he's 'a very talented man' who 'loves his country very much' causing a stir that carried over into the news conference.

'Well he is very talented. Anybody that takes over a situation like he did at 26 years of age and is able to run it and run it tough - I don’t say he was nice or say anything about it,' Trump said in equally contentious remarks. 'He ran it, few people at that age. You can take 1 out of 10,000 could not do it.'

The document says, in part: 'President Trump committed to provide security guarantees to the DPRK, and Chairman Kim Jong Un reaffirmed his firm and unwavering commitment to complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula'
The document says, in part: 'President Trump committed to provide security guarantees to the DPRK, and Chairman Kim Jong Un reaffirmed his firm and unwavering commitment to complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula'

The document says, in part: 'President Trump committed to provide security guarantees to the DPRK, and Chairman Kim Jong Un reaffirmed his firm and unwavering commitment to complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula'

Kim Jong-un rests his hand on Trump's back as the pair walk away from the table where they signed the joint agreement
Kim Jong-un rests his hand on Trump's back as the pair walk away from the table where they signed the joint agreement

Kim Jong-un rests his hand on Trump's back as the pair walk away from the table where they signed the joint agreement

Trump similarly told ABC in response to criticism that he was legitimizing the brutal dictator with his outreach: 'I’m given what I'm given, okay? I mean, this is what we have, and this is where we are, and I can only tell you from my experience, and I met him, I've spoken with him, and I’ve met him. And this was, as you know, started very early and it's been very intense.'

The U.S. had promised 'security guarantees' for North Korea in the lead-up to Trump and Kim's meeting for the first time during the high-stakes Singapore summit. 

'I don’t wanna talk about it specifically, but we’ve given him, he’s going to be happy,' Trump said on Tuesday. 'His country does love him. His people, you see the fervor. They have a great fervor...They’re so hard working, so industrious. I think if you look at South Korea, someday, maybe in the not too distant future, it will be something that.'

Trump president hailed a newly forged 'special bond' with Kim following a day of historic talks, praised the dictator as a 'skilled' negotiator and said he would 'absolutely' invite him to the White House in the future.

Kim told him in turn that it was time to 'leave the past behind' and embark on a new era of relations with America. The dictator promised the world will see a 'major change' as a result of the summit.

The two men signed a joint statement at the Capella resort that U.S. did not immediately release. News photographers caught sight of the text when Trump flashed a copy to the press but the one-page statement he claimed would be 'very comprehensive' did not land in reporters' inboxes until mid-way through Trump's long question and answer session.

The agreement reaffirms an earlier declaration signed between North and South Korea, and commits the North to 'work towards the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.'

Another point commits the U.S. and North Korea 'to establish new U.S.-DPRK relations in accordance with the desire of the peoples of the two countries for peace and prosperity.' 

An additional point committed the nations to 'join their efforts to build a lasting and stable peace regime on the Korean Peninsula.'

U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un shake hands during an expanded bilateral meeting at the Capella Hotel. With Trump, and to his right, is White House chief of Staff John Kelly
U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un shake hands during an expanded bilateral meeting at the Capella Hotel. With Trump, and to his right, is White House chief of Staff John Kelly

U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un shake hands during an expanded bilateral meeting at the Capella Hotel. With Trump, and to his right, is White House chief of Staff John Kelly

Kim smiles to reporters while taking questions alongside Donald Trump after signing the joint agreement. Both men ignored questions over the denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula
Kim smiles to reporters while taking questions alongside Donald Trump after signing the joint agreement. Both men ignored questions over the denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula

Kim smiles to reporters while taking questions alongside Donald Trump after signing the joint agreement. Both men ignored questions over the denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula

Trump and Kim's statement: The full text 

Joint Statement of President Donald J. Trump of the United States of America and Chairman Kim Jong Un of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea at the Singapore Summit 

President Donald J. Trump of the United States of America and Chairman Kim Jong Un of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) held a first, historic summit in Singapore on June 12, 2018.

President Trump and Chairman Kim Jong Un conducted a comprehensive, in-depth and sincere exchange of opinions on the issues related to the establishment of new US-DPRK relations and the building of a lasting and robust peace regime on the Korean Peninsula. President Trump committed to provide security guarantees to the DPRK, and Chairman Kim Jong Un reaffirmed his firm and unwavering commitment to complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

Convinced that the establishment of new US-DPRK relations will contribute to the peace and prosperity of the Korean Peninsula and of the world, and recognizing that mutual confidence building cam promote the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, President Trump and Chairman Kim Jong Un state the following:

The United States and the DPRK commit to establish new US-DPRK relations in accordance with the desire of the peoples of the two countries for peace and prosperity.

The United States and DPRK will join their efforts to build a lasting and stable peace regime on the Korean Peninsula.

Reaffirming the April 27, 2018 Panmunjom Declaration, the DPRK commits to work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula

The United States and the DPRK commit to recovering POW/MIA remains, including the immediate repatriation of those already identified.

Having acknowledged that the US-DPRK summit -- the first in history -- was an epochal event of great significance in overcoming decades of tensions and hostilities between the two countries and for the opening up of a new future, President Trump and Chairman Kim Jong Un commit to implement the stipulations in the joint statement fully and expeditiously. The United States and the DPRK commit to hold follow-on negotiations, led by the US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, and a relevant high-level DPRK official, at the earliest possible date, to implement the outcomes of the US-DPRK summit.

President Donald J. Trump of the United States of America and Chairman Kim Jong Un of the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea have committed to cooperate for the development of new US-DPRK relations and for the promotion of peace, prosperity, and the security of the Korean Peninsula and of the world.

DONALD J. TRUMP

President of the United States of America

KIM JONG UN

Chairman of the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea

June 12, 2018

Sentosa Island

Singapore

The U.S. president says he now expects that he and Kim will meet again - 'many times' in the future, telling a room full of journalists representing American and North Korean outlets: 'This is going to lead to more and more and more and it’s an honor to be with you a very great honor.' 

Trump had said as the summit commenced that it was 'an honor' to be with Kim and open a direct line of communication that he expects after looking Kim in the eye to blossom into 'a terrific relationship' with the longtime U.S. antagonist.

He told journalists later, after a working lunch, that he had a 'really fantastic meeting' with Kim that he believes was 'really, very positive.'

'I think, better than anybody could have expected, top of the line, really good. We're going right now for a signing,' he said. 

Talks were apparently going so well Tuesday afternoon that Trump showed Kim his limo, opening a door so he could inspect the car that travels everywhere with the U.S. president and flies in the belly of Air Force One when he's abroad.

Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un part ways holding copies of the joint agreement they signed moments earlier
Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un part ways holding copies of the joint agreement they signed moments earlier

Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un part ways holding copies of the joint agreement they signed moments earlier

U.S. President Donald Trump walks with North Korea leader Kim Jong Un after lunch at the Capella resort on Sentosa Island
U.S. President Donald Trump walks with North Korea leader Kim Jong Un after lunch at the Capella resort on Sentosa Island

U.S. President Donald Trump walks with North Korea leader Kim Jong Un after lunch at the Capella resort on Sentosa Island

After the summit had ended, Trump assessed that Kim had a 'great personality' and is 'very smart. Good combination.'

Kim, he said, is 'a worthy negotiator ... a very worthy, very smart negotiator. We had a terrific day and we learned a lot about each other and our countries.'

Trump and Kim began the summit with a hearty handshake, exchanging pleasantries for the cameras and meeting one-on-one for 38 minutes with only translators present while the world watched with anticipation as the first-ever meeting between a U.S. president and a North Korean leader unfolded.

Trump told reporters as he sat down for his initial meeting with Kim that he believed they were 'going to have a great discussion' that he believed would be a 'tremendous success.'

'It will be tremendously successful,' he reiterated. 'And it's an honor, and we will have a terrific relationship, I have no doubt.'

Kim – whose voice is rarely if ever heard in the West – told the U.S. president through an interpreter, 'Well, 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.'

'That's true,' Trump said in agreement, shaking his counterpart's hand and making what appeared to be joke that was audible to only the two men and their translators as reporters were led out out of the room.

Trump and Kim then held private talks with only their interpreters before walking together along a route that provided them with another opportunity to speak to press.

'Very, very good. Excellent relationship,' Trump told a tightly-restricted group of assembled journalists.

Donald Trump waves to reporters alongside Kim as the pair stand on a balcony at the Capella resort on Tuesday
Donald Trump waves to reporters alongside Kim as the pair stand on a balcony at the Capella resort on Tuesday

Donald Trump waves to reporters alongside Kim as the pair stand on a balcony at the Capella resort on Tuesday

WARM RAPPORT: President Trump touched Kim several times throughout their first exchange, signaling to the dictator he wanted to build a relationship that can stand the test of time and not just the summit
WARM RAPPORT: President Trump touched Kim several times throughout their first exchange, signaling to the dictator he wanted to build a relationship that can stand the test of time and not just the summit

WARM RAPPORT: President Trump touched Kim several times throughout their first exchange, signaling to the dictator he wanted to build a relationship that can stand the test of time and not just the summit

As they turned the corner to head into their first set of talks, however, in an area that Trump may have thought was off camera, the U.S. leader broke into a smile as he exchanged quiet words with Kim and another handshake that lasted several seconds
As they turned the corner to head into their first set of talks, however, in an area that Trump may have thought was off camera, the U.S. leader broke into a smile as he exchanged quiet words with Kim and another handshake that lasted several seconds

As they turned the corner to head into their first set of talks, however, in an area that Trump may have thought was off camera, the U.S. leader broke into a smile as he exchanged quiet words with Kim and another handshake that lasted several seconds

The pen that Kim used to sign the joint declaration featured Donald Trump's signature in gold on the side
The pen that Kim used to sign the joint declaration featured Donald Trump's signature in gold on the side

The pen that Kim used to sign the joint declaration featured Donald Trump's signature in gold on the side

The leaders ignored questions from the U.S. media on denuclearization of the Koran Peninsula, the topic of the Singapore talks.

Moments later, Trump and Kim rejoined senior officials from both nations for a meeting that was supposed to get into the nitty-gritty of a possible nuclear disarmament deal.

'Of course there will be challenges ahead, but I am ready to listen,' Kim could be heard telling the U.S. president in the group setting, through a translator. 'We overcame all kinds of skepticism and speculations about this summit, and I believe that this is good for the peace.' 

Trump told him, 'We will solve [this]. We will be successful. And I look forward to working on it with you. It will be done.'

A working lunch on Tuesday  featured prawn cocktail with avocado salad, green mango kerabu with honey lime dressing and fresh octopus and 'Oiseon' Korean stuffed cucumber as starters.

For the main course, the leaders had the choice of beef short rib confit, sweet and sour crispy pork and Yangzhou fried rice with chili sauce or soy braised cod fish.

Haagen-Dazs vanilla ice cream with cherry coulis, Tropezienne and a dark chocolate tartlet ganache were listed on a White House handout as the dessert options.

'Very nice. Get a good picture everybody so we look nice and handsome and thin. Perfect,' Trump jested to journalists as they were briefly allowed to observe the meal. 

The almost unbelievable nature of the encounter hasn't been lost on Kim, whose repressive regime has kept the U.S. on edge for decades through bellicose statements, nuclear tests and ballistic missile launches.

'Many people in the world will think of this as a ... form of fantasy … from a science fiction movie,' he told the president through a translator in a remark overheard during a morning session by the press.   

A third grip-and-grin followed brief remarks to press inside the portion of their one-on-one meeting that was open to cameras
A third grip-and-grin followed brief remarks to press inside the portion of their one-on-one meeting that was open to cameras

A third grip-and-grin followed brief remarks to press inside the portion of their one-on-one meeting that was open to cameras

A third grip-and-grin followed brief remarks to press inside the portion of their one-on-one meeting that was open to cameras
A third grip-and-grin followed brief remarks to press inside the portion of their one-on-one meeting that was open to cameras

A third grip-and-grin followed brief remarks to press inside the portion of their one-on-one meeting that was open to cameras

In their very first greeting, Trump set the tone for the talks, sending Kim an outstretched hand and patting the dictator's right elbow with the other. Neither man smiled during the formal photo, taken on a red carpet in front of alternating American and North Korean flags.

As they turned the corner to head into their first of several sessions, however, in an area that Trump may have thought was off camera, the U.S. leader broke into a smile while exchanging quiet words with Kim and another handshake that lasted several seconds.A third grip-and-grin followed brief remarks to press inside the portion of their one-on-one meeting that was open to cameras.

For both leaders, everything was on the line on Tuesday in Singapore. Kim had the incentive of sanctions relief. For Trump, an agreement, no matter how weak was better than coming away empty-handed.

Trump had taunted his critics earlier on Tuesday in the hours before his history-making meeting with the North Korean dictator in tweets.

'The fact that I am having a meeting is a major loss for the U.S., say the haters & losers. We have our hostages, testing, research and all missle launches have stoped, and these pundits, who have called me wrong from the beginning, have nothing else they can say! We will be fine!' he tweeted. 

Donald Trump uploaded this image of himself and Kim meeting alongside their delegations to Instagram after the summit
Donald Trump uploaded this image of himself and Kim meeting alongside their delegations to Instagram after the summit

Donald Trump uploaded this image of himself and Kim meeting alongside their delegations to Instagram after the summit

Trump and Jong-un had just finished off a working lunch when the American president appeared to make an unscheduled stop at the huge armored car, known as The Beast
Trump and Jong-un had just finished off a working lunch when the American president appeared to make an unscheduled stop at the huge armored car, known as The Beast

Trump and Jong-un had just finished off a working lunch when the American president appeared to make an unscheduled stop at the huge armored car, known as The Beast

The power move is likely to have impressed Jong-un who, despite his nation's isolation, has a taste for American culture and Western luxury
The power move is likely to have impressed Jong-un who, despite his nation's isolation, has a taste for American culture and Western luxury

The power move is likely to have impressed Jong-un who, despite his nation's isolation, has a taste for American culture and Western luxury

He said in tweets before the sun rose over Singapore that 'meetings between staffs and representatives are going well and quickly,' echoing a statement from his White House the evening before that talks were progressing so fast Trump would leave Singapore early.

'But in the end, that doesn't matter,' he acknowledged on Twitter. 'We will all know soon whether or not a real deal, unlike those of the past, can happen!'

Trump's motorcades was the first to pull into the Capella Resort in Singapore, which has been closed to outsiders for days out of extreme precaution, on Tuesday morning. Kim was not far behind, after making the under-fifteen minute drive from his hotel to Sentosa island along a route filled with gawkers. 

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo shared a photo of himself marching through a hallway with a determined look on his face as his opening salvo in a tweet that declared: 'We're ready for today.'

Kim, meanwhile, spent the hours leading up to talks attempting to soften his image. The vicious ruler who has directed the murder of his own family members in a quest to consolidate his already absolute power posed for photos on Monday night as he went on a sightseeing tour with Singapore's foreign minister Vivian Balakrishnan.

His tour included a stop at the Marina Bay Sands hotel and casino, where he was welcomed by a cheering crowd of tourists and local residents who had flocked to the location to take in the spectacle.

Trump began shaping news coverage of his summit with Kim, which began at 9 am local time and 9 pm in Washington, bright and early at 5:30 a.m.  

Kim had spent his evening on a tour of Singapore with high-ranking government officials. He arrived at the summit after Trump and left Capella Resort for his hotel before the U.S. president.

During the rare trip out of his hermit nation, the 33-year-old Kim sat with Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong for formal talks on Sunday and went out on the town on Monday with the prime minister's education and finance ministers.

Heavily armed attack boats patrol around Sentosa where Kim and Trump met in the first summit of its kind on Tuesday
Heavily armed attack boats patrol around Sentosa where Kim and Trump met in the first summit of its kind on Tuesday

Heavily armed attack boats patrol around Sentosa where Kim and Trump met in the first summit of its kind on Tuesday

A timeline showing the build-up to the historic Trump-Kim summit

The upcoming meeting between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Singapore will kick off a potentially lengthy diplomatic process to try to resolve the standoff over Pyongyang's pursuit of nuclear weapons.

Here's a look at how the diplomacy took shape this year:

January 1: After an unusually provocative 2017 during which North Korea tested a purported thermonuclear warhead and three intercontinental ballistic missiles, Kim tries to initiate diplomacy in his annual new year's address. He calls for improved relations and engagement with South Korea, though adds that he has a nuclear button on his desk. Trump responds on Twitter that he has a bigger and more powerful nuclear button, adding 'and my Button works!'

January 9: North and South Korean officials meet at a border village and agree on North Korea sending athletes and delegates to the Winter Olympics in the South. Hundreds of North Koreans go to the Pyeongchang Games in February, including Kim's sister, who conveys her brother's desire for an inter-Korean summit with South Korea's president.

March 5-6: South Korea's presidential national security director Chung Eui-yong visits Kim in Pyongyang and reports that the North Korean leader is willing to discuss the fate of his nuclear arsenal with the United States.

March 8: South Korean envoys meet Trump in Washington and deliver an invitation from Kim to meet; Trump accepts.

March 27: Kim makes a surprise visit to Beijing for a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in an apparent move to strengthen his leverage ahead of any talks with Trump.

April 18: Trump confirms that Mike Pompeo, then the CIA chief, had met Kim secretly in North Korea and said 'a good relationship was formed' heading into the anticipated summit.

April 21: North Korea says it has suspended nuclear and ICBM tests and plans to close its nuclear test site as part of a shift in its national focus to developing its economy. Trump tweets: 'This is very good news for North Korea and the World.'

April 27: Kim holds a summit with South Korean President Moon Jae-in. The leaders announce aspirational goals of a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula and permanent peace.

orth Korean leader Kim Jong Un, left, poses with South Korean President Moon Jae-in for a photo inside the Peace House at the border village of Panmunjom in Demilitarized Zone, South Korea, on April 27
orth Korean leader Kim Jong Un, left, poses with South Korean President Moon Jae-in for a photo inside the Peace House at the border village of Panmunjom in Demilitarized Zone, South Korea, on April 27

orth Korean leader Kim Jong Un, left, poses with South Korean President Moon Jae-in for a photo inside the Peace House at the border village of Panmunjom in Demilitarized Zone, South Korea, on April 27

May 7: Kim meets Xi again in China and calls for stronger strategic co-operation between the traditional allies.

May 9: Pompeo, now US secretary of state, makes another visit to Pyongyang to prepare for the planned Trump-Kim summit. North Korea releases three Americans who had been imprisoned.

May 10: Trump announces he will meet with Kim in Singapore on June 12. He tweets: 'We will both try to make it a very special moment for World Peace!'

May 12: North Korea says it will hold a ceremony to dismantle its nuclear test site between May 23-25.

May 16: North Korea abruptly cancels a high-level meeting with the South and threatens to cancel the summit with Trump too in protest over US-South Korean military exercises and US comments that the North should follow the 'Libya model' of denuclearisation by eliminating everything upfront. The North says it will not be unilaterally pressured into abandoning its nuclear programme.

May 22: Trump and Moon meet at the White House to discuss the Trump-Kim talks. The South Korean president says the 'fate and the future of the Korean Peninsula hinge' on the meeting in Singapore.

May 24: A senior North Korean diplomat calls US Vice President Mike Pence a 'political dummy' for his comments on the North and says it is up to the Americans whether they 'meet us at a meeting room or encounter us at (a) nuclear-to-nuclear showdown.' North Korea dismantles its nuclear testing ground in front of foreign journalists, but Trump announces hours later that he is pulling out of the summit, citing the North's 'tremendous anger and open hostility.'

May 25: North Korea attempts damage control, saying it is still willing to hold talks with the United States 'at any time, (in) any format.' Moon calls Trump's move to cancel the summit 'very perplexing' and says Washington and Pyongyang should get the talks back on track.

May 26: Kim and Moon meet at a border village in an effort to revive the summit with Trump. Moon says Kim reaffirmed his commitment to denuclearise their peninsula but also said he was unsure whether he could trust the United States to provide a credible security guarantee in return.

May 30: North Korean envoy Kim Yong Chol, the most senior North Korean official to visit the United States in 18 years, arrives in New York for pre-summit negotiations with Pompeo.

June 1: After meeting Kim Yong Chol at the White House, Trump says his meeting with Kim Jong Un is back on for June 12.

June 5: White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders tweets that the Trump-Kim meeting will be held at Singapore's Capella Hotel.

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