#SingaporeSummit Trump, Kim pile on charm at summit, but no word on progress
Written by: International

Singapore - U.S. President Donald Trump said he had forged a “good relationship” with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at the start of a historic summit in Singapore on Tuesday, as the two men sought ways to end a nuclear standoff on the Korean peninsula. Kim said the meeting was “a good prelude to peace”, but there was no immediate word on any substantive progress in their discussions.

Should they succeed in making a diplomatic breakthrough, it could bring lasting change to the security landscape of Northeast Asia, like the visit of former U.S. President Richard Nixon to China in 1972 led to the transformation of China. Both men had looked serious as they got out of their limousines for the summit at the Capella hotel on Singapore’s Sentosa, a resort island with luxury hotels, a casino, manmade beaches and a Universal Studios theme park. But, with cameras of the world’s press trained on them, they displayed an initial atmosphere of bonhomie as they met on the verandah of the Capella, a refurbished 19th century British regimental officers’ mess. After a handshake, they were soon smiling and holding each other by the arm, before Trump guided Kim to the library where they held a meeting with only their interpreters. Trump had said on Saturday he would know within a minute of meeting Kim whether he would reach a deal. Inside, they sat alongside each other against a backdrop of North Korean and U.S. flags, with Kim beaming broadly as the U.S. president gave him a thumbs up. After initial exchanges lasting around 40 minutes, Trump and Kim emerged, walking side-by-side through the colonnaded hotel before entering a meeting room, where they were joined by their most senior officials. Kim was heard telling Trump through a translator: “I think the entire world is watching this moment. Many people in the world will think of this as a scene from a fantasy...science fiction movie.” Asked by a reporter how the meeting was going, Trump said: “Very good. Very, very good. Good relationship.” Kim also sounded positive about the prospects. “We overcame all kinds of scepticism and speculations about this summit and I believe that this is good for the peace,” he said. “I believe this is a good prelude for peace.” Trump was joined by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, National Security Adviser John Bolton, and John Kelly, White House Chief of Staff, for the expanded talks, while Kim’s team included former military intelligence chief Kim Yong Chol, foreign minister Ri Yong Ho and Ri Su Yong, vice chairman of the ruling Workers’ Party. (With Reuters)