Published: Tue, June 12, 2018
People | By Neil Grant

President Trump meets Kim Jong Un

President Trump meets Kim Jong Un

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un provides guidance on a nuclear weapons program in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang September 3, 2017.

The bodyguards were glimpsed flanking Kim's Mercedes-Benz limousine as it traveled to the St. Regis Hotel in Singapore on Sunday.

Trump made the unprecedented decision to meet with the leader of the rogue regime, a move all of his predecessors had avoided. It's the first time a sitting USA president has met with N. Korea's chief, making the summit historic and quite the diplomatic gesture.

Ahead of the meeting, Trump had said he would be able to work out within the first minute whether his North Korean counterpart was serious about making peace. As Cuomo himself said of Rodman Monday night, "He is our best resource right now for understanding the minds of the two men, especially Kim Jong Un".

"If you just look at it as, 'Give up your stuff, ' that framework is why we've been banging our head against the wall for so long", said John Delury, a North Korea scholar at Yonsei University in Seoul.

Goldgeier expressed concern about the plan for Trump and Kim to meet alone, with only interpreters in the room.

After an initial one-on-one meeting with the North Korean leader, Trump said that things were "very, very good - excellent relationship".

At the start of the summit, the two leaders who once threatened each other with nuclear annihilation shook hands on a red carpet in front of the island resort hotel chosen for the meeting. It's a reflection of the intense global curiosity over Kim's sudden turn to diplomacy in recent months after a slew of North Korean nuclear and missile tests a year ago raised serious fears of war.

Kim Jong Un poses for a selfie with Singapore Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan and Education Minister Ong Ye Kung.

North Korea granted such access as part of a Clinton-era diplomatic deal and agreed to freeze its nuclear material production.

"We're here, overcoming everything", the reclusive Kim told Trump, adding that the two countries overcame many obstacles on their way forward.

Trump gives his trademark thumbs up to a grinning Kim.

"The only way to know if North Korea's declarations are accurate is to verify them through on the ground presence", said David Albright, a former weapons inspector. Trump has also raised the possibility of further summits and an agreement ending the Korean War by replacing the armistice signed in 1953 with a peace treaty.

Trump and his senior officials have in recent weeks been referring to Kim as "Chairman".

At one point, reporters overheard a translator, apparently interpreting Kim's words, as saying that "many people in the world will think of this as a. form of fantasy. from a science fiction movie".

Any nuclear deal will hinge on North Korea's willingness to allow unfettered outside inspections of the country's warheads and nuclear fuel, much of which is likely kept in a vast complex of underground facilities.

Another possibility from the summit is a deal to end the Korean War, which North Korea has long demanded, presumably, in part, to get United States troops off the Korean Peninsula and, eventually, pave the way for a North Korean-led unified Korea.

Like this: