×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

President Trump Meets With Kim Jong Un in Historic Summit

President Trump shook hands with Kim Jong Un at the start of a first-of-its-kind meeting of a sitting U.S. president and a North Korean leader.

Against a backdrop of U.S. and North Korean flags, the two first shook hands for about 12 seconds, and Trump at one point grabbed Kim’s arm as they posed for pictures. They did not smile, but moments later exchanged grins and another handshake as they stopped in a colonnade on their way to a nearby room for their first one-on-one meeting.

A few minutes later, as he first sat with Kim, Trump told reporters, “We will have a terrific relationship, I have no doubt.” He predicted that the summit will be “really successful.”

“The old prejudices and practices worked as obstacles on our way forward, but we’ve overcome all of them and we are here today,” Kim said.

Their meeting, with only translators present, lasted 38 minutes. According to a pool report, as they walked along a freeway afterward, Kim told Trump that “many people in the world will think of this as a (inaudible) form of fantasy…from a science fiction movie.”

Trump and Kim followed their face-to-face talks with an expanded meeting that included other North Korean officials and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Chief of Staff John Kelly and National Security Advisor John Bolton. They also will participate in a working lunch with Press Secretary Sarah Sanders, Ambassador Sung Kim and Matt Pottinger, National Security Council senior director for Asia.

The event at Sentosa Island in Singapore, starting around 9 a.m. Tuesday local time, was a sharp reversal from the rhetoric between Trump and Kim for much of last year and into early 2018, as each mercurial figure engaged in name calling and provocative rhetoric. For a while, it appeared that the White House was considering military options.

In March, Trump accepted Kim’s invitation to meet, breaking with predecessors who had shunned any type of a summit without major concessions from North Korea or multilateral talks that included a host of other Asian countries.

Trump has blamed past presidents for failing to resolve tensions with North Korea as it has pursued a nuclear program, testing missiles in displays of posturing and provocation.

What is unclear whether the summit will lead to any type of substantive outline of an agreement in which North Korea will halt its program and agree to denuclearize, and what kind of verification procedure it would accept.

Trump has downplayed what will come from the meeting, and told reporters last week that it is likely to be just the start. He said on Saturday that he thought that he would know  “within the first minute” of the meeting how serious Kim would be to give up its nuclear program.

“If I think it won’t happen, I am not going to waste my time. I don’t want to waste his time,” Trump said.

Earlier in the day, Trump tweeted a jab at those who doubted the summit.

“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 wrote.

The White House said that Trump would leave Singapore earlier that expected — on Tuesday night local time. Kim was scheduled to leave earlier in the day.

“Meetings between staffs and representatives are going well and quickly….but in the end, that doesn’t matter. We will all know soon whether or not a real deal, unlike those of the past, can happen!” Trump tweeted earlier in the day.

The summit also drew the often surreal mix of celebrity and diplomacy. Dennis Rodman, who established an unlikely relationship with Kim starting with a visit in 2013, appeared on CNN from Singapore. Wearing a Make America Great Again cap and a PotCoin.com T-shirt, told Chris Cuomo that Kim is “more like a big kid, even if he is small.”

Rodman later fought back tears after he talked of returning to the United States after a visit to North Korea and then getting “so many death threats” for trying to engage in a kind of soft diplomacy. President Barack Obama, Rodman said, “didn’t even give me the time of day. …He just brushed me off.” By contrast, Rodman said that he has heard from Trump’s administration. Press Secretary Sarah Sanders called Rodman to thank him, Rodman’s agent told CNN.

Rodman said that after traveling to North Korea and meeting with Kim, he predicted the country would “open” to the outside world.

Rodman said that when he first went to North Korea, “I really didn’t understand what the situation was as far as being over there. And when I first met Kim Jong Un, I didn’t know what to expect. I didn’t know who he was, what he represented.”

He said, “I knew something was going on but one I got familiar with the culture and the situation over there, I got really used to being there and I felt like I was at home.”

 

More Politics

  • Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), speaks during

    Bernie Sanders Announces 2020 Presidential Run

    Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) announced he would again run for president, promising in an interview Tuesday on “CBS This Morning” that that “we’re gonna win.” Sanders aggressively challenged Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination in 2016, and his focus on economic populism has helped shift the party leftward, as is evident as the field of [...]

  • Donald Trump

    Trump Rails Against 'SNL,' Again, And Suggests 'Retribution' for NBC

    WASHINGTON — President Trump once again took aim at “Saturday Night Live,” suggesting that there should be a price to pay by TV networks for delivering such scathing satire. “Nothing funny about tired Saturday Night Live on Fake News NBC! Question is, how do the Networks get away with these total Republican hit jobs without [...]

  • Roger Stone (L), longtime advisor to

    Judge Places Gag Order on Roger Stone Case

    WASHINGTON — A federal judge imposed a gag order on Roger Stone’s legal proceedings that places some limitations on what he, his lawyers, and other parties say about the case. Stone, a longtime associate of President Donald Trump, was arrested last month after special counsel Robert Mueller brought charges that he misled the House Intelligence Committee [...]

  • Donald Trump

    Trump Declares National Emergency Because of ‘Invasion’ at Border

    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump has declared a national emergency to secure funding to build a physical barrier along the U.S.-Mexico border, a move that is certain to provoke a constitutional legal challenge. In a speech at the Rose Garden at the White House, Trump said, “we are talking about an invasion of our country.” [...]

  • Democratic Debates

    NBC-MSNBC-Telemundo and CNN Land First Two Democratic Debates

    WASHINGTON — NBC, MSNBC, and Telemundo will air the first Democratic primary debate in June, and CNN will show the second event in July, the Democratic National Committee announced on Thursday. The DNC is planning 12 presidential primary debates over the 2020 cycle, but news networks had been vying for the rights to air the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content