President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un met Tuesday in Singapore's Sentosa Island, kicking off a historic summit that marked the first time the sitting leaders of North Korea and the US had come face to face.
North Korea's atrocious human rights record didn't stop Kim receiving a rock star reception in Singapore.
It is the first time a sitting USA president has ever met a North Korean leader. He says, "We're going to have a great discussion and a terrific relationship".
Karen Leong, Managing Director of Singapore-headquartered Influence Solutions, said Trump did not display any of the hostility seen at the G7 summit in Canada last week, during which the USA leader blasted allies including the European Union and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau over trade.
Another challenge is monitoring North Korea's nuclear scientists.
Kim said through an interpreter: "It wasn't easy for us to come here".
"The ultimate objective we seek from diplomacy with North Korea has not changed - the complete, verifiable and irreversible de-nuclearization of the Korea peninsula is only outcome that the United States will accept", declared Pompeo.
Trump and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis have insisted the USA military presence and longstanding alliance with the South is not on the table in talks with the North.
A man watches a television news screen showing US President Donald Trump, left, and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, at a railway station in Seoul on May 25, 2018.
Beyond the impact on both leaders' political fortunes, the summit could shape the fate of countless people - the citizens of impoverished North Korea, the tens of millions living in the shadow of the North's nuclear threat, and millions more worldwide. I couldn't go home.
Trump mostly remained inside his Shangri-la hotel on the day before the summit, emerging only to meet with his Singaporean counterpart at the presidential palace.
It appears to reflect a new confidence among officials in North Korea that the isolated country has really been accepted onto the world stage. The conflict that broke out in 1950 was frozen by an armistice in 1953, but has never officially ended. China and South Korea would have to sign off on any legal treaty.
Kim also patted Trump, in an attempt to assert control. "We are prepared to take what will be security assurances that are different, unique, than America's been willing to provide previously".
It's unclear what Trump and Kim might decide Tuesday.
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".
Joseph Yun, former U.S. envoy for North Korea policy, alluded to that when he told a Senate hearing last week that there's a risk of "overloading the agenda" for the summit.
Trump talks tough ahead of G7 meetings in Canada
Trade was a massive issue at this year's summit with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and President Trump butting heads. Trump has long argued that the U.S. is trapped in a number of trade deals that put the country at a competitive disadvantage.
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Kim summit set for Sentosa island
Apparent signs of appeasement on the part of Trump were also manifested in his comments on sanctions on the North. United States and North Korean delegations met at the hotel four times last week to prepare for the summit.