President Donald Trump is holding a history-making summit with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un in Singapore, saying today that ‘it’s an honor’ that he expects will blossom into ‘a terrific relationship’ with the longtime U.S. antagonist.
Trump and Kim shared a hearty handshake, exchanged pleasantries for the cameras and met one-on-one for 38 minutes with only translators present while the world watched with anticipation as their summit unfolded.
They are now participating in a working lunch that consisted of a 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.
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.
‘I feel really great. I feel really great,’ Trump told reporters as he sat down for his initial meeting with Kim. ‘We’re going to have a great discussion, and I think a tremendous success. It’s gonna be be tremendously successful. 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, ‘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,’ he said, as interpreted by a translator.
‘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 translators 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.
To summarize the world’s reaction:
This is a developing story. More later as appropriate.