The pair met in front of a back drop of American and North Korean flags – a sign of how quickly relations between the two countries have thawed.
The White House has not said whether the president will raise issue with North Korea’s dismal human rights record, but the president took time in the hours before his meeting to take a swipe at critics of the sit-down.
“The complete and verifiable and irreversible denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula is the only outcome that the United States will accept”, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters before the summit began. Trump then directed Kim to walk down a hallway, where they briefly spoke.
Rodman said he hopes everyone reads it before the summit and reiterated that “we’ve got the greatest negotiator of all time” to “show the world how it’s done”. The official was not authorized to speak publicly about internal deliberations and insisted on anonymity.
Kim Yong Chol’s rise has baffled many North Korea watchers because he is the ruling Workers’ Party official in charge of South Korea ties, not worldwide or US relations.
Whatever the results, it will be one of the more unusual summits in recent history as a flamboyant, often erratic United States president gets a close-up look at a hereditary socialist despot who sits on a nuclear weapons programme.
Yet Trump and Kim have yet to agree even on how to define denuclearization of the Korean peninsula – the stated goal of the meeting.
Singapore, the host country of the upcoming U.S.
CBS News was in Pyongyang a year ago when Kim unveiled an entire new block of modern high-rises in the capital.
Cheering crowds greeted Kim during his stroll, and cameras from North Korea’s state-run Korean Central News Agency documented his every move.
For both men, the high-stakes encounter is the most consequential meeting of their lives, addressing the future of North Korean’s nuclear arsenal and a peace agreement to end the precarious and tense 65 year limbo that has endured since the Korean War. It heralded the summit as part of a “changed era”.
He said on Thursday that he didn’t think he had to prepare very much for the summit and that “it’s about attitude”.
UPDATE: Trump addressed the media after first emerging with Kim from their private meeting.
China has for decades been North Korea’s main economic backer and there’s a good chance any deal Mr Kim reaches with the USA will need tacit endorsement from Beijing. The war was concluded with a truce, not a peace treaty, but a treaty will also have to include China, which was party to the armistice. Meanwhile, Mr Kim has called Mr Trump “mentally deranged” and a “dotard”. But many say this is highly unlikely, given how hard it has been for Kim to build his program and given that the weapons are seen as the major guarantee to his holding onto unchecked power.
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.
But he has since lowered expectations, backing away from an original demand for North Korea’s swift denuclearisation.