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Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Trump and Kim finally have their meeting

Por DamianToo

President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un shook hands at the start on Monday of their historic summit in Singapore, the first in history between the two countries. Trump entered on the right and Kim on the left into a courtyard of the Capella Hotel on the island of Sentosa, and they shook hands on a red carpet and in front of a dozen US and North Korean flags.

The US president addressed a few words to the North Korean leader and touched his right arm lightly, while Kim told him in English: "Nice to meet you, Mr. President". Both posed before the cameras with a serious face and did not smile until just before entering the room where they held their first meeting.

"I feel really good. We're going to have a great conversation and I think it's a tremendous success", Trump said as he sat on Kim's left at the beginning of his 45-minute solo meeting. "I think it's going to be something really successful and I think we'll have a great relationship, I have no doubts", he added.

As for his part, the North Korean leader said that his country and the United States have overcome "many obstacles" in order to celebrate the historic summit. "It was not easy to get here. The old bad practices and prejudices have covered our eyes and ears and have hampered our path, but we have managed to overcome all that to get here", said Kim in Korean.

Trump also told Kim, in apparent response to a question from the North Korean leader that the journalists present did not catch: "I'll tell you when they're out (the media)." His statements at the beginning of the meeting were witnessed in person by seven American journalists and seven North Koreans, after a negotiation between the two countries to limit and make fair the access of reporters to the historic summit.

After a solo conversation that lasted about 48 minutes, Trump and Kim left the meeting room and went to another to hold a bilateral working meeting with a larger delegation. Trump told reporters that the meeting alone had gone "very, very well", and Kim did not answer the question of whether he is willing to get rid of his nuclear weapons.

The meeting, which aims to address the possible denuclearization of Pyongyang, is the first between leaders of both countries after almost 70 years of confrontation in the wake of the Korean War (1950-1953), and 25 failed negotiations and tensions on account of North Korean atomic program.