Moments that made the day | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, June 13, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 03:02 AM, June 13, 2018

Moments that made the day

Trump and Kim met yesterday in front of the world's cameras, against the backdrop of flags of the US and North Korea. The leaders approached each other on a red carpet from separate outdoor hallways at the airy and luxurious Capella Hotel in Singapore.

When it came time to finally shake hands, they both flashed guarded smiles. Trump briefly touched Kim's right upper arm, then they turned to face the cameras.

There were also some other moments which have got people talking.


In a nearby meeting room, the leaders sat side-by-side. Trump leaned forward with his hands clasped. Kim leaned to his left in a casual manner toward the US president.

Trump spoke first.

"I feel really great, we're about to have a great discussion," Trump said. "I think it will be tremendously successful, and it's my honour and we will have a terrific relationship. I have no doubt."

Kim then gave a few words.

"It has not been easy to come to this point. For us the past has been holding us back, and old practices and prejudices have been covering our eyes and ears, but we have been able to overcome everything to arrive here today," Kim said in Korean.

In response, Trump offered Kim a thumbs up. They then reached over to shake each hands, again smiling.


Trump and Kim's started their summit with a personal meeting, joined only by two translators. The two leaders then strolled through the Capella Hotel.

"Excellent relationship," Trump said from the balcony.

As they walked on the colonnade, Kim remarked that many people around the world wouldn't believe what was taking place in Singapore, reports CNN.

"Many people in the world will think of this as a (inaudible) form of fantasy ... from a science fiction movie," Kim told Trump, through a translator.


Former basketball star Dennis Rodman, who has previously boasted of his role in bringing Trump and Kim together, broke down in tears during an interview CNN's Chris Cuomo.

"It's a great day," said Rodman, who arrived in Singapore overnight. "I'm here to see it. I'm so happy."

Rodman is in the unique position of having personal relationships with both leaders; he participated on Trump's pre-presidency TV show "The Celebrity Apprentice," and has visited Kim several times in North Korea, calling him "a good friend."


Before the two leaders sat down for a working lunch, Trump jokingly asked photographers: "Getting a good picture, everybody? So we look nice and handsome and thin?"

However, his words seem to have been lost in translation, judging by Kim's blank expression, writes BBC.


Their working lunch featured a mix of Western and Korean dishes. Options for appetisers included a prawn cocktail with avocado salad, green mango kerabu and "oiseon," a Korean stuffed cucumber.

The menu also featured beef short rib confit, sweet and sour crispy pork with Yangzhou Fried Rice or "daegu jorim," a Korean soy braised cod fish.

Finally to finish, there was dark chocolate tartlet ganache, vanilla ice cream or "tropezienne," a pastry dessert.


After the lunch, as Trump and Kim walked through the grounds of the Capella, they seemed to take a detour, veering toward the road.

Trump stopped briefly to greet Kim's sister, Kim Yo Jong, before the pair continued on to walk alone.

It seemed Trump wanted to show Kim the US presidential limousine, known as the "Beast."

Trump was seen talking and gesturing at the heavily armoured limousine, before Secret Service agents opened the door and the leaders took a peek inside.


Before he became president, Trump was better known for his property empire. But it was still a surprising moment to hear the US leader mention a lesser known North Korean attraction: its coastline.

"They [North Korea] have great beaches. You see that whenever they're exploding their cannons into the ocean. I said, 'Boy look at that view. Wouldn't that make a great condo?'," he told reporters after meeting Kim.


The pens originally laid out for the signing of the documents were black and featured Trump's signature in gold.

But at the last moment, Kim's influential sister Kim Yo-jong switched the North Korean leader's pen for a ballpoint pen.

Security for the North Korean leader has been high throughout the trip, but it is unclear whether the pens were swapped for security or political reasons.


As the summit drew to a close, the pair put pen to paper on what Trump described as a "pretty comprehensive" and "very important document" during a signing ceremony.

Kim, sat alongside Trump at a table where the document was signed, said it was time to "leave the past behind."

"The world will see a major change. I'd like to express my gratitude to President Trump to make this meeting happen," he added.


In a jawdropping post-summit press conference lasting more than an hour, Trump said he wanted to bring home the 30,0000 or so US troops currently stationed in South Korea.


Summitry is hard work and Trump claimed he "had not slept for 25 hours" during his time in Singapore, which lasted just under 48. Kim also proved to be a secret night owl, stunning onlookers in Singapore by going on an unannounced night-time prowl of the city sights, accompanied by a horde of aides and security officers.


Before the summit, several commentators wondered how the travel-shy Kim was going to get to Singapore, having not flown such a distance since coming to power in December 2011.

In the end, he simply hitched a ride from Xi Jinping on an Air China Boeing 747 -- a surprising move given North Korea's insistence on "juche" or self-reliance.

The crew had social media users and plane spotters scratching their heads with some aerial subterfuge, changing call-sign midair over China.

It may have been a safer move than taking his usual aircraft, a Soviet-made Ilyushin-62 dubbed Air Force Un -- although his sister and close aide Kim Yo Jong reportedly used it to reach the city-state.


Kim capped months of a diplomatic charm offensive by posing for a public selfie for the first time -- a far cry from his usually carefully controlled image.

The photo of a grinning North Korean leader, taken and posted online by Singapore's foreign minister Vivian Balakrishnan, astonished social media users.

1 IN 10,000

Gone were the days of "little rocket man" and "sick puppy" -- names Trump had previously used for his summit buddy.

Now Kim was praised as "talented", "very smart", a "good negotiator" who "loves his country very much", according to the US President.

Few people could take over North Korea at the age of 26 and "run it tough", Trump mused. "1 in 10,000 couldn't do it," he added, with the caveat: "I didn't say he was nice about it."


[From CNN, AFP and BBC]

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