SINGAPORE -- The summit meeting between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un got underway Tuesday.
Ahead of the talks, Trump and Kim shook hands at 9:05 a.m.
Trump and Kim approached from opposite sides to shake hands against the backdrop of North Korean and US flags. The two then walked a short distance to enter a conference room together, followed by US and North Korean officials and journalists.
Kim arrived at the venue at about 8:54 a.m., carrying a folder in his left hand.
US President Donald Trump shakes hands with North Korea leader Kim Jong-un during their first meetings at the Capella resort on Sentosa Island Tuesday, June 12, 2018 in Singapore. (AP)
Trump arrived at the site at 9 a.m. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and other officials entered the venue through a different entrance not covered by camera at about 9:01 a.m.
Trump and Kim are scheduled to hold a short one-on-one meeting, followed by a longer meeting involving their aides.
US President Donald Trump walks with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa island in Singapore June 12, 2018. (Reuters)
The one-on-one is scheduled to start at 9:15 a.m., and the expanding meeting from 10 a.m. A working lunch will follow at 11:30 a.m.
The US president is scheduled to hold a press conference at 4 p.m. It is unclear if it will also involve Kim.
The two leaders arrived in Singapore on Sunday, sparking off speculations of discrete meetings between the two sides at the top level. Kim publicly visited various locations in Singapore on Monday.
Working-level officials, however, were engaged in last minute negotiations.
US Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim, and North Korea’s vice foreign minister Choe Sun-hui are reported to have met three times in Singapore on Monday, continuing their discussions on the inter-Korean border.
The meeting is being closely monitored by Seoul, with President Moon Jae-in and top government officials watching the live coverage at the weekly Cabinet meeting.
Moon will be briefed on the meeting by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday in Seoul. Pompeo is set to arrive in Seoul on Wednesday.
Ahead of the meeting, Moon also spoke with Trump over the phone on Monday.
According to Cheong Wa Dae, Moon again praised Trump for his role in enabling the summit to take place saying that the meeting was only possible due to the US leader’s “strong leadership and brave decision.”
By Choi He-suk (firstname.lastname@example.org