President of the United States, Donal Trump touched down in Singapore late Sunday hours after North Korean leader Kim Jong Un arrived, setting the stage for the two leaders’ high-stakes summit to bring a long-sought end to nuclear tensions on the Korean peninsula.
Trump waved as he walked down the stairs of Air Force One and declared he felt “very good” about the talks before his motorcade with flashers blinking coursed through the streets of Singapore on its way to the Shangri-la hotel. New York Post reported
On-lookers wearing flip-flops snapped shots of the president’s arrival.
Trump traveled to Singapore from Canada where he left members of the G-7 countries stunned by refusing to sign a joint-statement and blasted Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as “very dishonest and weak.”
Kim landed in the Southeast Asian nation several hours before Trump and was greeted on the tarmac by the Singapore foreign minister.
He traveled in a black Mercedes-Benz limousine with North Korean flags on the hood to the St. Regis Hotel.
Later Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong welcomed Kim at his official residence Istana Palace. Kim shook hands with Lee and smiled for photos.
“The entire world is watching the historic summit between (North Korea) and the United States of America, and thanks to your sincere efforts … we were able to complete the preparations for the historic summit,” Kim told Lee through an interpreter.
Trump is expected to meet with Lee on Monday.
Trump and Kim will gather for their landmark summit on Tuesday, marking the first-ever meeting between a sitting US president and a North Korean leader.
Kim and Trump will meet at 9 a.m. Tuesday – or 9 p.m. Monday New York time – at the luxurious Capella Resort on Sentosa Island.
Trump said he will know in the “first minute” if Kim is serious about giving up his nuclear arsenal.
“I think within the first minute, I’ll know,” Trump said Saturday as he was leaving the G-7 talks in Quebec for Singapore. “Just my touch, my feel. That’s what I do.”
“You know the way they say that you know if you’re going to like somebody in the first five seconds? Well, I think that very quickly I’ll know whether or not something good will happen,” he said.
The sit-down between Trump and Kim is the culmination of a year-and-a-half of often bitter and ferocious rhetoric that at times seemed to leave the countries on the brink of nuclear war.
Trump vowed to unleash “fire and fury” on North Korea if the regime continued to threaten South Korea and Japan as it test-fired missiles in the pursuit of finding a delivery system for its nuclear weapons.
He also imposed crippling economic and trade sanctions as part of a “maximum pressure” campaign to isolate North Korea in the world and force it to the negotiating tables.
Since Trump entered the White House, Pyongyang has stepped up its work to develop a nuclear arsenal and said it wouldn’t disarm unless given assurances of protection by the US.
Kim’s regime said its weapons were a guarantee against invasion by the American military.
While the main topic of discussion is denuclearizing the Korean peninsula, the two leaders may also reach a deal to end the Korean War, which technically continues today because only an armistice was signed in July 1953 to stop the fighting.
By Mark Moore