US President Donald Trump and North Korea’s Leader Kim Jong-un have met at the Capella Hotel on Singapore’s Sentosa Island for the historic summit.
According to Press TV, the first-ever meeting between a US president and a North Korean leader began at 9 a.m. local time on Tuesday with a handshake, producing images that were carried live on television across the United States and beyond.
The two leaders met one-on-one, accompanied by translators, for about an hour.
Trump and Kim speak to media
The two leaders addressed the media before walking into their one-on-one discussion. Trump said he is confident the talks will be a “tremendous success” and that “we will have a tremendous relationship, I have no doubt”.
Kim said that “it has not been easy to get here” and that “the old prejudices and practices worked as obstacles, but we have overcome them and we are here today.”
“Many people in the world will think of this as a form of fantasy from a science fiction movie,” the North Korean leader said, according to pool reporters.
Earlier, the White House said Trump will leave Singapore on Tuesday night, adding that nuclear talks with North Korea are moving “more quickly than expected.”
Trump was scheduled to return to the United States on Wednesday, but will now leave immediately after meeting with North Korean leader on Tuesday, the White House said in a statement on Monday.
“The discussions between the United States and North Korea are ongoing and have moved more quickly than expected,” the statement said.
Trump will depart at 8 p.m. Singapore time, which is 8 a.m. in Washington, D.C. according to the statement. This is despite the fact that last week Trump said the summit could last “two [or] three” days “depending on what happens” in the meetings.
The US president reportedly moved up his departure time from Singapore after Kim set the deadline for their historic summit. Bloomberg News reported on Monday that Kim will leave Singapore at 4 p.m. Tuesday local time after his meeting with Trump.
US, North Korea delegations sit down for talks
Shortly after the one-on-one meeting between Kim and Trump, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee sanders announced on her Twitter account that North Korean and American delegations had started talks as well.
Trump blasts ‘haters & losers’
Meanwhile, about three hours before the summit Trump blasted the “haters & losers” who have expressed skepticism about its success.
“The f, and these pundits, who have called me wrong from the beginning, have nothing else they can say! We will be fine!” Trump tweeted.
Earlier on Monday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo issued a stern warning ahead of the historic summit.
He told reporters in Singapore that the United States will not lift economic sanctions against North Korea until Pyongyang fully eliminates its nuclear weapons capability.
A complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization “is the only outcome that the United States will accept,” Pompeo said. “If diplomacy doesn’t move in the right direction, sanctions will increase.”
“We’re ready for today,” Pompeo said in a tweet sent out on Monday morning with a photo of him leaving the Singapore hotel where the US delegation is staying.
Trump and Kim arrived in Singapore on Sunday to hold the first ever face-to-face meeting between leaders of the two countries, which have remained enemies since the 1950-1953 Korean War.