North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has landed in Singapore ahead of a summit with US President Donald Trump that could end a nuclear stand-off between the old foes and transform his impoverished country.
A Trump administration official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the USA side was entering the talks with a sense of optimism and an equal dose of skepticism given North Korea's long history of developing nuclear weapons. They did not smile for their first formal photograph, but immediately afterward, as they began to walk along a portico, they loosened considerably, and both smiled more broadly.
News of the Trump-Kim summit also covered the front page of the ruling party's newspaper. Rodman told reporters at Changi airport that he came to Singapore "to see what's going on" and that he hopes "that things turn out to be well for everyone in the world".
Trump and Kim arrived not long ago on Singapore's Sentosa Island, the site of their unprecedented summit. People can find summit-themed dishes, Trump and Kim T-shirts and a pair of impersonators, who are holding mock press conferences.
The North Korean leader and Trump appeared nervous when they sat down according to a body language expert.
Mr Lee added: "When the two sides asked us to host the meeting, we couldn't say no". Trump had said on Saturday he would know within a minute of meeting Kim whether he would reach a deal.
"I told them today, take your time". "We are going to have a great discussion and I think tremendous success".
Trump and Kim will participate in a one-on-one meeting, with only translators, followed by an expanded meeting that will include Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Chief of Staff John Kelly and National Security Advisor John Bolton.
Please refresh for updates on the historic summit, and stay with Daily Intelligencer for further analysis throughout the night.
If Trump and Kim fail in Singapore "the result may be to enhance North Korean dependency on Seoul and Beijing as safety valves against the prospect of renewal of U.S".
"These pundits, who have called me wrong from the beginning, have nothing else they can say!" "We will be fine!" he wrote. But on the eve of the summit, the White House unexpectedly announced Trump would depart Singapore by Tuesday evening, raising questions about whether his aspirations for an ambitious outcome had been scaled back.
As the two leaders met, Singapore navy vessels, and air force Apache helicopters patrolled, while fighter jets and an Gulfstream 550 early warning aircraft circled.
Although gaps remain over what denuclearisation would entail, Trump sounded a positive note in a lunch meeting with Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.