As the meeting approached, American and North Korean officials worked to hammer out a joint statement the two leaders might make at the close of their talks. But it was unclear that they could do more than reach a broad, general agreement on tough questions like nuclear disarmament.
Mr. Trump told other Asian leaders he was confident about the prospects for the meeting, but the two sides may have fundamentally different understandings of some crucial issues, like “denuclearization” of the peninsula.
The talks begin at 9 a.m. on Tuesday — 9 p.m. Eastern on Monday — and could even open the way to an official end to the Korean War, which concluded in 1953 with a truce but never a peace treaty. South Korea will not be at the table, nor will China, the North’s most crucial backer.
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Here’s what happened:
Trump and Kim met with a handshake:
- Both leaders had guarded smiles
- The leaders touched each other’s arms and appeared relaxed.
- Trump and Kim gave brief side-by-side comments:
What Trump said: “I think it will be tremendously successful, and it’s my honor and we will have a terrific relationship. I have no doubt.”
What Kim said: “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
They sat down for an expanded bilateral meeting:
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, White House chief of staff John Kelly, national security adviser John Bolton, and an interpreter joined Trump.
Trump told Kim that he was looking forward to working with him. “We will be successful.”
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