Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.
SINGAPORE — President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un arrived in Singapore on Sunday ahead of their unprecedented nuclear summit, which will kick off with a one-on-one meeting between the two leaders, two senior White House officials said.
Air Force One touched down early Sunday morning amid huge security precautions on this city-state island. The president was greeted on the ground by Singapore’s Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan and the U.S. Embassy’s chargé d’affaires, Stephanie Syptak-Ramnath.
Kim arrived hours earlier to meet with Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. Trump is also due to meet with Lee.
After shaking hands with Singapore’s foreign minister, the North Korean leader sped through the city’s streets in a massive limousine, two large North Korean flags fluttering on the hood, surrounded by other black vehicles with tinted windows and bound for the luxurious and closely guarded St. Regis Hotel.
Kim smiled broadly as he met with Lee.
“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 sat down with Lee and their respective delegations for lunch on Monday. “We’ve got a very interesting meeting in particular tomorrow,” Trump said. “I think things could work out very nicely.”
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim, who helped arrange the summit, had “substantive and detailed” meetings with North Korean officials on Monday.
Among the North Korean delegation was Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui, who called comments by Vice President Mike Pence comparing North Korea to Libya “ignorant” and “stupid.” The comments, in part, prompted Trump to cancel the summit before finally committing to it.
The high-stake talks will be scrutinized by around 3,000 journalists on the ground in Singapore.
The U.S. delegation includes Pompeo, National Security Adviser John Bolton, White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders.
Trump said Saturday that the summit represents a “one-time shot” for Kim to show he’s serious about nuclear disarmament.