The day began with a historic handshake, the first meeting ever between a sitting U.S. president and a North Korean leader. As Kim Jong Un and President Trump strode toward each other and clasped hands Tuesday morning at the Capella resort on Singapore’s Sentosa Island, it marked a diplomatic milestone — and the start of what seems certain to be a long negotiation process over North Korea’s nuclear program.
“I feel really great,” the president said after the handshake.
“Well, it was not easy to get here,” Kim said. “Old prejudices and practices worked as obstacles on our way forward. But we overcame all of them, and we are here today.”
The two leaders first sat down for a private meeting, followed by another with their advisers. In the afternoon, they signed a brief statement calling for peace, committing to recover the remains of U.S. service members from the Korean War and asserting a “firm and unwavering commitment to complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.”
The subject of North Korea’s human rights abuses was not mentioned, and President Trump also announced that the U.S. would stop its longstanding joint military exercises with South Korea, which he called “very provocative.”
As the day wrapped up, the president told reporters, “We have developed a very special bond.” But, he acknowledged, “Today is the beginning of an arduous process.”