Published: Tue, June 12, 2018
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

Trump, Kim confident but body language reveals nerves at first meeting

Trump, Kim confident but body language reveals nerves at first meeting

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un succeeded in appearing like President Donald Trump's equal during the first historic encounter between the two leaders on Tuesday, according to South Korean media.

The bodyguards were glimpsed flanking Kim's Mercedes-Benz limousine as it traveled to the St. Regis Hotel in Singapore on Sunday. Trump arrived later in the day from a fraught G7 meeting with world leaders in Canada.

Officials remain uncertain what will come out of Tuesday's unprecedented summit, the first of its kind between a sitting US president and the leader of North Korea. Several commentators on Twitter noted that Trump said nicer things about Kim Jong Un than he did about some USA allies.

Trump is set to meet with Lee on Monday.

United States and North Korean officials are set to meet Monday morning in Singapore to make final preparations for Tuesday's meeting. The front page of the Rodong Sinmun, the ruling party newspaper, was covered in pictures of the leader's late-night stroll through the bright lights of downtown Singapore. It's "stunning" and "not to be minimized in any way", but it's also important to remember that "Kim Jong Un has given up nothing at this point". And I believed in North Korea.

In the hours before the summit began, Trump expressed optimism about prospects for the first-ever meeting of sitting US and North Korean leaders, while US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo injected a note of caution whether Kim would prove to be honest about his willingness to denuclearise.

Who are the key players in the North Korea regime and how are they related to the Supreme Leader?

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On Sunday, Kim Jong-un arrived in Singapore where he is expected to hold a meeting with US President Donald Trump on June 12. However, the player has said that he will "give whatever support is needed to my friends", referring to Trump and Kim.

U.S. partners in the region, particularly South Korea and Japan, are concerned that Trump's eagerness to struck a diplomatic win might lead to him to give away too much too early, perhaps undermining United States security guarantees to its allies as a way of resassuring Kim of the safety of his regime. Trump has also raised the possibility of further summits and an agreement ending the Korean War by replacing the armistice signed in 1953 with a peace treaty. Trump appeared to be speaking to Kim throughout the 12 seconds of the handshake but Kim did not reply.

Participants in a mass rally gather in Kim Il-Sung Square in Pyongyang on September 23, 2017.

Former President Barack Obama was known to occasionally hold impromptu chats with leaders on the sidelines of major global summits, with only their translators at their sides.

Any nuclear deal will hinge on North Korea's willingness to allow unfettered outside inspections of the country's warheads and nuclear fuel, much of which is likely kept in a vast complex of underground facilities.

"Wide-ranging and profound views on the issue of establishing new DPRK-US relations, the issue of building a permanent and durable peace-keeping mechanism on the Korean Peninsula, the issue of realising the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula and other issues of mutual concern, as required by the changed era, will be exchanged at the DPRK-US summit talks", KCNA reported in English.

"North Korea has its own royal lineage - the Kim family - and so it is natural that Kim Yo Jong traveled to Singapore separately from her brother", Christopher Green, a North Korea researcher and Sino-NK editor, told NK News on Monday.

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