U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un kicked off their historic meeting in Singapore on Tuesday by shaking hands and posing for photographers.
The two leaders exchanged words in front of a row of the two countries’ flags displayed at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa Island.
They then walked down a colonnade with only their translators behind them before entering a meeting room.
“We’re going to have a great discussion, and I think tremendous success,” Trump said with Kim next to him. “And it’s my honor, and we will have a terrific relationship, I have no doubt”
Kim acknowledged it wasn’t an easy path to the meeting.
“There were fetters and wrong practices that at times covered our eyes and ears, but we overcame everything to come this far,” he said in Korean.
The two are scheduled to hold a 45-minute one-on-one meeting before holding expanded bilateral talks with their top advisers followed by a working lunch.
Tensions were running high in Singapore on Tuesday, as watertight security measures were enforced for the opening of the historic summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and U.S. President Donald Trump.
From early Tuesday morning, the Singaporean government has deployed about 5,000 security and police officers on major roads leading to and around Sentosa Island’s Capella Hotel, the venue of the summit.
On Tanglin Road, through which the motorcades of both Kim and Trump passed to reach Sentosa Island, police officers were stationed at each crossroads, about 50 meters apart, and police motorcyclists, their bikes’ sirens blaring, examined all the main intersections.
On the sole bridge connecting mainland Singapore and Sentosa, police blocked two of the four lanes to facilitate the inspection of vehicles and prepare for a possible blockade. There was a screen fence about 2 meters tall on the bridge so that vehicles could not be seen from the sidewalk.
The screen fence extended into the premises of the Capella Hotel, while police officers stationed every two meters on the road blocked the passage of reporters as well as ordinary people. Around 10 officers stood at a temporary checkpoint at the entrance of the hotel.
The Singaporean police authority also issued a public notice early in the morning, warning about traffic congestion on major roads leading to the St. Regis Hotel and Shangri-La Hotel, where Kim and Trump were respectively staying.