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DPRK, U.S. leaders hold historic meeting in Singapore
Last Updated: 2018-06-12 15:12 | Xinhua
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SINGAPORE-DPRK-U.S.-SUMMIT

Top leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) Kim Jong Un (L) shakes hands with U.S. President Donald Trump in Singapore before the first-ever DPRK-U.S. summit, on June 12, 2018. (Xinhua/The Straits Times)

Top leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump gathered here Tuesday for a historic meeting widely expected to open a new chapter in their countries' relations.

They met one on one for about 40 minutes, had an expanded meeting joined by a few aides, and concluded their morning activities with a working lunch.

The larger session of the meeting, which took place at the Capella Hotel in Singapore's resort island of Sentosa, was attended by major security and diplomatic aides to Kim and Trump.

On the DPRK side, Kim Yong Chol and Ri Su Yong, two vice chairmen of the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK) Central Committee, and Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho were present.

Accompanying Trump were White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, National Security Advisor John Bolton, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

"Working together, we will get it taken care of," Trump said at the beginning of the expanded discussions, forecasting that he and Kim will solve "a big problem and a big dilemma."

Kim said he will "cooperate with President Trump to resolve the challenges ahead" and to overcome the skepticism and speculations about their summit.

More officials took part in the working lunch, with the additional participants on the U.S. side, including White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders, National Security Council Senior Director for Asia Matt Pottinger, and senior diplomat Sung Kim, who has led substantive talks with Pyongyang into the summit.

Kim and Trump started their first summit with a historic handshake before a row of the national flags of the two countries that lasted for several seconds.

"This is just a new beginning," Trump said while shaking hands with Kim.

Kim, dressed in a dark suit, and Trump, sporting a red tie, talked in a corner of the hotel corridor for a few minutes before they walked along the passage into the meeting room and sat down in front of journalists.

"The way coming here was not easy," Kim said.

"We had the past that grabbed our ankles and old prejudices and practices that covered our eyes and ears. We are here after overcoming all these," he said.

Predicting a tremendous success of the summit, Trump said it was "an honor" to meet with Kim face-to-face and that he would have "a terrific relationship" with the DPRK leader.

After shaking hands again with Kim in front of the cameras, Trump gave a thumbs-up before starting the first meeting between an incumbent U.S. president and a DPRK leader.

Since taking over his country's leadership in late 2011, Kim had made only three known trips to foreign countries before the Singapore visit. He traveled to China twice and to the South Korean side of the truce village of Panmunjom.

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