Broad smiles and a firm handshake kicked off the first meeting between Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, as Singapore prepares to host a historic summit whose twists and turns have enraptured the world.
While the summit reaffirms the U.S.'s close ties with Singapore - long one of America's best partners in South Asia - local officials have in recent weeks criticized Trump's efforts to reverse what he says are unfair trade practices.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (L) holds talks with Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in Singapore on June 10, 2018, in this photo provided by Singapore's communications and information ministry. Lee met with him on Sunday evening at the Istana, the official residence of Singapore's president, hours after the North Korean leader's arrival at Changi Airport.
Mr Trump's first year in office was marked by bitter exchanges with Mr Kim as North Korea conducted several ballistic missile tests in defiance of worldwide warnings.
Even if Kim offers only "a fine-sounding rhetorical commitment, and maybe a few missile surrendered or some site closures", he said, Trump will "market this thing as something extraordinary for his voters back home". [US] Amb [assador to the Philippines Sung] Kim meets with #DPRK [delegation] today.
With all the global attention focused on Singapore and the historic summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Pyongyang must have been buzzing with excitement on the eve of the leaders' arrival, right?
Worldwide anticipation for Tuesday's summit between the most unconventional American president in modern times and an autocrat who is perhaps the world's most isolated leader has grown quickly since the summit was put together at a lightning pace over the past few weeks.
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The North has faced crippling diplomatic and economic sanctions as it has advanced development of its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.
By prominently showing the Air China jet that flew Kim to Singapore, the reports also made no secret of China's important role behind the scenes.
Any public gathering without a police permit is illegal in Singapore - making it ideal for a high-security nuclear summit but less so for nudging Kim toward open democracy.
He would not say whether that included the possibility of withdrawing USA troops from the Korean Peninsula, but said the US was "prepared to take what will be security assurances that are different, unique, than America's been willing to provide previously".
Trump, asked by reporters as he arrived in Singapore how feels about the summit, said "very good" before climbing into his limousine and heading to the hotel.
UN Security Council Resolution 2270 forbids loaning aircraft, ships and crew to North Korea, but Beijing apparently had USA approval.
He was accompanied by a convoy of more than 30 vehicles.