Will North Korea agree to complete denuclearisation?

Trump-Kim summit in Singapore

Trump-Kim summit in Singapore

At the same time, he'd admitted he didn't believe he required extensive preparation to take stock of Kim.

The handshake took place in front of a row of alternating United States and North Korean flags at the Capella Hotel, a former British colonial barracks converted into a luxury hotel on Singapore's Sentosa island resort.

Tweeting from his hotel room in the pre-dawn hours on Tuesday, Trump sought to heighten the suspense.

Unless the meeting with Kim goes poorly, President Trump will-and should-declare the event a success during his post-summit press conference. "We will all know soon whether or not a real deal, unlike those of the past, can happen!"

After the men shook hands, they repaired inside for one-on-one talks.

The lead-up to the summit has been marked by uncertainty and waves of frenetic diplomacy - at one point, Mr Trump even briefly called off the summit, after a senior North Korean official described remarks by US Vice-President Mike Pence as "stupid".

After the intimate huddle, they're scheduled to hold a larger meeting and working lunch.

The two clasped hands for a long while Tuesday as they posed for photos in front of a row of USA and North Korean flags.

This is the absolute crux of the summit and there remains a chasm between the two sides that diplomats were scrambling to close on the eve of the meeting.

United States 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 USA security guarantees to its allies as a way of resassuring Kim of the safety of his regime.

Aware that the eyes of the world were on a moment many people never expected to see, Kim said that many of those watching would think it was a scene from a "science fiction movie".

In the run-up to Tuesday's historic face-to-face with Kim, Trump has appeared unconcerned about the implications of feting an authoritarian leader suspected of ordering the public assassination of his half brother with a nerve agent, executing his uncle by firing squad and presiding over a notorious gulag estimated to hold 80,000 to 120,000 political prisoners. But Kim Jong Un made a decision to take a little sightseeing tour of the major spots where a lot of tourists go in Singapore with only 10, 11 hours to spare before the summit happening.

Barry McCaffrey, a retired U.S. army general, went one further - warning America's security was at stake.

The Trump administration has largely continued what it calls its "maximum pressure" campaign on the North, but has moved toward a softer tone as the summit approached.

The KCNA news agency said the two leaders will exchange "wide-ranging and profound views" during their meeting at the five-star Capella Hotel on Sentosa Island. It was an extraordinarily compressed timeline for the landmark summit, one that left aides scrambling to initiate communication with the hermit nation. Kim then called Trump a "mentally deranged U.S. dotard" and a "frightened dog".

"We hardly ever talk politics", Rodman said. NPR's Elise Hu joins us now from Singapore.

More than 2,500 journalists have convened here, with each leader's every movement tracked carefully.

President Donald Trump said it himself to Congress and the American people: "No regime has oppressed its own citizens more totally or brutally than the cruel dictatorship in North Korea".

Like any tourist, Kim went to the Marina Bay Sands hotel with its distinctive triple towers topped by a vertiginous slab of swimming pool.

But John Sifton, Asia advocacy director for Human Rights Watch in Washington, contends that rights issues can't be separated from the goal of reaching a nuclear deal with North Korea.

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