Trump immediately grumbled about the media to Kim Jong Un

US President Donald Trump gestures as he meets with North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un at the start of their historic US-North Korea summit at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa island in Singapore

The almost four-hour summit went "better than anybody could have expected", Trump said; he claimed "a lot of progress", but did not elaborate. We'll have a great discussion. Tremendous success. This will be tremendously successful. Kim traveled with other top-ranking North Korean members - another layer of security for the regime's first family.

Kim told Trump that there were "many obstacles" ahead of the meeting, "but we overcame all".

"That's true", the president agreed.

Trump patted Kim on the back and later placed his hand on the North Korean's shoulder as they walked into one-on-one talks.

The historic session came just days before Trump's 72nd birthday on Thursday.

Still, during the preliminary meeting, both Trump and Kim appeared diplomatic but warm, smiling and clasping hands before making a joint statement to the press. He quickly cautioned, however, that "we will all know soon whether or not a real deal. can happen".

The two leaders arrived with scores of aides, bodyguards and diplomats in tow.

"North Korea has previously confirmed to us its willingness to denuclearize, and we are eager to see if those words prove honest", Pompeo said.

Both leaders first emerged at 9:03 a.m. local time, walking along a bright red carpet from separate sides of a staging location at the Capella Hotel resort on Sentosa Island to shake hands with a backdrop of US and North Korean flags.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Sung Kim, the United States ambassador to the Philippines who has taken the lead on policy negotiations with the North, will hold a "working group" with a North Korean delegation to discuss final preparations for the meeting.

Word of the private sit-down drew critics on social media.

North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un shakes hands with US President Donald Trump at the start of their historic US-North Korea summit at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa island in Singapore

The summit is scheduled to begin at 9am, the White House said. "And we'll see how far we get, but I'm very optimistic", he continued.

Trump vowed to prevent that happening and threatened North Korea with "fire and fury like the world has never seen".

But there is established precedent for presidents meeting privately with foreign leaders - including foes - with only interpreters.

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. Obama was praised in 2014, though, when he insisted on an open news conference alongside Hu's successor, President Xi Jinping. Only 15 minutes had been allotted for the discussion, but it went on for a full hour.

Political figures, including Democrats, wished Trump well in his quest for a workable nuclear deal with Kim.

"Good luck Mr President", tweeted longtime Democratic Party operative and Clinton supporter Donna Brazile.

U.S. and North Korean officials are set to meet Monday morning in Singapore to make final preparations for Tuesday's meeting.

He reiterated that the goal of the summit remains the same: "the complete, and verifiable, and irreversible denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula".

James Walsh, a senior research associate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with extensive experience in back-channel negotiations with the Pyongyang government said that the focus on personal chemistry rather than technical details represented a win for the North Korea.

"The entire world is watching the historic summit between (North Korea) and the United States of America, and thanks to your honest efforts. we were able to complete the preparations for the historic summit", Kim told Lee through an interpreter.

However, Leong said both found it hard to hide their nervousness once they were seated, with Trump displaying a slanted smile, and fidgeting with his hands and Kim leaning and staring at the ground.

Trump economic adviser Larry Kudlow suffers heart attack, president says
There was no additional information from the White House or second source, rather it was only Trump's twitter account. Kudlow, who is 70 years old, had just joined the Trump administration in March.

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