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Negotiators scramble to put something together for Trump and Kim

Negotiators scramble to put something together for Trump and Kim

"In the 18 years I have worked on [North Korea], the ongoing debate between the U.S. and North Korea was essentially this - United States: change your behaviour and we can be friends", Walsh said.

At dawn, three hours before the summit was due to begin, Trump focused on his domestic audience reminding them of the economic successes of his presidency, with the stock market up and unemployment down.

The South Korean government is hoping for a success of the Singapore summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, since it could lead to peace on the peninsula after nearly 70 years.

"Whenever they're shaking hands, you can see the whites of their fingertips - these two guys are alpha males", Leong said.

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
Negotiators scramble to put something together for Trump and Kim

North Korea's central news agency on Monday proclaimed a "changed era", and promised talks on "the issue of building a permanent and durable peace-keeping mechanism on the Korean peninsula" as well as "the issue of realizing the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula".

"I tried to do that with Obama and Obama didn't even give me the time of day", he told CNN, wearing one of the "Make America great again" hats of the Trump campaign.

Pompeo said he is "very optimistic" the meeting Tuesday between Trump and Kim "will have a successful outcome".

"Thank you for also asking to hold the summit in Singapore".

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Singapore has been following developments on the Korean peninsula closely for a long time, the Prime Minister told the North Korean leader. "We have watched the struggles, and the sacrifices and the progress of the people", he said.

North Korean vice minister of foreign affairs Choi Sun-hee (third from left) arrives at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Singapore to continue talks with the American ambassador to the Philippines, Sung Kim.

But they were soon smiling and holding each other by the arm, before Trump guided Kim to the library where they held a meeting with only their interpreters.

Singapore was tapped to host the summit because of its neutrality and security, the White House had said in May.

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Interested in North Korea?

In a sign of lingering tensions, the North Koreans have been closely scrutinizing all American staffers who are slated to be in any U.S.

Both sides were finalizing preparations for the unprecedented summit, which was to kick off at 9 a.m. Tuesday with a handshake between Trump and Kim, an image sure to be devoured around the world.

Still, he said, Mr. Trump's aim with Mr. Kim was clear: to build trust by creating a personal bond.

Mr Kim and Mr Trump will finally come face to face at the Capella hotel on Sentosa, with both leaders looking to hammer out a deal that may lead to North Korea giving up its nuclear weapons programme in exchange for security guarantees.

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Rouhani also said that Iran has fulfilled its commitments under the nuclear deal and IAEA has confirmed it for 11 times so far. On the plus side, they have gotten a president elected in a soon-to-be third world nation, the United States of America.