Trump & Kim Finally Meet – The 12-Second Historical Handshake The World Has Been Waiting For

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Jun 12 2018
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The “Rocket Man” Kim and his bitter rival “Dotard” Trump have finally met – at Capella Singapore hotel on Sentosa Island. Both North Korean and American leaders stood face-to-face for the first time and against the backdrop of their respective country’s flags, Kim Jong-Un and Donald Trump shared a historic 12-second handshake.


In brief remarks to the media before the start of the meeting, Trump said – “We are going to have a great discussion and I think tremendous success. We will be tremendously successful.” The U.S. president was actually looking forward to this summit – even calling it a “mission of peace” – after he abruptly left his allies during the G7 summit in Canada.


Speaking through an interpreter, Kim said: “It wasn’t easy for us to come here. There was a past that grabbed our ankles and wrong prejudices and practices that at times covered our eyes and ears. We overcame all that and we are here now.” Trump then extended his hand for another handshake, after which Trump gave a thumb up.

Donald Trump Meets Kim Jong-Un - Handshake 2

Donald Trump Meets Kim Jong-Un - Standing

The plan was to have both leaders a 45-minute one-on-one meeting with just translators present, followed by an expanded bilateral meeting and working lunch. The two delegations reportedly will sit across a nearly 80-year-old, 4.3m-long teak wood table formerly used by the Chief Justice of Singapore in the daily administration of the court.


The US delegation will include Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Chief of Staff John Kelly and National Security Adviser John Bolton. White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders, US Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim and National Security Council Senior Director for Asia Matt Pottinger will join the working lunch.


On the other hand, the North Korean delegation is expected to include Vice-Chairman of the Central Committee of the ruling Workers’ Party of Korea, Mr Kim Yong Chol, Party Vice-Chairman and Director of North Korea’s International Affairs Department Ri Su Yong, Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho and North Korean Vice-Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui.

Donald Trump Meets Kim Jong-Un - Meeting Room

Donald Trump Meets Kim Jong-Un - Meeting Room 2

Should they succeed in making a diplomatic breakthrough, which is unlikely in this first meeting, it could bring lasting change to the security landscape of Northeast Asia, in a similar way to how the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 changed Europe. However, experts have already poured cold water, predicting little in terms of concrete results from the summit.


Trump has in the past week described the meeting as the first in a process and meant for the two leaders to get to know each other. After decades of tension, nobody expects the conflict can be solved in one meeting. Both superpower United States and pariah North Korea need to establish “trust” before the next phase can proceed.


Regardless, to have both leaders share a handshake and broadcasted around the world is considered a diplomatic breakthrough. The biggest winner is of course, Mr. Kim Jong-Un. Many experts have said the summit is a mistake from the beginning on Washington’s part since it legitimatize Kim’s brutal regime and places him as an equal to Trump.

Donald Trump Meets Kim Jong-Un - Seated in Library

Donald Trump Meets Kim Jong-Un - Seated in Library Shakehand

Pyongyang has made it known that it may denuclearize only if certain conditions are fulfilled. Those include terminating America’s military presence in South Korea as well as ending the U.S. regional nuclear umbrella. However, Washington has said its troops in South Korea would not be up for discussion during the Trump-Kim summit in Singapore.


Already accorded a celebrity welcome for Kim, the host is estimated to have spent $20 million for the historic meeting, which included picking up the North Korean contingent’s hotel bill at The St Regis Singapore. Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said that the significance of the meeting meant it was a price that Singapore was willing to pay.


Mr. Kim is reportedly leaving Singapore at 2pm on Tuesday, while Mr. Trump will hold a press conference at 4pm before he departs Singapore around 7pm. The fact that both leaders, first Kim then follows by Trump, decided to leave early means they do not expect any significant progress to be achieved after the summit.

Donald Trump Meets Kim Jong-Un - Handshake 3

Donald Trump Meets Kim Jong-Un - Kim Holds Trump's Arm

But based on their body language, neither Trump nor Kim showed any sign that they were really excited about the meeting. According to a body language expert, Trump tried to show that he was in charge and did most of the talking. Although Kim appeared to listen attentively, he also patted Trump’s arm – an attempt to show control over the U.S. president.


When both leaders were seated in the library where they held a one-on-one meeting, it was obvious they were both nervous. Trump was seen displaying a slanted smile, and fidgeting with his hands, while Kim leaning and staring at the ground. Perhaps it was the right decision to leave the summit early after all. The only greatest achievement was the 12-second handshake.


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