Some revealing titbits of Trump-Kim summit
With its details, history can be enticing. On June 12, 2018, after several weeks of twists and turns, the Trump-Kim summit finally took place, with a sitting US president and North Korean leader shaking hands to end a 68-year-long standoff.

Now, a string of numbers could help prolong the memory of the historic meeting. It lasted for five hours; they shook hands four times within the first hour. The first handshake in front of the whole world’s eyes lasted for 13 seconds. They engaged in a one-on-one talk with only their interpreters being there for 41 minutes. And all these were part of an icebreaking meeting that may finally bring peace and prosperity to the Korean Peninsula long haunted by the possibility of a military confrontation.

Crucial 41 minutes

In the morning of June 12, both US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jung-un left their hotels at 8 am. At 8:15 am, the US presidential motorcade arrived at the Capella hotel while the North Korean cars reached there around 8:30 am.

At 9:03 am, Kim and Trump walked out from two sides of the hotel’s arcade to meet in the central area to greet each other warmly and shake hands in front of cameras.

Although Trump and his team arrived at the Capella hotel earlier than their North Korean counterparts, it’s reported by South Korean media that Kim arrived at the meeting venue seven minutes earlier than Trump.

After the first handshake, they engaged in one-on-one talks, an expanded bilateral meeting and then a working lunch, with the whole process lasting for five hours.

“Many people in the world would not believe what’s happening in Singapore,” Kim Jong-un told the US president through an interpreter during their initial brief communication, “many would think this is fantasy from a science fiction.” Trump said, “I think we’ll have a terrific relationship.”

The most confidential one-on-one meeting between the two leaders lasted for 41 minutes. Only Trump, Kim and their two interpreters were present in the room. The interpreter on the US side was a lady of Asian descent and the male interpreter for Kim wore black rimmed glasses. At 9:45 am, the pair walked out to continue their talks in the balcony for a while.

Kim Jong-un tried to stir up the other side’s empathy throughout the meeting. He said he’d gone through hardships to be here. “Those elements that had hindered us (from meeting here) once blinded our eyes and covered our ears, while we successfully conquered it all and came here.” The remarks of Kim were not totally hypocritical. According to Yonhap, before the meeting, Kim Jong-un did remove many high-ranking North Korean military officials from office, while the South Korean media believed the people might have been against the summit.

Trump said “we will solve a big problem, a big dilemma.” After the one-on-one meeting, he said, “very, very good” when asked how was everything going with their talks.

During the working lunch, Trump asked the reporter if they had got all the pictures and then joked he and Kim must be “nice and handsome and thin.”

After lunch, the two leaders took a walk together and the US president later told media he would sign a document with Kim. As Trump put it, this document would be “very important and pretty comprehensive”, capable of bringing significant changes on the Korean peninsula.

Kim Jong-un hailed the meeting as “historic”, with both parties deciding to “leave the past behind”. After five hours of meetings, Kim left the hotel at around 2 pm, closing the historic event.

Four handshakes within an hour

According to Shin Min Daily News, a local newspaper, after the two leaders met, they shook hands four times within one hour.

At 9:03 am, they first met with an ice-breaking handshake lasting for 13 seconds. At 9:04 am, the two leaders headed for their one-on-one talks and they shook hands again while walking along the hallway.

At 9:08 am, they sat down for the one-on-one talks and here came the third handshake. At 9:50 am, the two accompanied by their teams held the expanded bilateral meeting, and they shook hands for the fourth time across the meeting table.

From their body language, it seemed the two leaders were a bit reserved when they first met, following months of verbal assaults, but after the warm greetings and handshake, they apparently began to bond.

Having established a good chemistry, Trump indicated he’s quite satisfied with the result. He even said he looks forward to meeting Kim multiple times. When asked if he will invite Kim to visit the White House, Trump responded outright, “Absolutely, I will.”


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