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Better than anybody could have expected, says Trump as he meets Kim Jong Un

Tuesday June 12, 2018 11:50 AM, Agencies

Trump Kim Meet

[Earlier, the pair shared warm words and a historic handshake as they sought to confront a nuclear stand-off and enmity stretching back decades. (SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)]

Singapore: US President Donald Trump said Tuesday there had been a "lot of progress" in his historic talks with North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un, and the pair were expected to sign a document together.

The first-ever summit between sitting leaders of the two Cold War foes went "better than anybody could have expected", Trump said as he strolled in the gardens of a Singapore hotel side-by-side with Kim.

Asked by a reporter how the meeting was going, Trump said: “Very good. Very, very good. Good relationship.”

Kim also sounded positive about the prospects. “We overcame all kinds of scepticism and speculations about this summit and I believe that this is good for the peace,” he said. “I believe this is a good prelude for peace.”

Earlier, the pair shared warm words and a historic handshake as they sought to confront a nuclear stand-off and enmity stretching back decades.

The two men shook hands for several seconds beneath the white-washed walls of an upscale hotel in neutral Singapore, Trump reaching out to touch the North Korean leader on his right shoulder, before sitting down for a half-day of meetings with major ramifications for the region and the world, according to AFP.

Kim stood silently alongside Trump as he spoke to media during a post-lunch stroll through the gardens of the Singapore hotel where the summit was held, but the North Korean leader had earlier described their meeting as a “a good prelude to peace”.

Both men walked to Trump’s limousine and looked in at the rear seat, with Trump apparently showing Kim something inside. They then resumed their walk, according to Reuters.

The encounter was unthinkable just months ago, when fears of war mounted amid missile tests and verbal insults.

As they sat down for their tete-a-tete, the US leader -- who had said he would know "within the first minute" if a deal would be possible -- predicted a "terrific relationship" with Kim.

For his part, the North's leader referred to the two countries' history of war and acrimony, but noted the fact of their meeting showed they could overcome the past.

Sitting across from Trump at a small side table, Kim told the US president through a translator: "It was not easy to get here."

"The past worked as fetters on our limbs and the old prejudices and practices worked as obstacles on our way forward," he went on, his listener looking him in the eye and nodding. "But we overcame all of them and we are here today."

Trump responded: "That's true" before another handshake -- smiling this time -- and a thumbs-up from the US president.

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