[US-NK Summit] Timeline for Trump-Kim summit

In this handout provided by the Ministry of Communications and Information of Singapore U.S. President Donald Trump with Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong

In 1948, reunification negotiations failed between North Korea and South Korea, and separate governments were formed, with Kim Il Sung being chosen as the first supreme leader of North Korea.

Trump has said the meeting could go one, two, or even three days.

Trump's goal is "ridding the USA and the world of threats posed by North Korea's weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programmes", Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters on June 7.

Remarkably, the front page of Rodong Sinmun, the national newspaper, led with images of Kim surveying Singapore's Marina Bay skyline on Tuesday. Trump said. "We will be fine!"

Like this story? Share it with a friend! She previously worked as an English-language interpreter for a North Korean delegation attending now-stalled six-nation nuclear disarmament talks.

Trump told reporters he would "absolutely" extend an invitation to the White House to Kim, who also heralded a new era.

Offering a preview to reporters, Pompeo said it could provide "an unprecedented opportunity to change the trajectory of our relationship and bring peace and prosperity" to North Korea.

While Trump and Kim shake hands, searching each other's eyes and words for signs of trust or deceit, the rest of the world will be watching, hoping that somehow these two unpredictable leaders can find a way to defuse one of the planet's most unsafe flashpoints.

The White House later said discussions with North Korea had moved "more quickly than expected" and Trump would leave Singapore on Tuesday night, after the summit.

In the lead-up to the summit, USA and North Korean officials were convening contentious final-hour negotiations in a Ritz Carlton hotel here in a bid to narrow gaps on key aspects of the meeting.

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Trump was the first to arrive at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa, a resort island off Singapore's port with luxury hotels, a Universal Studios theme park and man-made beaches. island, a resort.

It was a striking about-face from less than a year ago, when Trump was threatening "fire and fury" against Kim, who in turn scorned the American president as a "mentally deranged United States dotard".

In the run-up to Tuesday's historic face-to-face with Kim, Trump has appeared unconcerned about the implications of feting an authoritarian leader suspected of ordering the public assassination of his half brother with a nerve agent, executing his uncle by firing squad and presiding over a notorious gulag estimated to hold 80,000 to 120,000 political prisoners. And under a 2016 USA law, relief from US sanctions that target the North Korean government would require progress on human rights, he said.

The two leaders reached their destination by around 8:30 a.m., local time. One thing the American president said wouldn't make the schedule: a round of golf between the two leaders.

Still, the sense of anticipation was great in Singapore, with people lining spotless streets holding cellphones high as Trump headed to meet Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

South Korea estimates the North has 50 kilogrammes of plutonium, reportedly enough for around 10 bombs, and a "considerable" ability to produce uranium weapons.

"Today, we had a historic meeting and chose to leave the past behind", Kim said through a translator.

Talks proceeded at multiple levels, including logistical discussions to allay Kim's fears of being deposed while traveling further afield than he ever has before as the country's leader.

Many experts on North Korea remain sceptical Kim will ever completely abandon nuclear weapons, believing his engagement aims to get the United States to ease crippling sanctions.

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