Kim Jong Un goes for surprise nighttime walk ahead of summit

US President Donald Trump gestures as he meets with North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un at the start of their historic US-North Korea summit at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa island in Singapore

US President Donald Trump gestures as he meets with North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un at the start of their historic US-North Korea summit at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa island in Singapore

"I could see Trump giving up a lot for very little in return".

While Trump and Kim search 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 risky flashpoints.

A jet carrying Kim landed hours earlier.

The handshake took place in front of a row of alternating USA and North Korean flags at the Capella Hotel, a former British colonial barracks converted into a luxury hotel on Singapore's Sentosa island resort. That is, experts suggest Pyongyang may only agree to give up its nukes in exchange for the USA terminating its military presence in South Korea and ending its regional nuclear umbrella, a security arrangement in which Washington promises in-kind retaliation on behalf of close allies if they are attacked with nuclear weapons.

One US official said the two sides were working to craft a joint US-North Korea "statement of understanding" that could be released after the talks.

Trump and Kim will start their historic summit with a one-on-one session with translators.

After greeting each other, the two leaders planned to sit for a one-on-one meeting that a USA official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said could last up to two hours, with only translators joining them. The official was not authorized to speak publicly about internal deliberations and insisted on anonymity. The North Korean leader said he is interested in close work with the U.S. president, the Straits Times newspaper reports.

Kim and Trump come face-to-face for the first time.

The North, experts believe, stands on the brink of being able to target the entire USA mainland with its nuclear-armed missiles, and while there's deep skepticism that Kim will quickly give up those hard-won nukes, there's also some hope that diplomacy can replace the animosity between the United States and the North.

United States and North Korean officials are set to meet Monday morning in Singapore to make final preparations for Tuesday's meeting.

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

Before a one-on-one meeting with only the interpreters present, there was another photo op as the two leaders shook hands across a coffee table and beamed at the assembled press. It's a reflection of the intense global curiosity over Kim's sudden turn to diplomacy in recent months after a slew of North Korean nuclear and missile tests previous year raised serious fears of war.

Trump mostly remained inside his Shangri-la hotel on the day before the summit, emerging only to meet with his Singaporean counterpart at the presidential palace. I asked him, I said I have something to say from North Korea, and he brushed me off.

Rodman spoke from Singapore, where he had traveled to play his part in the summit between the two nations.

In Trump's and Kim's meeting on Tuesday, reporters were allowed access for just a few minutes at the beginning.

"We're here, overcoming everything", the reclusive Kim told Trump, adding that the two countries overcame many obstacles on their way forward.

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. China and South Korea would have to sign off on any legal treaty. Trump appeared to be speaking to Kim throughout the 12 seconds of the handshake but Kim did not reply.

Pyongyang has said it is willing to deal away its entire nuclear arsenal if the United States provides it with reliable security assurances and other benefits.

Another challenge is monitoring North Korea's nuclear scientists.

Trump predicted earlier Monday that the summit could "work out very nicely" as officials from both countries sought to narrow differences on how to end a nuclear standoff on the Korean peninsula.

Trump, who arrived Sunday night, tweeted Monday morning: "Great to be in Singapore, excitement in the air!"

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