Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un have both arrived in Singapore ahead of a landmark summit aimed at ending a nuclear stand-off that has threatened to escalate into armed conflict.
The meeting sets the stage for what could be a historic detente between Washington and Pyongyang, who have technically been at war for more than six decades.
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The talks, scheduled for Tuesday, will be the first between a US and North Korean leader, and follow delicate diplomatic manoeuvres.
The meeting marks a sharp turnaround in the status of Mr Kim from international pariah to global player.
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Just a few months ago, he and Mr Trump had been at loggerheads – trading insults and threats over Pyongyang’s nuclear missile programme.
Asked by a reporter how he is feeling about the summit after touching down, Mr Trump said: “Very good.”
Mr Trump arrived aboard Air Force One just a few hours after Mr Kim, who has only publicly left his country three times since taking power back in 2011.
His visit to Singapore is his longest trip overseas as head of state.
Mr Kim met Singaporean prime minister Lee Hsien Loong shortly after landing and said Singapore’s role would be recorded in history if the summit was a success.
Mr Trump has previously raised the prospect of reaching a deal with Mr Kim to scrap his nuclear arsenal, which has posed a growing threat to the US.
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However, he subsequently revised his expectations and has spoken more of forging links with Mr Kim to start negotiations.
Mr Trump has said he will “know within a minute” if the North Korean leader is serious.
The White House has claimed credit for bringing Mr Kim to the table through a concerted campaign of tough economic sanctions, diplomatic efforts and the threat of military action.
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Analysts believe Mr Kim’s engagement is aimed at getting the US to ease crippling sanctions that have squeezed his poverty-stricken country.
He will also see a victory in having secured recognition and a seat at the negotiating table with the head of the world’s leading superpower.
The US president had flown to Singapore from a fractious G7 summit, which he threw into disarray after leaving by pulling out of an agreed communique and accusing Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of being “dishonest and weak”.
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