By RFE RL
(RFE/RL) — U.S. President Donald Trump has predicted that talks over ridding the Korean Peninsula of nuclear arms will be a “tremendous success” after a 45-minute meeting with North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un.
Asked by reporters how he felt after the historic meeting at a luxury resort in SIngapore early on June 12, Trump responded: “I feel really great. It’s going to be a great discussion and I think a tremendous success.”
“I think it’s gonna be really successful, and I think we will have a terrific relationship, I have no doubt,” Trump said. He added that their meeting was “very, very good.”
Hours before the meeting, Trump had seemed more cautious in a Twitter post: “Meetings between staffs and representatives are going well and quickly… But in the end, that doesn’t matter. We will all know soon whether or not a real deal, unlike those of the past, can happen!”
At the start of his meeting with Kim, which began with a hand-shake, Trump said: “Working together we will get it taken care of… We will solve it.”
Kim responded: “It was not easy to get here. In the past, old practices and prejudices worked against us and placed many obstacles in our way, but we overcame all of them and we are here today.”
The two leaders are now engaged in another bilateral meeting which this times includes their staffs. That meeting is expected to last a couple of hours and include a working lunch at the luxury resort on Singapore’s Sentosa Island.
While hopes were high ahead of the first-ever meeting between a sitting U.S. president and a North Korean leader, expectations of what the summit could produce fell in the days leading up to the meeting.
Both leaders made plans in recent days to return home on June 13 — giving only one day for any breakthrough in talks about nuclear disarmament that have been stalled or broken down for decades.
There was no word immediately after the Trump-Kim meeting of any change in their plans to return home on June 13.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo signalled on June 11 that the Trump administration didn’t expect an immediate breakthrough at the Trump-Kim meeting, but rather hoped it would create an opening for more extended negotiations.
“We are hopeful this summit will have set the conditions for future successful talks,” Pompeo said.