A HAND­SHAKE MARKS HIS­TORIC U.S.-NORTH KOREA MO­MENT

First-ever meet­ing be­tween a sit­ting U.S. pres­i­dent and a North Korean leader takes place in Singapore

StarMetro Vancouver - - WORLD -

SINGAPORE—U.S. Pres­i­dent Donald Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un kicked off a mo­men­tous sum­mit Tues­day, with Trump declar­ing the two would have a “great dis­cus­sion” and Kim say­ing they had over­come “ob­sta­cles” to get to this point.

Be­fore a row of alternating U.S. and North Korean flags, the lead­ers shook hands warmly at a Singapore is­land re­sort, cre­at­ing an in­deli­ble image of two unortho­dox lead­ers as they opened a conversation that could de­ter­mine his­toric peace or raise the spec­tre of a grow­ing nu­clear threat.

Trump and Kim planned to meet one on one for most of an hour — joined only by in­ter­preters. Then aides to each were to join for more dis­cus­sions and a work­ing lunch. But even be­fore they met, Trump an­nounced plans to leave early, rais­ing ques­tions about whether his as­pi­ra­tions for an am­bi­tious out­come had been scaled back.

The first meet­ing of a sit­ting U.S. pres­i­dent and a North Korean leader was the prod­uct of dizzy­ing weeks of ne­go­ti­a­tions over lo­gis­tics and pol­icy.

In the run-up to the talks, Trump had hope­fully pre­dicted the two men might strike a nu­clear deal or forge a for­mal end to the Korean War in the course of a sin­gle meet­ing or over sev­eral days. But on the eve of the sum­mit, the White House un­ex­pect­edly an­nounced Trump would de­part Singapore by Tues­day evening, mean­ing his time with Kim would be fairly brief. And Sec­re­tary of State Mike Pom­peo sought to keep ex­pec­ta­tions for the sum­mit in check.

The sum­mit could shape the fate of count­less peo­ple, or it could amount to lit­tle more than a much-pho­tographed hand­shake. Full story at thes­tar.com/world

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