It was all round smiles between the President of the United States of America, Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Wednesday in Hanoi, after the summit both leaders expressed optimism that their highly personal brand of diplomacy will lead to a deal on the totalitarian state’s nuclear weapons.
At the start of around two hours of talks and dinner at a luxury hotel in the Vietnamese capital, Trump predicted a “very successful” summit, due to resume Thursday and end in a still unspecified signing ceremony.
The two-day get-together follows up on the leaders’ initial historic meeting in Singapore in June, where Trump launched his charm offensive to try and get Kim to give up his nuclear arsenal.
Shaking hands and smiling in front of a bank of a dozen alternating the US and North Korean flags, they briefly took questions from reporters before starting one-on-one talks, then the dinner.
Critics said the Singapore summit was light on concrete results but Trump said the Hanoi talks would be “equal or better than the first” time. Kim said: “I am certain that a great outcome will be achieved this time that will be welcomed by all people.”
The White House said that on Thursday Trump and Kim will meet again one-on-one, before continuing talks alongside advisers throughout the morning.
This will culminate in a “Joint Agreement Signing Ceremony,” the White House said without providing further detail.
A press conference is also scheduled before Trump returns to Washington.