The number of American journalists allowed to witness the one-on-one meeting between President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un in Singapore on Tuesday was limited to seven - a smaller group than would usually be present for such a summit, and one that excluded representatives from the major wire services.
The two leaders are expected to meet with translators for 45 minutes, followed by an expanded bilateral meeting with senior staff.
They will then bring in their aides.
"We appreciate your hospitality and professionalism and friendship", Trump said, seated at a long banquet table ahead of a working lunch with delegations from the USA and Singapore.
Kim's first major interaction with the global community also betrayed a sense of awe and wonder as he faced the rapid fire shutters of photographers in the opulence of the Singapore luxury hotel where the meeting took place.More news: White House adviser says Canada's Trudeau 'stabbed us in the back'
"For long-time Korea-watchers, seeing the first-ever handshake and meeting between a sitting US president and North Korean leader is already momentous". Ahead of his trip, President Trump said "every issue will be raised".
"The fact that I am having a meeting is a major loss for the US, say the haters & losers", Trump wrote on Twitter from Singapore on Tuesday morning.
Trump has insisted that Pyongyang must give up its nuclear weapons ambition.
Thanking Mr Lee for hosting the summit., Mr Kim said: "The entire world is focusing on the historic summit between the DPRK and the United States, and thanks to your honest efforts. we were able to complete the preparations for the historic summit, and I would like to thank you for that".
The summit continues to be a highly sensitive topic in North Korea.More news: Rashford's screamer in England win over Costa Rica
Trump was hosted for a working lunch Monday by Singapore's prime minister, Lee Hsien Loong, at the Istana, which is the official residence of the city state's president.
The talks - unimaginable just a few months ago - will focus on North Korea's controversial nuclear programme.
As Trump was trying to build a bridge with Kim, he was smashing longtime alliances with Western allies, withdrawing from the G-7 joint communique, escalating a trade fight and launching blistering criticism against Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Mr. Trump stopped to address waiting cameras, saying "a lot of progress" had been made, and that it was "top of the line, really good". "And it's my honour and we will have a terrific relationship".
Mr Lee also wished Mr Kim success for the summit, and expresssd the hope that it would help along prospects for peace and stability on the Korean peninsula and the wider region.More news: Paul Ryan Contradicts Donald Trump on Spygate and the Federal Bureau of Investigation
The official declined to say how long the first meeting is expected to last, but said it will take place prior to an expanded meeting where US and North Korean officials would be in attendance.
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