Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un made history Tuesday, becoming the first sitting US and North Korean leaders to meet and shake hands, as they seek to end a tense decades-old nuclear stand-off.
The two men strode toward each other and shared the momentous handshake beneath the white-washed walls of an upscale hotel in neutral Singapore, before sitting down for a half-day of meetings with major ramifications for the world.
They shook hands for several seconds, Trump reaching out to touch the North Korean leader on his right shoulder.
As they sat down for their one-on-one meeting, the US leader predicted a “terrific relationship” with Kim.
The extraordinary summit was unthinkable only months ago.
Then, the two nuclear-armed foes appeared on the verge of conflict, as Kim conducted nuclear and missile tests and the two leaders slung personal insults.
Trump had cajoled the international community to exert “maximum pressure” to buckle Kim’s regime and threatened to unleash “fire and fury like the world has never seen” if Pyongyang did not disarm.
For his part, Kim called the US leader “mentally deranged” and a “dotard” as he fired off a series of provocative weapons tests.
That seemed a distant memory amid the palms of the ultra-exclusive Capella Hotel.
It is a potentially legacy-defining meeting for both men – comparable to president Richard Nixon’s 1972 visit to China, or Ronald Reagan’s summit 1986 with Mikhail Gorbachev in Reykjavik.
And it is part of what Trump calls a “one-time” offer to resolve the stand-off through diplomacy.
“We will all know soon whether or not a real deal, unlike those of the past, can happen!” Trump tweeted shortly before departing for the summit.