Kim had landed in Singapore hours earlier, staying silent as he has since Trump announced he had rescheduled the once-cancelled meeting set for Tuesday morning local time (prime time Monday in the United States).
Balakrishnan, Singapore's foreign minister, made important visits to Washington, Pyongyang and Beijing in recent days to ensure that there would be no last-minute spoilers for the historic meeting hosted by the city-state. It also annoyed Singapore residents by offering to pay Kim's hotel bill. However, others reported that the Air China Boeing 747 took off before the leader's jet did by an hour or two as a security measure to avoid making his mode of transportation known. The president arrived in Asia having blown up relations with US allies - and personally with French President Emmanuel Macron and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau - over trade and Russian Federation, announcing via Twitter en route to Singapore that he'd withdraw from a joint agreement covering climate change and other issues. But Trump has lashed out at reporters for suggesting that the meeting with Kim will result in him giving up any negotiating leverage. The North Korean autocrat's every move will be followed by 3,000 journalists up until he shakes hands with Trump.
Of this, half is on security, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said on Sunday. The president also refused to sign a G-7 joint statement pledging cooperation.
It is unclear, however, under what terms North Korea would agree to in an effort to reduce its nuclear arsenal.
The talks come after a year of surging tensions between the two nuclear-armed rivals that saw Kim ramp up the development of his weapons programs as the two leaders traded a series of pointed personal barbs - as well as threats of war - at one another.
Word does get around, however, and it is quite likely that the prospect of a meeting between Kim and Trump is on the public's radar.
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Larry Kudlow, Trump's economic adviser, said Sunday on CNN that Trudeau's criticism had damaged Trump's prestige before the summit - and that's why Trump reacted so strongly.
"I think we're going to have a relationship, and it will start on June 12", Trump said at the time. "Just my touch, my feel".
"It's unknown territory, in the truest sense", Trump said during the G-7.
The summit will take place weeks after the USA president called it off in May. "But I really feel confident".
Commuters read news of Kim Jong-un's arrival in Singapore, at a train station in Pyongyang. And he won't have that opportunity again.