HANOI, The second summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un started in much the same way as their first meeting in June, with a handshake, an exchange of pleasantries and opening remarks from each leader.
Trump and Kim walked toward each other at the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi hotel as a row of American and North Korean flags hung in the background.
They stopped and shook hands for about nine seconds. Trump patted Kim lightly on his back and the younger leader returned the gesture on the president's arm.
A moment of awkwardness fell before Trump fielded a couple of questions from the few reporters who were allowed to cover the event.
For two people who "fell in love" after their first summit in Singapore, according to Trump, the exchange was at best cordial.
Soon after, their interpreters rushed to their sides. Kim began to smile more broadly and the two men proceeded to take their seats for a one-on-one chat.
Kim began to speak about the "patience" that was required in the eight months since their last meeting in Singapore.
The North Korean leader was apparently referring to the slow progress the two sides have made in implementing the deal he and Trump reached on denuclearization and peace.
Still, he pledged to do his best to produce results that would be welcomed by the world.
Trump said the first summit was a success and he hoped to see equal or greater success in their talks Wednesday and Thursday.
The biggest progress since Singapore, he said, was their relationship.
The rest of their meeting took place behind closed doors.
When they emerged for dinner, joined by two senior officials each, the mood was markedly more relaxed as they joked about the "interesting dialogue" they had shared for 30 minutes in private.
"Interesting" was Kim's characterization of the talks, to which Trump responded, "Boy, if you could have heard that dialogue. What you would pay for that dialogue."
Seated at a round table, Trump was joined on his left by his interpreter, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and acting chief of staff Mike Mulvaney. To the North Korean leader's right were his interpreter, top aide Kim Yong-chol and Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho.
The elegant La Veranda restaurant, located on the hotel's ground floor, may have been specially decorated for the exclusive meal. The U.S. and North Korean flags stood behind each leader, and bright green plates lay in front of each guest.
Source: Yonhap news Agency