People crowded around poster stands at subway stations around the capital to read the news and gathered at noon in front of the city's main train station to watch a big screen display of images of Kim getting off the special Air China flight that took him to Singapore. Then aides to each were to come in for more discussions and a working lunch.
Throughout the summit that could chart the course for historic peace or raise the specter of a growing nuclear threat, both leaders expressed optimism. "We will all know soon whether or not a real deal, unlike those of the past, can happen!" The meeting was initially meant to rid North Korea of its nuclear weapons, but the talks have been portrayed by Trump in recent days more as a get-to-know-you session.
The two are expected to meet at the resort island of Sentosa on Tuesday.
Trump, speaking in Canada on Saturday, said any agreement at the summit would be "spur of the moment", underscoring the uncertain outcome of what he called a "mission of peace".
"We are also planning a briefing by senior administration officials in the filing centre at the JW Marriott tentatively scheduled for 5 pm local time", she said in the briefing note issued in Washington yesterday.
Reuters. North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un shakes hands with Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the Istana in Singapore
Earlier in the day, a team of USA negotiators arrived at the Ritz-Carlton hotel to meet with its North Korean counterparts to try to nail down final details for the summit, the first between a sitting US president and a North Korean leader.
The global community hopes that the encounter between Kim and Trump will also contribute to a greater understanding, finish the enforcement of sanctions and allow once and for all to end the crisis that on more than one occasion stoked the fear of a war break in the Korean peninsula.
Earlier, Trump tweeted it was "great to be in Singapore, excitement is in the air".
It was a striking about-face from less than a year ago, when Trump was threatening "fire and fury" against Kim, who in turn scorned the American president as a "mentally deranged USA dotard".
Even so, the summit continues to be a highly sensitive topic in North Korea and it is hard - even more so than usual - to get people to express their opinions about it. Or, it could amount to little more than a much-photographed handshake.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (L) holds talks with Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in Singapore on June 10, 2018, in this photo provided by Singapore's communications and information ministry. "After that, headlines will be all about Kim and Xi Jinping", said Jeon Kyong-man, an economist at the Institute for Korean Integration of Society, with reference to the Chinese president.
Moon's self-appointed role of matchmaker was accentuated further in May when Trump called off the meeting, citing hostilities displayed by Pyongyang.