Excitement among reporters covering Trump-Kim summit
HK journalist can't sleep, S. Korean reporter calls it 'unbelievable'
As the summit reached its peak yesterday, the press corp at the International Media Centre scaled "new heights" in an attempt to get the best images and articles.
Before the highlight, Kyodo News photographer, Mr Daisuke Suzuki, 38, unfolded the stepladder he had lugged all the way from Tokyo.
He said: "I am not tall, and I know there will be a lot of foreign reporters, so I wanted to be prepared."
The media centre at the F1 Pit Building is not even on the same island where US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un met for the first time. But it did not stop a frenzy of camera flashes when the livestream showed the leaders stepping forward for their first handshake.
The excitement was palpable among many of the 2,500 journalists who congregated at the media centre, relying on the live feed as only a limited number of journalists were allowed to witness the meeting at the Capella Singapore hotel on Sentosa.
South Korean broadcast journalist, Ms Chae Hyo Jin, 32, said: "To be here is really interesting and historic.
"We (Koreans) have waited so long to see this scene and the handshake, it is exciting.
"When I saw it, I thought, 'Oh my god, it is really happening.' North Korea and the US have never had any positive relationship; this is unbelievable."
A South Korean translator, Ms Sarah Baek, who has lived in Singapore for 25 years, said this summit holds great significance.
The 30-year-old said: "Living in Singapore and being Korean, it is amazing to have something like that happen here in our era. To get to see these changes for myself, it is exciting."
Mr Kenny Chan, 28, a reporter from Hong Kong, said: "It is really exciting to have a chance to witness and cover something like this. Last night I could not sleep."
He said while the US-North Korean relationship might not interest most people in Hong Kong, they are interested in Mr Kim.
He said: "We really like him and think he is cute. We even have nicknames such as Baby Kim and Little Kim."
Mr Ross Feingold, senior adviser at DC International Advisory, said: "(This event is) something everyone is going to remember.
"Despite the criticism we often see or read about Mr Trump - especially from outside the US - on how he conducts foreign policy, we can expect, at least in the coming hours or days, that we will see some positive news coverage on Mr Trump for a change, and perhaps he deserves that."
Business as usual at Sentosa during summit
A historic event of global significance was occuring on its grounds but there was a laid-back vibe on Sentosa yesterday.
A student from Russia, who wanted to only be known as Miss Anna, was at the Sentosa boardwalk at VivoCity around 7.20am hoping to "get one for the gram" - slang for getting a photo to post on the social networking platform Instagram.
She was among a crowd of around 100 who were vying for a vantage point to catch a glimpse of the American and North Korean motorcades with US president Donald Trump and Mr Kim Jong Un, respectively, heading for the Capella hotel for their summit.
Despite it being the school holidays, there was little fuss as the two convoys arrived at the island at about 8.10am.
Staff working on the island told The New Paper that it had been business as usual there over the last few days.
A cashier at the 7-Eleven directly behind Capella, who wanted to be known only as Madam Rama, admitted she was excited when she first heard the news that Capella would host the summit.
She had caught glimpses of the security personnel deployed on Sentosa over the last few days, and the 48-year-old added: "There were also a few men wearing official passes who came down from Capella the past few days to buy food and drinks in the mornings and that was it."
Police presence was highly visible yesterday, with officers frequently on patrol either in vehicles, on e-scooters or on foot.
Rapid Deployment Troops from the Special Operations Command were also seen, while a helicopter hovered just off the coast of the almost deserted Palawan beach.
Barricades were also set up along the roads leading up to Capella, as international media lined the roads.