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12 highlights of Trump-Kim summit on June 12

On Tuesday, US President Donald Trump signed an agreement with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore. While the summit was conducted with the seriousness befitting the historic occasion, there were plenty of light moments too

CLEANLINESS IS PARAMOUNT

For about an hour, as the world held its collective breath for Mr Trump and Mr Kim to sit and sign their historic agreement, a suited official repeatedly walked to the table where the signing would take place to wipe it clean.

He did it again. And again. Wearing pristine white gloves, he also carefully polished the two pens for the signing, one of which had Mr Trump's signature on it.

The table, a nearly 80-year-old teak antique, was on loan from the National Gallery and in the Chief Justice's Chamber.

It was part of the furniture designed for the former Supreme Court building.

FREE-FLOW BEER

The media after-party was lit, with free-flow beer on tap sponsored by local microbrewery restaurant Brewerkz. It was served after 7pm on Tuesday, when journalists wanted to let loose after the day.

GARDEN WALK

Journalists were fascinated when the two leaders suddenly emerged from the Capella Singapore to take a stroll through the hotel's garden after their working lunch.

Mr Trump seemed at one point to be interested in the tall grass, seemingly pointing out the manicured garden to Mr Kim. Later, they stopped for a private chat, obscured from the media by a large leafy tree.

WARM GESTURES

Handshakes, back pats and thumbs-up aplenty - both Mr Kim and Mr Trump were not afraid to be physical with each other.

While the first handshake was the most important historically, it was later followed by at least three more throughout the proceedings.

Mr Trump also patted Mr Kim's arm multiple times and put a hand on his back to usher him into the Capella. In a reciprocal act, Mr Kim later patted Mr Trump's arm.

Experts said these gestures showed confidence, professionalism and rapport, as well as a desire for the summit to go well.

12 highlights of Trump-Kim summit on June 12
 

 

CAKE

Mr Trump, who turns 72 today, was given an early birthday surprise during a working lunch at the Istana with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Monday. The lunch, which lasted a little over an hour, was catered by Gordon Grill at Goodwood Park Hotel.

TNP understands that Goodwood Park Hotel's The Deli sells a similar Royal Chocolate Crunchy Hazelnut Cake. The 8-inch and 1kg cake goes for $68.

12 highlights of Trump-Kim summit on June 12
 

FANTASTIC BEASTS

Both Mr Trump and Mr Kim cruised the Singapore roads in style. Mr Trump rode in a custom Cadillac limousine known as "The Beast", which has an identical decoy known as the "Spare".

Mr Kim was in a Mercedes-Benz limousine with North Korean flags.

In a surprisingly friendly moment, Mr Trump showed Mr Kim his "Beast" after their garden stroll at the Capella. He opened the car door and they had a peek into the limousine.

12 highlights of Trump-Kim summit on June 12
 

KIMCHI ICE CREAM

As the two leaders came together, so did their respective cultures. One particular fusion dish served to the press at the International Media Centre (IMC) raised eyebrows.

Possibly tasting weirder than it sounds, the kimchi ice cream by Udders contained shrimp paste, chilli padi and cream. The flavour had tongues wagging and recoiling.

GEOGRAPHY, GEOGRAPHY

Aside from "Where is Singapore?" becoming one of the top searches on Google, the US State Department also reported that US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo gave his Monday briefing at "JW Marriott, Singapore, Malaysia". The error was later rectified.

BBC news also ran a map that confused Sentosa island for the whole of Singapore, putting the Shangri-La hotel and St Regis on the same island as the Capella.

FLYING HIGH

Mr Trump flew in on the Air Force One, which boasts a whopping interior of 4,000 sq ft over three levels, about the size of three five-room Housing Board flats.

Mr Kim, however, flew in on an Air China Boeing 747, reported to be the private jet of Chinese Premier Li Keqiang.

It is unclear why Mr Kim did not make the trip on "Air Force Un", the nickname of his official aircraft Chammae-1.

12 highlights of Trump-Kim summit on June 12
 

CAPELLA PEACOCKS

The Capella hotel is known for its free-roaming peacocks.

Security personnel were seen making way for the temperamental birds, which have been known to peck at their reflections on cars.

On the big day, however, none were seen pictured with Mr Kim or Mr Trump, perhaps because there can only be so many egos in one room.

USB CONTROVERSY

Journalists at the IMC were given goodie bags containing random summit paraphernalia, including a universal serial bus (USB) fan.

But while this is something Singaporeans are used to, some members of the foreign press feared it was a covert method of spying on them, perhaps even carrying malware.

Media reports, including one by the BBC, raised this worry.

The Ministry of Communications and Information and Sentosa Development Corporation had to clarify that the USB fans are simple devices with no storage or processing capabilities.

SUMMIT TOONS

Long-time readers of The New Paper might be surprised to spot a familiar character, Ah Kong, from the classic Boy Boy TNP comic strip from the 90s.

The series started running on the day of the summit, including the one on this page.

The cartoons were illustrated by former TNP staff Mike Chua and Lee Hup Kheng.

- SUE-ANN TAN, CHEOW SUE-ANN, KOK YUFENG, DAVID SUN

WORLD