US President Donald Trump met with Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in Singapore on Monday, one day before the historic summit between the United States and North Korea.
Trump’s convoy made its way along the cleared streets of downtown Singapore on its way to the Istana – the official residence of the prime minister – at midday today.
In his team are White House press secretary Sarah Huckerbee Sanders, Secretary of state Mike Pompeo, adviser Stephen Miller, Chief of Staff John Kelly, and controversial National Security Adviser John Bolton.
The two leaders met for a very brief meeting before enjoying an extended working lunch with their respective teams.
A cake, complete with candles, was presented to Trump during the lunch to celebrate his upcoming June 14 birthday. The president will be turning 72.
During their one-on-one meet, President Trump expressed America’s continued commitment to engage the region and reasserted his support for Singapore’s Chairmanship of ASEAN, according to a statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Concerns over the US’s loosening ties with Asia have abounded since Trump pulled out of the Tran-Pacific Trade deal as the first order of business when he took office in January 2017.
President Trump also accepted the invitation from President Halimah Yacob to make a State Visit to Singapore in November. The visit would coincide with the 6th ASEAN-US Summit and 13th East Asia Summit.
The meeting came one day after North Korean leader Kim Jong Un met with Lee on Sunday, hours after he touched down at Changi Airport. His visit to Singapore marks his third international trip since coming to power in 2011, the first of which was in March when he travelled to China in secrecy to meet with President Xi Jinping.
According to a statement from the Singapore Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the pair discussed “Singapore-DPRK relations, developments in the DPRK and regional developments, including the recent positive developments on the Korean Peninsula.”
Lee also complimented Kim on his “bold and admirable” decision to attend tomorrow’s summit with the United States.
Kim is due to meet with Trump at 9am local time tomorrow at the Capella hotel on Singapore’s Sentosa island. The meeting will be the first time a sitting US president has met with a leader of the North Korean regime.