But they were soon smiling and holding each other by the arm, before Trump guided Kim to the library where they held a meeting with only their interpreters.
His comments echoed those of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo who said on Monday talks between the countries were "moving quite rapidly and we anticipate they will come to their logical conclusion even more quickly than we had anticipated". They sat across the table from Kim and his team.
In a September 2017 speech in front of the United Nations, President Trump referred to Kim as "Rocket Man" and threatened to "totally destroy North Korea", which earned a rare rebuke directly from Kim describing the president as a "frightened dog" and "mentally deranged US dotard".
State television aired the same photographs of Kim's departure as well as his arrival in Singapore and the North Korean leader's meeting with Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the Presidential Palace.
US President Donald Trump (R) waves as he and North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un look on from a veranda during their historic US-North Korea summit, at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa island in Singapore on June 12, 2018. According to the White House's public schedule, after 45 minutes they will then participate in an expanded meeting joined by their officials before sitting down for a "working lunch". He said if the U.S. is going to offer North Korea the security guarantees it seeks in return for denuclearization, it "also means you're not going to interfere in domestic happenings, domestic politics" - like human rights.
"These discussions that will take place tomorrow between Chairman Kim and President Trump will set the framework for the hard work that will follow". 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 North, experts believe, stands on the brink of being able to target the entire USA mainland with its nuclear-armed missiles, and while there's deep skepticism that Kim will quickly give up those hard-won nukes, there's also some hope that diplomacy can replace the animosity between the United States and the North.
But enough about that - check out Trump's power move in the initial handshake.
The Associated Press reports Trump was originally scheduled to depart early Wednesday morning, however he will now leave Tuesday night after a day of meetings with Kim and other leaders of North Korea. Global inspections and verification of such a deal would require more openness from the North, typically allergic to outside scrutiny. I asked him, I said I have something to say from North Korea, and he brushed me off.