NEWS
11/06/2018 08:48 SAST | Updated 11/06/2018 08:48 SAST

Kim Jong Un Lands In Singapore Ahead Of Historic Summit

This is the furthest Kim has travelled from home since taking the helm as leader of North Korea.

Athit Perawongmetha / Reuters
A motorcade believed to be carrying North Korea leader Kim Jong Un travels from the airport to the St. Regis Hotel in Singapore on Sunday.

SINGAPORE — Kim Jong Un has landed in Singapore, two days before his historic tête-à-tête with President Donald Trump.

The North Korean leader arrived at Changi Airport about 2.35 p.m. local time on Sunday, reported The Straits Times. Kim is believed to have flown directly from Pyongyang to Singapore aboard an Air China Boeing 747.

The 3,000-mile journey is the farthest taken by Kim since he took the helm as supreme leader of North Korea in 2011.

Vivian Balakrishnan, Singapore's minister for foreign affairs, tweeted a photograph of him welcoming Kim ― who was wearing a dark, pinstriped Maoist suit and sporting his trademark high-cut hairstyle ― to the Southeast Asian city-state.

Kim was photographed at the airport accompanied by several of his closest aides, including Kim Yong Chol, who recently traveled to the U.S. to meet with Trump, and Kim Chang Son, the North Korean leader's de facto chief of staff.

A heavily guarded motorcade, believed to be Kim's, was filmed traveling from Changi to the St. Regis Hotel, a five-star property located in downtown Singapore where the North Korean leader will reportedly be staying during his time in Singapore.

Police warned of traffic congestion around the airport and along roads near the hotel, citing the North Korea-U.S. summit as a reason for the delays.

Dozens of onlookers and journalists were awaiting Kim and his entourage at St. Regis,

The motorcade, which included a black Mercedes-Benz limousine adorned with North Korean flags, arrived at the hotel at around 3.45 p.m. local time.

A man identified as a North Korean security official was photographed standing outside the hotel as the motorcade approached. The man was pictured with a pin on his jacket that appeared to feature portraits of Kim's predecessors, Kim Jong Il and Kim Il Sung.

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Hours after his arrival, Kim met with Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the Istana, the official presidential residence. Lee live-streamed the meeting on Facebook.

The prime minister "complimented the bold and admirable decision" by Kim and Trump to come together for the summit, according to an official statement about the meeting.

The prime minister is scheduled to meet with Trump on Monday. Trump, flying aboard Air Force One, arrived in Singapore on Sunday night, local time.

Trump is expected to stay down the road from Kim at the Shangri-La Hotel. The pair will be convening on Tuesday morning at Capella Hotel on Sentosa, a tiny island off Singapore's southern coast, for their highly-anticipated meeting.

This story has been updated with Trump's arrival in Singapore.