Trump, Kim shake hands again: How different are the Hanoi and Singapore meetings?

The most obvious difference is that the two leaders came from different sides. In Singapore, Mr Trump approached from the right and Mr Kim from the left. In Hanoi, it was the opposite.
The most obvious difference is that the two leaders came from different sides. In Singapore, Mr Trump approached from the right and Mr Kim from the left. In Hanoi, it was the opposite.PHOTOS: KEVIN LIM, AFP

HANOI - US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un met for their second summit in eight months on Wednesday (Feb 27) in Hanoi.

The two shook hands in front of the cameras before they began a short meeting in Sofitel Legend Metropole Hotel Hanoi.

After the meeting, they sat down to dinner with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Mr Trump’s acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, Mr Kim’s top envoy Kim Yong Chol and North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho.

Here is a quick comparison of the two meetings: 

THE HANDSHAKE: SOME SIMILARITIES

The first handshake in Hanoi appeared to stick quite closely to the formula of their first handshake during their summit last June in Singapore, with only slight differences.

Backdrop: Both handshakes took place against a backdrop of American and North Korean flags. There were 12 in Singapore - six for each country - and 12 in Hanoi.


Both handshakes took place against a backdrop of American and North Korean flags. There were 12 in Singapore - 6 for each country - and 12 in Hanoi. PHOTOS: KEVIN LIM, AFP

Format: Both handshakes followed the same pattern. The two leaders walked in from opposite ends, met in the middle for a handshake while facing each other, then turned to face cameras and had a short chat before walking off.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z_oa8-fXWak

In both instances, Mr Trump reached out to touch Mr Kim's elbow shortly after the handshake began. This is a signature Trump handshake and has been deployed numerous times.

DIFFERENCES

Direction: The most obvious difference is that the two leaders came from different sides. In Singapore, Mr Trump approached from the right and Mr Kim from the left. In Hanoi, it was the opposite.

Duration: Mr Trump and Mr Kim shared a 14-second handshake in Singapore before letting go and turning to pose for the cameras.

In Hanoi, the handshake lasted 9 and a half seconds, and they turned to face the cameras at the 4-second mark while still hand-in-hand.

 
 
 
 

Body language expert Karen Leong told Reuters that Mr Kim looked far more confident compared with their last meeting in Singapore.

"Kim was walking towards Trump far more briskly with his hand extended. Previously in Singapore, Kim was far more hesitant. There is much more sense of familiarity," said Ms Leong, managing director of Singapore-headquartered Influence Solutions and author of the book Win People Over.

Mr Trump welcomed Mr Kim with his palm facing up, which Ms Leong said indicated that "Trump wants the rapport. He is not here to become the bully, he is here to win Kim".

THE FIRST MEAL

9-course lunch:  At their working lunch in Capella Singapore hotel, Mr Trump and Mr Kim feasted on a nine-course meal that brought together Eastern and Western influences to mirror the landmark meeting.

The lunch menu for the US and North Korea delegations, issued by the White House, featured a prawn cocktail, mango kerabu - a Malay salad - and oiseon, or Korean stuffed cucumbers - and those are just for starters.

For the main course, the two leaders and their teams were served beef short-rib confit, for a Western taste, then for the Asian influence, sweet and sour pork with fried rice, as well as a popular Korean dish daegu jorim, or soya-braised codfish.

For dessert, they had dark chocolate tartlet ganache, Haagen-Dazs vanilla ice cream with cherry coulis and tropezienne or brioche pastry with cream in the middle.

4-course dinner: In  Sofitel Legend Metropole Hotel in Hanoi, the leaders and their close aides dined on shrimp cocktail, grilled sirloin with pear kimchi, chocolate lava cake and dried persimmon punch, according to a menu posted by Voice of America.  

Meanwhile, the White House abruptly banned four US journalists from covering the dinner after some of them shouted questions at the leaders during their earlier meetings.

Reporters from the Associated Press, Bloomberg News, the Los Angeles Times and Reuters were excluded because of what White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said were “sensitivities over shouted questions”. Among the questions asked of Mr Trump was one about the congressional testimony of his former lawyer Michael Cohen.