Trump and Kim in quotes: From bitter rivalry to unlikely bromance

North Korean troops march during a military parade at Kim Il Sung Square to mark the 65th anniversary of the country's founding in Pyongyang

US President Donald Trump (R) holds a meeting with North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un during the second US-North Korea summit at the Sofitel Legend Metropole hotel in Hanoi on February 28, 2019.

President Donald Trump during talks in Hanoi with North Koran leader Kim Jong Un is no longer expected to demand a full accounting of Pyongyang's nuclear program, USA media reported.

The two men continued offering hopeful words as talks began anew at their second summit on curbing Pyongyang's pursuit of nuclear weapons, a problem that has bedeviled generations of leaders.

Trump and Kim will later be holding a working lunch and appearing at a joint-agreement signing ceremony later in the day.

The two leaders were sitting across from each other at a conference table, with their aides.

It echoed a garden walkabout in Singapore, where the two men bonded over Trump's hulking vehicle, the "Beast", with the USA president allowing the younger man a glimpse inside.

But scandal back home in Washington threatens to distract Trump with his former personal lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen calling him a "racist" and a "conman" during a congressional hearing.

The two leaders' interpreters were the only others privy to their conversation, raising concerns about why Trump would risk meeting Kim, who has threatened the USA with nuclear strikes and has a dismal human rights record, without staff to take notes.

"I think that your country has tremendous economic potential - unbelievable, unlimited", Mr Trump, 72, told Mr Kim.

Writing as the "Ambassador of Goodwill to North Korea", Rodman encouraged Trump to continue to leverage Rodman's strong friendship with Kim Jong Un "for our Nation's benefit".

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Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, a longstanding hawk on North Korea, told reporters that he "fully supports President Trump's decision to make no easy compromise".

But there has been little progress since.

Trump told Kim on Wednesday he felt the first summit was "very successful".

In his annual New Year's Day address on January 1, Kim says he is prepared to meet Trump again at any time. "I just want to say I have great respect for Chairman Kim, and I have great respect for his country, and I believe that it will be something economically that will be nearly hard to compete with for many countries".

"I have been saying very much from the beginning that speed is not that important to me", Mr Trump said.

Now U.S. officials talk about simultaneous actions taken by both sides.

"Sometimes you have to walk, and this was just one of those times", Trump said, adding "it was a friendly walk".

But questions persisted throughout the summit, including whether Kim was willing to make valuable concessions, what Trump would demand in the face of rising domestic turmoil and whether the meeting could yield far more concrete results than the leaders' first summit, a meeting in Singapore less than a year ago that was long on dramatic imagery but short on tangible results.

Possible outcomes could include a peace declaration for the Korean War that the North could use to eventually push for the reduction of USA troops in South Korea, or sanctions relief that could allow Pyongyang to pursue lucrative economic projects with the South.

"The (South Korean) government will do all it can to ensure that the United States and North Korea can maintain momentum for dialogue while continuing their close communication and cooperation", the Blue House said.

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