After initial exchanges lasting around 40 minutes, Trump and Kim emerged, walking side-by-side through the colonnaded hotel before entering a meeting room, where they were joined by their most senior officials.
The leaders of South Korea, Japan and Malaysia were among those wishing for a successful summit.
China has always been opposed to the American military presence in Japan and South Korea, anxious the troops and military equipment on Beijing's doorstep was less about countering North Korean and more about containing a rising and powerful China.
Officially, the Democrats' wish list for the summit is similar to Trump's, including a demand that North Korea dismantle and remove all of its nuclear, chemical and biological weapons. North Korea and the United States were on opposite sides in the 1950-53 Korean War and are technically still at war, as the conflict, in which millions of people died, was concluded only with a truce.
"Markets have a risk on tone as the Trump-Kim meeting has so far produced much positive symbolism, but little in the way of substance", wrote Adam Cole, chief currency strategist at RBC Capital Markets.
Following his prepared statement, Trump invited questions, joking he felt very uncomfortable in front of so many journalists.
The war games have long irked Pyongyang, which is technically still at war with the south and the USA after the 1950-1953 Korean war.
But Tuesday's summit was as much about theatrics as the details of a deal.
Country Insight: The potential for development in communist North Korea
Political change and eventual reunification of North and South Korea can't be imposed from the outside, he said . Foreign Correspondent, Reese Erlich·s syndicated column on global affairs appears every two weeks.
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Bush became the oldest USA president months ago and is the first to celebrate a 94th birthday, said spokesman Jim McGrath. He might not be the only former president to hit that mark - former President Jimmy Carter turns 94 on October 1.
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Katie Arrington is on the verge of unseating a S.C. political fixture for the past 25 years. Hostin described the "upside" of Sanford's defeat in terms of the "the year of the woman".
The presidential Blue House said it needed "to find out the precise meaning or intentions" of Trump's statement, while adding that it was willing to "explore various measures to help the talks move forward more smoothly". We're going to take care of a very big and risky problem for the rest of the world.
As Trump acknowledged that denuclearization would not be accomplished overnight, the North suggested Wednesday that Trump had moved away from his demand for complete denuclearization before USA sanctions on the long-isolated country are removed.
In response to the "dotard" insult, he took aim at the North Korean leader's physical dimensions.
But he said sanctions would remain in place for now, and argued "we haven't given up anything".
Trump also said he planed to halt what he called "war games" on the Korean Peninsula, likely a reference to the joint military exercises between the United States and South Korea, touting the cancellation as cost saving measure.
The U.S. has stationed combat troops in South Korea since the end of the Korean War in the 1950s and has used them in a variety of drills.
Otto Warmbier: Trump said the summit never would have happened without Warmbier's death.
Trump and Kim are the first leaders of their respective countries to meet, marking the culmination of months of diplomatic wrangling and negotiations. "I am living in a historical moment", she told AFP.
Following the "breaking news" from the summit, one could learn such colorful details as what Trump, Kim, and their aides ate for lunch, and that former National Basketball Association star Dennis Rodman - probably Trump and Kim's only mutual friend - believes he should be considered for a Nobel Peace Prize for his role in making the event happen.
The dollar index against a basket of six major currencies climbed 0.25 percent to 93.789.