Donald Trump approached from the right, striding down the long portico at the colonial-era Singapore resort. Kim Jong Un, dressed in his familiar Mao suit, emerged from the left. They met in the middle, on a red carpet, dozens of cameras recording their every move, as the world watched.
Thirteen seconds. That's how long the American and North Korean leaders shook hands at the start of their summit yesterday. The length of the contact, their facial expressions and body language, the stunning backdrop of interlocked national flags - all of it was instantly analysed, criticised and marvelled at in tweets and commentary in South Korea, the United States and beyond.
South Koreans applauded in a train station as they watched; the South Korean president grinned broadly; one official compared the summit, favourably, to the birth of his daughter. On the flipside, critics said the welcome Trump was giving Kim in Singapore would legitimise one of the world's worst human rights offenders.
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It was a single, quintessentially human movement - a greeting, a welcome, a start of a relationship - but the reaction to the handshake was as complicated as the standoff that the two countries these men represent have been locked in for seven decades now.
There was shock, relief, worry, sometimes simultaneously, as the world watched Trump and Kim - who were insulting each other's mental and physical prowess and threatening nuclear war just a few months ago - shaking hands and smiling.
The backdrop was almost as shocking as the warmth of the handshake - a row of the two nations' flags displayed side by side at the entrance to the Singapore resort that's hosting their summit.
Both Koreas have long demonised the other's national flag.
Critics saw the handshake and Kim's earlier moonlight stroll as evidence Trump was helping to legitimise Kim as his equal on the world stage even though the North Korean regime has been accused of horrific rights abuses.