SINGAPORE: Amid the flurry of activity in the lead-up to the historic US-North Korea summit, there was some time on Monday (Jun 11) to celebrate President Donald Trump's birthday.
He turns 72 on Thursday, and his Singapore hosts made sure that was not forgotten. A birthday cake was brought out during the working lunch at the Istana with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and officials from both sides.
Foreign Affairs Minister Dr Vivian Balakrishnan shared the moment on social media, saying: "Celebrating birthday, a bit early."
Lunch included dishes like lobster bisque, angus beef tenderloin and ice-cream, according to a copy of the menu spotted in a photo posted by Education Minister Ong Ye Kung on social media.
Mr Trump is widely reported to like his steak well done, with a side of ketchup. No word on how his beef was cooked at the lunch.
At the lunch, Mr Trump expressed optimism for Tuesday's meeting with Mr Kim and also thanked his Singapore hosts for their hospitality.
"We have a very interesting meeting in particular tomorrow, and I think things can work out very nicely," he said. "But we appreciate your hospitality and professionalism and your friendship."
Mr Trump also tweeted a video of highlights from his meeting with Mr Lee with the caption: "Thank you Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong!"
In a Facebook post on Monday evening, Mr Lee said that Mr Trump hosted him at the White House last October, and that he was "glad to reciprocate his hospitality".
"I wished him all the best for tomorrow’s summit, which we hope will be a first step on the path to peace," the Prime Minister also said, adding that he was "looking forward to a positive outcome".
Mr Trump has accepted an invitation from his Singapore counterpart Halimah Yacob to make a state visit here in November.