Around the world, the build-up leading to the summit between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un has dominated headlines - but North Koreans were only told today that the meeting was taking place.
For Mr Kim, appearing on the world stage is a source of great prestige, but for those who have suffered (or suffer still) at the hands of his regime, it's a cause for real concern.
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North Korea's state broadcaster announced Mr Kim's visit to Singapore a day after his arrival. It's a reminder of the dictator's control of information.
Those who have escaped the regime are appalled Mr Kim has been welcomed onto the international stage.
Millions died in the 1990s when famine ravaged North Korea. Defector Grace Jo told CBS she only ate one meal a week.
Her grandmother and two brothers died from starvation, while her father died as a political prisoner.
"Not only my family died," she said.
"There are hundreds of families that lost their family members."
The United Nations estimates 41 percent of North Koreans are currently undernourished, and 70 percent depend on rations.
This in a country where Mr Kim has staged dozens of public executions, murdered members of his own family and has 200,000 people languishing in labour camps.
A man who was sent to a camp with his family at age nine says the dictator's cruelty must not be overlooked.
"Kim is destroying people lives, he's paralysing their souls and restricting them," he said.
"In the hype surrounding these peace talks, that's been forgotten."
In South Korea people watched today's historic meeting in awe. At Seoul's Anglican Cathedral, people prayed for peace and unity.
President Trump might be using the summit for his political gain, and Mr Kim for economic development, but whatever the reason there is now an important momentum on the Korean Peninsula.
Amid the world's hype, people on both sides of the Korean border are awaiting the outcome of talks that could determine their fate.