Typhoon Mangkhut: At Least 43 Bodies Found in Philippines Landslide

Emergency workers in the Philippines recovered 43 bodies from the muddied wreckage of a gold miners’ bunkhouse after Typhoon Mangkhut set off a landslide, burying the remote northern town of Itogon in a river of debris and potentially doubling the country’s death toll, officials said on Monday.

Mangkhut, a super typhoon that slammed into the northern Philippine province of Luzon on Saturday, continued a path of destruction across southern China on Sunday and into Monday.

Officials feared the death toll could surpass 100 in the Philippines, and at least four people were killed in China as of Monday, according to the state news media.

The whir of choppers and the buzz of chain saws were all that was heard on Monday near the mining town of Itogon as workers looking for bodies dug through the mud using shovels and their bare hands — the ground too wet for heavy machinery.

Francis Tolentino, a senior adviser to President Rodrigo Duterte, estimated that nationwide 5.7 million people had been affected by the storm, which hit the country at the height of its powers, with wind speeds topping 150 miles per hour.

Mr. Duterte inspected part of the disaster area on Sunday, and met with top officials in Tuguegarao City for a televised briefing on the damage and the recovery effort.

“I share the grief of those who lost their loved ones,” the president said.

A slightly weakened Mangkhut battered the coast of southern China on Sunday, blowing out the windows of high rises in Hong Kong and causing floods and power outages in Macau.

Nearly 2.5 million people were ordered to evacuate China’s southern province of Guandong, as Mangkhut churned its way toward the mainland. Four people were killed in the province, one of the country’s most populous, according to the state news media.

The storm crossed the southern coast with winds as high as 100 miles an hour. As night fell, the streets of the cities along China’s southern coast largely emptied as residents heeded warnings to stay indoors, having already stocked up on food and water at stores on Saturday and earlier Sunday. Guangzhou ordered all restaurants closed to keep people off the streets, and high-speed rail service was suspended in the province.

Typhoon Mangkhut: Deadly Storm Nears Hong Kong and China’s Coast

Typhoon Mangkhut was nearing Hong Kong and the southern coast of China on Sunday, after cutting a destructive path through the Philippines and killing dozens of people there. The storm had weakened overnight but was still a severe typhoon, with gusts of up to 120 miles an hour, the Hong Kong authorities said.

The storm was expected to pass about 60 miles south of Hong Kong before moving on to China’s heavily populated Guangdong Province. Hong Kong’s weather agency warned that Victoria Harbour could see storm surges of almost 10 feet.

In the Philippines, officials said Sunday morning that the death toll from the storm had risen to 25. But despite the suffering, there was relief there that the devastation had not been much worse.

[Catch up on the rest of our storm coverage.]

Mangkhut was moving relatively quickly across the South China Sea and was on track to pass south of Hong Kong Sunday afternoon before barreling into southern China’s Guangdong Province by the evening.

Winds had weakened but forecasts said it would still pack the power of a Category 2 storm when it made landfall, possibly near Maoming, a big petrochemicals center.

The area has relatively few low-lying towns that would be vulnerable to storm surge as the typhoon makes landfall, and Guangdong, China’s most populous province, has extensive experience with typhoons, and makes elaborate preparations for each of them.

Evacuations of low-lying areas are mandatory. Fishing vessels are ordered into well-protected anchorages. After 16 workers were killed when their shanty collapsed in a typhoon in 2003, the province pursued a strenuous campaign of demolishing or upgrading substandard housing.

If Mangkhut shifts course slightly to the north, though, it could hit Hong Kong and the Pearl River Delta area, one of the world’s most important manufacturing hubs and home to more than 60 million people.

Hong Kong itself is quite resilient to typhoons. Although heavy rain may trigger landslides, the former British colony is not especially vulnerable to flooding because it has few low-lying areas.

The sprawling river delta around it, however, is barely above sea level and has struggled with flooding despite years of investment in drainage systems. Climate change has exacerbated the problem. The provincial capital, Guangzhou, has more to lose from rising seas and more severe storms than any other city on the planet, according to a World Bank report.

In Zhanjiang, a coastal city of 8 million on the storm’s path near Maoming, workers were boarding up storefronts on Saturday, while residents crowded supermarkets and emptied some of them of water, rice and packaged noodles.

At Yugang Beach, along a bay near the city center, a loudspeaker warned bathers to stay out of the water because of the “influence of the typhoon,” though few seemed concerned given the blue skies and warm temperatures. A woman selling chilled coconuts said she would simply stay home on Sunday.

Beside a rusting ferry ship nearby, groups of young men collected sand into large nylon sacks. One of them, Liang Jiawei, said they intended to use the improvised sandbags to brace the glass windows at the real estate office where they worked.

They recalled that Typhoon Mujigae, the last major typhoon to strike the city, in 2015, killed at least 11 people. “People have been preparing ahead of time because three years ago people were not prepared well,” Mr. Liang said.

Provincial authorities have issued a video on social media showing footage of the previous typhoon and warning people not to take any chances.

A top Philippine official, Francis Tolentino, said Sunday morning that at least 25 people had been killed, including a family of four caught in a landslide in their home in the Cordillera Mountains. Among the dead were two rescue workers killed in landslides, local news media reported.

The police said the body of one victim, a young girl, was found in the Marikina River in the eastern part of metropolitan Manila, though the densely populated capital region seemed to have been spared major damage.

The eye made landfall over Baggao in Cagayan Province and moved west across the country, hitting the opposite coast near Laoag City less than eight hours later.

[Here’s how to help support the recovery efforts.]

Videos posted by the Philippine Red Cross in the early hours of Sunday morning show rescue efforts in San Fabian, Pangasinan Province, on the western side of Luzon. Rescuers evacuated families from their homes on boats as the water had risen to neck deep levels in some areas.

The authorities said more than 105,000 people had taken shelter in evacuation centers as the typhoon was nearing. Much of the planning for Mangkhut was informed by lessons learned from Typhoon Haiyan, the devastating 2013 storm that killed 6,000 people and left more than four million homeless.

“Because of other typhoons, people have internalized the fact that they have to go to evacuation centers, so the process was quite smooth this time,” Mr. Tolentino said. “Some people wanted to stay with their farm animals, but if you have to choose between your life or your animals, you should choose your life.”

The New York Times reporters Hannah Beech and Kimberly dela Cruz traveled along Luzon’s western and northern coasts on Saturday. Foliage, trees and rolling coconuts were strewn across the roads, which were deserted except for volunteer crews removing debris to make them passable and the occasional emergency vehicle.

In one community after another, they reported seeing downed trees and badly damaged buildings. Signs, tin roofs and gates that had been torn free flew about.

In Claveria, a corn- and rice-growing area on the northern coast, the Antonio family had fled their home about 1 a.m. for sturdier shelter. Marck James Antonio, 24, stayed behind and was struck and gashed in the right temple by flying debris. But he was conscious and still moving around.

“This was the strongest and the worst storm that I’ve ever experienced in my life,” said his mother, Teresita Antonio, 54. “I was crying before because I don’t know how I will be able to afford to fix my house.”

“It was shaking like an earthquake,” said another resident, Robert Tumaneng, 55, a fish farmer. From a road above, the area where the fish ponds once were looked like a giant lake, with the tips of submerged palm trees and thatched roofs sticking out.

Further east, in Sanchez Mira, more than 270 people had sought shelter at a community hall.

“Some people didn’t want to evacuate their homes but I forced them,” said Rewin Valenzuela, 48, a local leader. “We evacuated everyone to prevent loss of life.”

The winds made it difficult to stand outdoors but some residents were returning home, carrying mattresses and plastic buckets with food and other provisions. The roofs had been torn off other houses and a few that were built on stilts listed dangerously.

The 12 million residents of the metropolitan Manila area, one of the world’s most densely populated cities, appeared to have been spared major destruction as the center of the storm passed hundreds of miles to the north.

The megacity was hit by heavy rain and strong winds, with trees uprooted and flooding in some areas. Among the inundated roads was Roxas Boulevard, a major artery that runs along Manila Bay and often floods during storms.

More than 1,600 families were evacuated after the Marikina River, which runs through part of the city, began rising quickly because of runoff from nearby mountains. The police said the body of a child, about 10 years old, was found floating in the river under a bridge in Pasig, one of several cities that make up Metro Manila.

The Manila area sits near sea level on the shore of Manila Bay, making it vulnerable to the typhoons that sweep in from the Pacific.

Typhoon Mangkhut: Storm Slams Philippines on Landfall

Typhoon Mangkhut struck the Philippines early Saturday after thousands of people evacuated their homes to dodge the 550-mile wide storm as it roared across the Pacific.

The ferocity of the storm — with maximum sustained winds of around 120 miles per hour — in some ways eclipsed Hurricane Florence on the other side of the world, which was pummeling the Mid-Atlantic Coast of the United States with life-threatening rains and flooding.

As dawn was breaking in the Philippines, there was no official word on casualties or damage.

The eye of Mangkhut, known as Ompong in the Philippines, made landfall on the northeastern portion of Luzon island, the country’s rice- and corn-growing heartland, at about 1:40 a.m.

[Catch up on the rest of our storm coverage.]

Strong winds and heavy rain battered northern and central Luzon as the eye of Typhoon Mangkhut slammed into the island, the largest and most populous in the Philippines, in the early morning hours of Saturday. The eye made landfall over Baggao in Cagayan Province around 1:40 a.m., according to the country’s national weather service, and it continued to move northwest across the country.

The maximum sustained wind speed of the typhoon had slowed to around 120 miles per hour as it reached Luzon’s shores, according to the national weather service, but some gusts still reached up to 200 miles per hour.

Heavy rain and battering winds were reported in Cagayan, with Manuel Mamba, the provincial governor, describing the provincial capital Tuguegarao as being “pummeled” during an telephone interview with the ABS-CBN News Channel.

Associated Press journalists sheltering in a hotel in Tuguegarao early Saturday reported seeing tin roof sheets and other debris hurtling through the air and store signs crashing to the ground.

Meteorologists in Manila said even the typhoon’s weaker winds could be deadly. “It can lift cars, you can’t stand, you can’t even crawl against that wind,” Rene Pacientem, a government forecaster, told reporters.

Roads were deserted in coastal Ilocos Sur, on the northwestern side of Luzon, as authorities warned of storm surges up to six feet in that province. Trees felled by the storm blocked roadways.

The heavily populated Metro Manila area, further south on Luzon Island, seemed to have been spared the worst of the storm. Early Saturday, the national weather service was warning of strong winds and moderate rain in that area — issuing the lowest-level alert — but flooding was still possible in low-lying areas.

Much of the planning for Mangkhut was informed by Typhoon Haiyan, the devastating 2013 storm that led to the deaths of thousands of people and left more than four million homeless.

That storm taught many lessons. Food and fresh water must be in position before a storm hits, as roads and airports may be closed for a week or more afterward because of fallen trees and other damage. Soldiers and police officers need to fan out to restore order as soon as the typhoon passes, so that civil society does not collapse in storm-ravaged areas. And evacuation centers need to be built on higher ground, with stronger roofs.

The task of naming typhoons falls to the Japan Meteorological Agency, which uses names sequentially from a list suggested by different countries. But when typhoons enter the Philippines’ area of responsibility for storm monitoring, they are assigned a different name by the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration, the national meteorological agency. It has issued its own list each year since it was established in 1972. Thus, Mangkhut became Ompong in the Philippines.

Local names, the agency reasons, are easier to remember in rural areas and make the storms feel more immediate, increasing the chance that people will take them seriously.

The Philippine agency also assigns names to tropical depressions, which are not named internationally, because even though they are less powerful than typhoons, they can still cause significant damage.

The internationally recognized name for the typhoon, Mangkhut, is the Thai word for mangosteen, a tropical, reddish-purple fruit native to Southeast Asia.

The mangosteen, which has a hard shell with white flesh inside, is cheap and plentiful in Asia but rarer and more expensive in the West, where it is nonetheless growing in popularity.

Typhoon Mangkhut Live Updates: Philippines Braces for the Worst

Thousands of people were being evacuated from their homes in the Philippines on Friday, as Super Typhoon Mangkhut, a colossal storm more than 550 miles wide with maximum sustained wind speeds of 173 miles per hour, howled its way across the Pacific.

Mangkhut’s eye is on course to hit in the early hours Saturday on the northern island of Luzon, the country’s rice and corn growing heartland, where more than four million people are at risk.

The storm, gusting at speeds equivalent to a Category 5 hurricane, passed the American territory of Guam on Thursday, knocking out 80 percent of the island’s electricity and downing trees and power lines.

Across the Philippines, schools have been shuttered, home and business owners have boarded their windows and the military has been put on high alert.

President Rodrigo Duterte barred troops from taking leave, and ordered that rice seized by customs officials at the country’s ports should be turned over to the Department of Social Welfare and Development for potential disaster relief.

Hundreds of bulldozers were made ready in the event of landslides, and rescue workers were being deployed across the country. In some cases, Mr. Duterte said, resources that had already been dispatched were being moved to get them out of the path of the storm.

President Duterte warned that the storm could deal a severe blow to the country’s agricultural sector, just as the rice and corn harvests are set to start.

The president’s order that farmers harvest their most mature grains immediately set up a difficult choice for farmers who were also told to evacuate.

If the country was hit hard by the storm, the president predicted hundreds of millions of dollars in lost revenue.

After the Philippines, the storm is predicted to pass Hong Kong on Sunday before slamming into the Chinese mainland on Monday morning.

The Hong Kong Observatory warned residents of the territory to “take suitable precautions and pay close attention to the latest information” on the storm.

In mainland China, the southern provinces of Guangdong, Guangxi and Hainan have ordered residents to seek shelter away from the coast.

What Is at Stake in Pakistan’s Election?

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — Pakistanis will go to the polls on Wednesday to elect a prime minister, transferring power from one civilian government to another for only the second time in the nation’s 70-year history.

The election comes at a critical moment for a country of 200 million people and for a region stressed by war. Pakistan is a nuclear state, an antipathetic but important American ally, and one of the largest Muslim-majority countries in the world.

This year’s election could have been an occasion for Pakistanis to celebrate their democracy. Instead, the campaign has been marred by suppression of the news media, accusations of manipulation by the military, a rise in Islamist extremist candidates and a series of attacks on candidates and campaign rallies, including one that killed 151 people.

Here is what you need to know.

Pakistan’s politics have always been messy: The country has routinely toggled between elected governments and military dictatorships, and a prime minister has never completed his or her entire five-year term. But this year’s campaign has been particularly fraught, given the military’s efforts to push the former governing party out of the running.

Despite that manipulation, the election on Wednesday will serve as a kind of referendum on some of the most crucial issues facing the country. Should Pakistan orient its economy toward the West or toward China? Is its democracy robust enough to include extremist candidates who support militancy, or should they be limited? Can the military and the courts be trusted as impartial and objective institutions?

Wedged between Afghanistan, where an American-led war has stretched on for 17 years, and its historic rival India, Pakistan is always at risk of a conflagration. It has served both as a crucial base for American forces fighting in Afghanistan and as a powerful obstacle to those same troops, secretly offering aid and safe harbor to militant groups, including the Taliban and Al Qaeda.

But Pakistan’s problems are not just about regional security — they are also about its ability to provide opportunity for its own people, including a growing class of young and educated Pakistanis. Despite its size and potential, the country’s economy has lagged, and it faces persistent problems with corruption and environmental stress.

As tensions with the United States and other Western countries have intensified — particularly over accusations that Pakistan is not doing enough to curb the Afghan Taliban and other militant groups — Pakistan has increasingly turned to China for aid and support. But that pivot has come with its own problems, including concern over the quickly increasing amount of debt Pakistan is racking up with China.

There are 122 parties fielding candidates in the election. They all promise jobs, social welfare and housing plans. But the overarching theme of the election has become the confrontation between the military and the governing party, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, or P.M.L.-N. The party accuses the military of intimidating some of its leading figures into defecting to other blocs, and of unfairly supporting a rival candidate, Imran Khan.

Mr. Khan, 65, is a former international cricket star who has promised an alternative to the corruption and the entrenched political dynasties voters associate with the other leading parties. His rivals attribute his surge in the polls to a back-room deal struck with the military, which they claim has worked to undermine the election. Mr. Khan has denied that accusation, chalking up the accusations of meddling to sour grapes.

Mr. Khan, whose success on the cricket pitch made him a household name, has held a seat in the National Assembly for five years but has never run a government. A large number of independent candidates are expected to join his party, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, or P.T.I., if it wins.

Nawaz Sharif, a three-time prime minister, was ousted last year by the country’s Supreme Court. He was convicted of corruption and is now in prison after returning from London this month to be arrested. Mr. Sharif says those court decisions were made under pressure from the military, which opposed his attempts as prime minister to reassert control over the country’s defense and foreign policy.

But his family remains politically powerful. His younger brother, Shehbaz Sharif, 66, is the current president of the P.M.L.-N. and hopes to lead the country. Until recently, he was the chief minister of Punjab, the most populous and prosperous of the country’s four provinces and the party’s biggest source of support.

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, 29, is the scion of one of Pakistan’s most illustrious and star-crossed dynasties. He is the son and grandson of two former prime ministers, Benazir Bhutto, who was assassinated, and Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, who was executed. His father, former President Asif Ali Zardari, is considered to wield the real power in the left-leaning Pakistan Peoples Party.

The younger Mr. Zardari is not expected to win, but he could potentially play kingmaker if neither Mr. Khan nor Mr. Sharif receives enough votes to form a government.

Pakistan was recently added to the Financial Action Task Force’s “gray list” of state sponsors of terrorism, increasing pressure on the country to crack down on extremist groups. At nearly the same time, however, the country’s electoral commission was paving the way for more candidates with extremist ties to run for office.

Among the parties seeking seats on Wednesday are Allah-o-Akbar Tehreek, the reconstituted version of a party that officials had previously banned, and Tehreek Labbaik Pakistan, which backs the country’s contentious blasphemy laws.

‘Still Can’t Believe It Worked’: The Story of the Thailand Cave Rescue

MAE SAI, Thailand — Improbably enough, most of the escapes went flawlessly.

But on trip No. 11, to save one of the last soccer teammates stuck for 18 days deep inside the cave, something went dangerously wrong.

Rescuers inside an underground chamber felt a tug on the rope — the sign that one of the 12 boys and their coach would soon emerge from the flooded tunnels.

“Fish on,” the rescuers signaled, recalled Maj. Charles Hodges of the United States Air Force, mission commander for the American team on site.

Fifteen minutes went by. Then 60. Then 90.

As the rescuers waited anxiously, a diver navigating the 11th teammate through the underwater maze lost hold of the guide rope. With visibility near zero, he couldn’t find the line again. Slowly, he backtracked, going deeper into the cave to get his bearings before trying again.

At last, the survivor got through, safely.

It was a frightening moment in what had been a surprisingly smooth rescue of the soccer team, the Wild Boars, who had survived the murky darkness of Thailand’s Tham Luang Cave, sometimes by licking water off the cold limestone walls.

“The whole world was watching, so we had to succeed,” said Kaew, a Thai Navy Seal who shook his head in amazement at how every one of the rescues worked. “I don’t think we had any other choice.”

Interviews with military personnel and officials detailed a rescue assembled from an amalgam of muscle and brainpower from around the world: 10,000 people participated, including 2,000 soldiers, 200 divers and representatives from 100 government agencies.

It took plastic cocoons, floating stretchers and a rope line that hoisted the players and coach over outcroppings. The boys had been stranded on a rocky perch more a mile underground. Extracting them required long stretches underwater, in bone-chilling temperatures, and keeping them submerged for around 40 minutes at a time. The boys were even given anti-anxiety medication to avert panic attacks.

“The most important piece of the rescue was good luck,” said Maj. Gen. Chalongchai Chaiyakham, the deputy commander of the Third Army region, which helped the operation. “So many things could have gone wrong, but somehow we managed to get the boys out.”

“I still can’t believe it worked,” he said.

The risks were underscored last Friday when Saman Gunan, a retired Navy SEAL, died in an underwater passageway. Three SEAL frogmen were hospitalized after their air tanks ran low. Swift currents pushed divers off-track for hours at a time, sometimes tearing off their face masks.

More than 150 Thai Navy SEAL members, outfitted with improvised equipment sometimes held together with duct tape, helped create the escape route. A crew of foreign and Thai cave divers courted death every time they explored Tham Luang’s cramped chambers. Overseas military teams brought search-and-rescue equipment. The Americans provided logistics, while British divers navigated the most hazardous stretches.

Thailand’s new king donated supplies, and people across the nation volunteered in any way they could, cooking meals for rescuers, operating pumps to suck water out of the cave and hunting for hidden cracks in the limestone formations through which the Wild Boars could perhaps be lifted to safety.

But, most of all, the operation to save the team of 11- to 16-year old boys and their coach, said officials and divers, took bravery.

“I don’t know of any other rescue that put the rescuer and the rescuee in so much danger over a prolonged period of time, unless it is something along the lines of firefighters going into the World Trade Center knowing that the building is on fire and is going to collapse,” Major Hodges said.

Tham Luang Cave is a rare place where a person can become completely isolated. There is no GPS, no Wi-Fi, no cellphone service. The last known survey was conducted in the 1980s by a French caving society, but many of its deepest recesses remain unmapped. Spelunkers consider the cave one of the most challenging in the world.

When the search began, estimates of distances between key points were inaccurate and the location of landmarks uncertain, clouding even the most basic assumptions. Nevertheless, officials knew about Tham Luang’s dangers well and had placed a warning sign at the cave’s mouth against entering during the rainy season, when flash floods could inundate its chambers.

Rain was forecast for June 23, the day the Wild Boars made their excursion to Tham Luang, but the boys had ventured into the cave before. They left their bikes and soccer cleats and set off with flashlights, water and snacks bought to celebrate one of the boy’s birthdays.

The last of the boys would not emerge until July 10.

By the end of the first night, their parents were frantic. A contingent of Navy SEALs arrived 24 hours later, and began pushing their way into the flooded cave at 4 a.m. the next day.

But the Thai frogmen were accustomed to tropical open water, not the murky cold currents racing through the cave. They lacked the equipment, much less the expertise needed for caves, where divers cannot just rise to the surface should something go wrong.

On June 25, Ruengrit Changkwanyuen, a Thai regional manager for General Motors, was among the first volunteer cave divers to show up at the scene. Dozens would follow, from places including Finland, Britain, China, Australia and the United States.

Even for someone as experienced in cave diving as Mr. Ruengrit, the force of the water in Tham Luang shocked him, tearing his mask off when he failed to position himself directly facing the current.

“It was like walking into a strong waterfall and feeling the water rushing at you,” he said. “It was a horizontal climb against the water with every move.”

The Navy SEALs and volunteer divers painstakingly penetrated the cave, securing guidelines needed to ensure their safety. They found footprints that hinted at the soccer team’s trail. But as monsoon rains inundated the area, the porous limestone cave absorbed water like a sponge. Once accessible caverns flooded entirely.

“If you put your hand in front of you, it just disappeared,” said Kaew, the Navy SEAL who escaped the final deluge. “You couldn’t see anything.”

Deep within the cave, the water was so cold that the Thai divers’ teeth chattered while they rested during 12-hour shifts. Lacking proper helmets, the SEALs taped a medley of flashlights to their improvised headgear.

On the 10th day, July 2, with little hope of discovering anything but bodies, a pair of British divers working to extend a network of guide ropes popped up near a narrow ledge.

Suddenly, they saw 13 emaciated people perched in the dark. The Wild Boars had run out of food and light but had survived by sipping the condensation from the cave walls.

Elation at their discovery, however, quickly turned to anxiety. Capt. Anand Surawan, the deputy commander of the Thai Navy SEALs who was running an operational center in Tham Luang, suggested that the boys and their coach might have to stay in the cave for four months until the rainy season subsided.

Three Thai SEALs went missing during the operation for 23 hours, and when they finally reappeared, they were so weak from a lack of oxygen that they were rushed to the hospital.

Four days after the boys were found, Mr. Saman, the retired Navy SEAL who left his airport security job to volunteer, died as he was placing air tanks on an underwater supply route. His family declined an autopsy, but some Thai officials said that he ran out of air in his tanks. Others believe he succumbed to hypothermia.

“I’m very proud of him,” said Mr. Saman’s father, Wichai Gunan, a car mechanic. “He is a hero who did all he could to help the boys.”

Meanwhile, efforts to drain the cave, through pumps and a makeshift dam, began producing results. Crags and outcroppings emerged from the murk. The most waterlogged passage, which had taken five hours to navigate in the early going, could now be traversed in two hours with the help of guide ropes.

By last weekend, the rescuers were eager to act. Rain was back in the forecast. The oxygen level where the boys were sheltering had dipped to 15 percent. At 12 percent, the air might turn deadly.

The operation kept shifting with each variable: the water, the air, the mud, even the mental and physical state of the young soccer players. Because the boys could not swim, they needed full-face masks into which a rich oxygen mix was pumped.

But the masks that the American team brought with them were sized for adults. So they tested the gear on volunteer children in a local swimming pool, and discovered that by pulling the five straps as tight as possible, they would work.

The 30-strong American team, which was integral to the planning, recommended that each child be confined in a flexible plastic cocoon, called a Sked, which is marketed as a rescue stretcher and is a standard part of the Air Force team’s gear.

British cave divers navigated the wrapped boys through the trickiest underwater passages, while monitoring for air bubbles that proved they were breathing.

Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha of Thailand said the boys had been given anti-anxiety medication.

“They just had to lay there and be comfortable,” said Major Hodges, the leader of the American team.

Once the boys completed the underwater portion of their journey, which took around two hours, the going was easier — though still challenging. Navy SEALs formed relay teams to lift the Wild Boars down steep slopes on which every step was slippery.

At one point, the plastic bundles containing the teammates were placed on the hoses for the water pumps, which acted as an impromptu slide. Rope lines hoisted the soccer team aloft so they could swing past particularly craggy parts of the cave. In one leg of the escape, the cocoons were placed on floating stretchers, and Thai frogmen pushed them along.

Kaew, the Thai Navy SEAL, was standing in the chilly flood of the cave on Tuesday night, swallowing his last bite of seafood-and-pineapple pizza, when he heard the yelled warning: More water was coming fast — get out now.

For three grueling days, he and his comrades had been hefting the 12 boys and their coach one by one through the series of slick and steep caverns to safety.

Just moments before the alarm, he had welcomed back the SEAL team that stayed with the boys for eight days on the rock where they had been trapped deep within Tham Luang’s flooded maze.

“The boys were safe, and my friends were safe,” said Kaew, who was not authorized to give his full name. “I thought, finally, the mission is a success.”

Then, when it was seemingly all over, a drainage pump to minimize flooding failed. What had been waist-high water surged to chest level in a vicious torrent where Kaew was standing, about a half-mile inside the cave’s mouth. The SEAL, who had no scuba gear with him, scrambled to higher ground, barely escaping the final deluge.

It was a chaotic finale to the rescue. Many of the divers and residents of the nearby northern Thai town of Mae Sai saw the last-minute flood as a sign that divine protection had ceased only after all were safe.

Extinct Gibbon Found in Tomb of Ancient Chinese Emperor’s Grandmother

British researchers have identified a gibbon found in an ancient Chinese tomb as a never-before seen, now-extinct genus and species.

Samuel Turvey, a conservationist and gibbon expert, was touring a Chinese museum in 2009 when a partial skull caught his eye. It had been found buried, along with several other animals in the tomb of Lady Xia, a grandmother of China’s first emperor Qin Shihuang, in what is now Shaanxi, China. The tomb was estimated to be 2,200 to 2,300 years old.

Dr. Turvey was struck by the shape of the head, which didn’t look like any modern animal he knew, said James Hansford, a postdoctoral student in Turvey’s lab at the Institute of Zoology, Zoological Society of London.

A new paper, published Thursday in Science, confirms that his instinct was correct. Dr. Turvey’s research team, identified the animal as a member of a new genus and species, Junzi imperialis. Gibbons were seen as a symbol of scholar-officials in ancient China, and junzi means “scholarly gentlemen.”

There are four gibbon genera alive in Asia today, including a species that is the most endangered mammal on earth.

In comparison to living gibbons, the new one has a comparatively flat, small face, Mr. Hansford said, with canines that are particularly long for the animal’s size.

The team was not able to do DNA analysis on the cranium and jaw, but, using digital scans, compared its shape to skulls from hundreds of animals across Asia and in collections in Germany and England, Dr. Hansford said. “This one sticks out as really different, something definitely separate as a genus,” he said.

No other gibbon has ever been found in a tomb, said Susan Cheyne, who was not involved in the research, but who collaborates with team members. It’s extremely rare, she said, to find such old gibbon remains anywhere because their forest habitat tends to degrade bones quickly.

The animal’s placement in the tomb suggests it was kept as a pet. Such a practice could have been devastating to the species, and may explain why it went extinct, said Dr. Cheyne, an associate lecturer in primate conservation at Oxford Brookes University.

The gibbon probably would have been captured as a youngster, she said, because they are particularly “small and cute and fluffy.” That could have meant killing its mother, “potentially impacting the social structure of entire group, which may not survive the loss of an adult,” Dr. Cheyne said. “So each live individual being kept as a pet certainly represents a bigger loss of individuals from the wild.”

Its presence in the tomb strongly suggests that humans played a role in the species’ extinction, she said.

The field of gibbon research has taken off in recent years, Cheyne said, with eight new species of living gibbons discovered since 2000 and two just in the last two years. “It goes to show how much we still have to learn about these animals,” she said.

The 20 known living species include, in China, the recently discovered Skywalker gibbon, and the Hainan, which is found only in a small part of Hainan Island, off the southern tip of China. It is considered the most endangered mammal on earth, with fewer than 30 known individuals left in the species, she said.

Dr. Cheyne said that conserving a species requires a multipronged effort, including the end of hunting and the preservation of habitat.

Jo Setchell, a professor of anthropology at Durham University and president of the Primate Society of Great Britain, who was not involved in the work, said the discovery provided new insights.

“The broader message is that we might have underestimated the number of primate extinctions caused by humans in the past,” she wrote in an email. “Understanding past extinctions will help us to predict how vulnerable current species are, and therefore help us to protect them more effectively.”

As Kim Ends Beijing Visit, China and North Korea Craft New Messages

BEIJING — Propaganda departments in China and North Korea were in full swing on Wednesday as Kim Jong-un, the North Korean leader, concluded a two-day tour of China that painted the once-reclusive autocrat as a forward-looking leader.

After meeting with President Xi Jinping and briefing him on the summit meeting with President Trump in Singapore last week, the North Korean leader was portrayed in the Chinese state media as eager to learn how to turn a developing nation into a global superpower.

In North Korea, a propaganda machine that for decades turned out anti-American slogans and that denigrated South Koreans struck a new conciliatory tone, publishing posters this week that heralded unity on the Korean Peninsula.

Before his plane took off in the late afternoon, Mr. Kim made “on the spot” inspections of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences and a subsidiary of the Beijing Infrastructure Investment Company on his second day in the capital.

Both organizations are part of China’s ambitious “One Belt, One Road” initiative, created to spread the country’s global influence by lending other countries money for big infrastructure projects built by Chinese companies.

The agriculture academy specializes in machinery, animal disease prevention and seed production for hybrid rice and corn, according to its website. These are all things that North Korea badly needs.

The infrastructure company, a state-owned enterprise specializing in tunnel construction and real estate development, recently won a contract under the Belt and Road initiative to build railroad tracks in China’s far western region of Xinjiang, its website says.

North Korea experts in China have predicted that Beijing will try to extend the initiative to North Korea. The main question, they say, is whether that can happen while sanctions are still in place.

The visits, which followed ones last month by a team of North Korean provincial governors, dovetailed with Mr. Kim’s new emphasis on building the North Korean economy, a move that China supports wholeheartedly. Mr. Trump has said that China and South Korea should be mainly responsible for helping North Korea in this regard.

Mr. Kim’s father, Kim Jong-il, also visited the agricultural research institution while he ruled North Korea, in 2006, one of more than two dozen factories and plants he inspected during seven trips to China. Over many decades, it was at the forefront of introducing technology and management techniques that transformed China’s agricultural sector.

It seems the elder Mr. Kim never put what he learned there into practice, as North Korea still struggles to feed its own people.

f“There’s great potential for China-North Korea cooperation regarding agricultural technologies,” said Li Zonglin, director of the College of Economics and Management at Yanbian University.

New propaganda posters shared on Twitter this week focused on the summit meeting in April between Mr. Kim and the South Korean president, Moon Jae-in. They appeared to be designed to whip up domestic support and expectations for Mr. Kim’s continued diplomatic outreach toward South Korea.

One poster showed Mr. Kim and Mr. Moon holding up the agreement from their meeting, with a slogan that read, “The whole Korean nation should firmly consolidate under the flag of national independence and build a strong, prosperous, unified nation!”

Another poster turned part of the summit agreement into a slogan: “Let’s exert joint efforts to alleviate the acute military tension and eliminate the danger of war on the Korean Peninsula!”

It showed two bulldozers demolishing the heavily armed inter-Korean border and removing a missile bearing the words “joint military drills for invading the North.” In their place, the bulldozers carried banners that read “independent reunification” and “coprosperity.”

The posters’ emphasis on peace and reconciliation, like Mr. Kim’s shift to diplomacy, are a drastic departure from last year, when North Korea helped drive the Korean Peninsula to the brink of war by conducting a series of nuclear and missile tests and exchanging threats of nuclear annihilation with the Trump administration.

While exhortations for reunification and inter-Korean cooperation have been standard fare in North Korean propaganda, the new posters were also conspicuously lacking in anti-American messages. But it remains to be seen whether, after the Trump-Kim talks in Singapore, North Korea will take down its widespread anti-American propaganda and replace it with a softer message toward the United States.

The Chinese state media celebrated Mr. Kim’s surprise visit to Beijing — his third since March — saying that China and North Korea had now repaired their fractured relationship for the good of the world.

The Global Times, a nationalist newspaper that loves to mock the United States, said it was unfair to suggest that Mr. Kim was exploiting the current trade fight between China and the United States, the world’s two biggest economies.

“Kim Jong-un’s visit to China took place a full week after the North Korean-U.S. summit in Singapore,” the newspaper said. “In addition, the Sino-U.S. trade war is now raging. These two points have been widely mentioned by the United States, South Korea and the Western media.”

But it also warned that people who like “to use everything as ‘cards’ to fight are very guilty.” As two sovereign states, China and North Korea have “the right to develop friendly relations,” it said.

While Mr. Kim was touring Beijing, a conservative South Korean newspaper, JoongAng Ilbo, lamented that China had too much control over the process that is supposed to lead to North Korea’s denuclearization.

The newspaper said in an editorial that the suspension of a major military exercise between the United States and South Korea that had been planned for August was a victory for China, which has long called for an end to such drills. There was surprise in Washington and Seoul, the South Korean capital, when Mr. Trump agreed in Singapore to do away with the exercises at Mr. Kim’s request.

“The denuclearization process seems to be following a Chinese road map,” JoongAng Ilbo said. “China must not ease up on sanctions to weaken Kim’s will to denuclearize.”

Live Updates: Trump-Kim Summit Ends with Promise to Suspend Military Exercises

President Trump, after a daylong historic summit with North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un on Tuesday, announced plans to suspend military exercises on the Korean Peninsula and said he expected Mr. Kim to move “very quickly” to dismantle his country’s nuclear arsenal.

The summit meeting was the first of its kind between a sitting American president and a North Korean leader, and it ended in a joint statement that opened the door to ending seven decades of hostility between the two countries.

Mr. Trump said at a news conference that the United States would stop “the war games,” in what appeared to be a concession to the North. He said the exercises were expensive and “very provocative,” though both the Pentagon and South Korean military were caught off guard by the announcement.

In a joint statement after the leaders’ first face-to-face meeting, the United States “committed to provide security guarantees” to the North. In exchange, Mr. Kim “reaffirmed his firm and unwavering commitment to complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.” But Mr. Trump said economic sanctions against North Korea would remain in place.

Here’s what happened:

• The two leaders first met privately for less than an hour in a one-on-one session with interpreters present, before breaking off for a larger meeting and then a working lunch with aides.

• The leaders signed their joint statement, in which the United States committed to providing guarantees of security to North Korea in exchange for denuclearization.

• “We had a historic meeting and decided to leave the past behind,” Mr. Kim said as he and Mr. Trump signed the joint statement, adding, “The world will see a major change.”

Mr. Trump was similarly optimistic about the progress they achieved, saying, “We are going to take care of a very big and very dangerous problem for the world.”

• Here are photos from Singapore.

In the joint statement, Mr. Trump “committed to provide security guarantees” to North Korea. Mr. Kim “reaffirmed his firm and unwavering commitment to complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.”

But the statement was short on details and did not lay out potential next steps or a timetable. It was not immediately released to reporters, but was legible in a photo of Mr. Trump holding it up at the ceremony.

The statement said the two nations would hold “follow-on negotiations” led by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and a high-level North Korean official “at the earliest possible date, to implement the outcomes” of the summit meeting.

The statement also said the two nations would “join their efforts to build a lasting and stable peace regime” on the divided Korean Peninsula, meaning talks to reduce military tensions that could eventually lead to a formal peace treaty to end the Korean War.

Mr. Trump presented Mr. Kim with a short video depicting the prosperity that could come with peace. The video, which was shown to journalists before Mr. Trump’s news conference, was a hyperbolic movie-trailer-style montage of many, many images, both positive and dire.

Among them: airplanes, bridges, skyscrapers, smiling children, American armaments, missile launches, postwar devastation, high-speed trains, a basketball player dunking a ball and horses running through water.

“There comes a time when only a few are called upon to make a difference, but the question is: What difference will the few make?” intones a narrator in the English-language version of the video.

“The past doesn’t have to be the future. Out of the darkness can come the light.”

American and South Korean officials were surprised by Mr. Trump’s plans to end “war games” on the Korean Peninsula. Lt. Col. Jennifer Lovett, a United States military spokeswoman in South Korea, said in an email that the American command there “has received no updated guidance on execution or cessation of training exercises — to include this fall’s schedule Ulchi Freedom Guardian.”

“We will continue with our current military posture until we receive updated guidance from the Department of Defense,” she added.

Mr. Trump’s statement that he was suspending joint military exercises with South Korea also stunned many South Koreans. The annual exercises have been an integral part of the alliance with the United States that forms the bulwark of South Korea’s defenses against the North.

Mr. Trump’s pronouncement raised fears that Washington was making concessions before North Korea had actually dismantled its nuclear weapons.

The South Korean Defense Ministry issued a curt statement saying that it was trying to determine Mr. Trump’s intentions.

Despite the uncertainty, President Moon Jae-in of South Korea celebrated the meeting’s outcome, calling it “a historic event that has helped break down the last remaining Cold War legacy on earth.”

“I pay my high compliments for the courage and determination of the two leaders, President Trump and Chairman Kim, not to settle for that outdated and familiar reality but to take a daring step toward change,” Mr. Moon said.

“Once again, I would like to pay my respects to President Trump, who achieved a feat that no one else has ever delivered,” he said.

At the end of their meeting, Mr. Kim pledged to destroy a missile-engine testing site, Mr. Trump told reporters, in what he characterized as a last-minute decision that was not included in the joint agreement.

“I got that after we signed the agreement,” Mr. Trump said of the concession. “I said, ‘Do me a favor; we’ve got this missile-engine testing site. We know where it is because of the heat.’ It’s incredible the equipment we have, to be honest with you.”

The death of Otto Warmbier, an American college student who was detained in North Korea, helped precipitate the meeting between Mr. Trump and Mr. Kim, the president said on Tuesday at a post-summit meeting news conference.

“I think without Otto this would not have happened,” Mr. Trump said. “Otto was someone who did not die in vain.”

Mr. Warmbier, a student at the University of Virginia, was arrested in North Korea in 2016. He was repatriated to the United States in a coma after 17 months in detention and then died.

“The United States once again condemns the brutality of the North Korean regime as we mourn its latest victim,” Mr. Trump said in a statement at the time of Mr. Warmbier’s death.

Mr. Trump, who was a developer before he became president, focused on one particular economic prospect for North Korea: real estate.

“As an example, they have great beaches,” he said during a news conference after his meeting with Mr. Kim. “You see that whenever they’re exploding their cannons into the ocean. I said, ‘Boy, look at that view. Wouldn’t that make a great condo?’”

“You could have the best hotels in the world right there,” Mr. Trump continued. “Think of it from a real estate perspective. You have South Korea, you have China and they own the land in the middle. How bad is that, right? It’s great.”

For Americans who never got to bury loved ones killed in the Korean War, the summit meeting offered new hope.

The joint statement signed by both leaders said their two countries were committed to recovering and repatriating the remains of soldiers who were designated captured or missing at the end of the conflict in 1953.

Of the 82,000 American service members still missing from the wars of the past century, 7,702 are from the Korean War, according to the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, which is responsible for recovering missing personnel from around the world.

An estimated 120,000 South Korean troops and police officers are also unaccounted for in the Korean War.

Mr. Trump, in his post-meeting news conference, said he had received “countless calls and letters” from family members asking him to discuss the issue with Mr. Kim, and that Mr. Kim had agreed to the request “so quickly.”

“The remains will be coming back,” Mr. Trump said. “They’re going to start that process immediately.”

China welcomed the news from Singapore and patted itself on the back.

“I think nobody can doubt the extremely unique and important role China has played,” said Wang Yi, the foreign minister.

Mr. Wang may have been so pleased because of Mr. Trump’s decision to suspend military exercises on the Korean Peninsula.

China floated that idea last year, suggesting that the North suspend its weapons program in exchange for an end to American military exercises.

Chinese experts on North Korea, however, were underwhelmed by the summit meeting’s outcome.

“Well below my expectation,” Cheng Xiaohe of Renmin University said of the joint statement. “Full of empty talk that has already been said before. So far Trump has failed to prove himself a dealmaker.”

Mr. Trump and Mr. Kim filed into a working lunch with their expanded entourages, and hamburgers were not on the menu.

Mr. Trump, you may remember, famously said early in his campaign that he was willing to sit down with Mr. Kim and perhaps have a hamburger with him.

Instead, their first meal together at the Capella on Sentosa Island in Singapore included beef short rib confit, Korean stuffed cucumber and sweet and sour crispy pork with Yangzhou fried rice. According to the menu released by the White House, dessert included a dark chocolate tartlet ganache — perhaps in honor of Mr. Trump’s preference for chocolate cake. The White House did not indicate whether it had been flown over from Mar-a-Lago. When Mr. Trump played host to President Xi Jinping of China, he boasted about serving “the most beautiful piece of chocolate cake that you’ve ever seen.”

In deference to Mr. Kim, there was also another Korean dish, Daegu jorim, described as soy braised cod fish with radish and Asian vegetables.

Mr. Trump’s team at the summit meeting included, among others, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo; John F. Kelly, the White House chief of staff; John R. Bolton, the national security adviser; and Matthew Pottinger, the National Security Council’s top Asia hand.

The administration also recruited Sung Y. Kim, a seasoned North Korea negotiator currently serving as the American ambassador to the Philippines.

Among the North Koreans attending the summit meeting was Kim Yong-chol, a former leader of North Korea’s main spy agency, who now serves as a vice chairman of the ruling Workers’ Party. He had visited Mr. Trump at the White House on June 1, delivering a personal letter from Mr. Kim.

Ri Yong-ho, North Korea’s foreign minister, and Choe Son-hui, a vice foreign minister, are also along. They have haggled with the United States for decades over their country’s nuclear weapons program. Ms. Choe called Vice President Mike Pence “ignorant and stupid” last month, briefly jeopardizing the summit meeting.

Also on the trip are No Kwang-chol and Kim Yo-jong. Mr. No became minister of the People’s Armed Forces during a recent reshuffle of the top military leadership.

Ms. Kim, Mr. Kim’s only sister, has been an important face of North Korea’s recent diplomatic overtures. Mr. Kim sent her to South Korea in February to invite President Moon Jae-in to a summit meeting. She is in charge of the party’s Department of Propaganda and Agitation, one of the most powerful agencies in North Korea.

Live Updates: President Trump to Meet Kim Jong-un of North Korea

President Trump and Kim Jong-un of North Korea will hold the first-ever meeting between leaders of their two countries on Tuesday morning in Singapore, carrying with them hopes to end seven decades of hostility and the threat of a nuclear confrontation.

At stake is the American goal of ridding North Korea of its nuclear arsenal, Mr. Kim’s desire to remove American weapons from the Korean Peninsula and to be recognized as a player on the world stage, and international hopes to ease the North’s poverty, provocations and extreme isolation.

The talks begin at 9 a.m. on Tuesday — 9 p.m. Eastern on Monday — and could even open the way to an official end to the Korean War, which concluded in 1953 with a truce but never a peace treaty. South Korea will not be at the table, nor will China, the North’s most crucial backer.

The summit meeting is the most prominent moment yet in international affairs for both Mr. Trump and Mr. Kim. Not long ago, they were better known for threatening each other’s countries with destruction than for peace overtures.

Here’s what has happened so far:

• Both leaders arrived in Singapore on Sunday, Mr. Trump fresh from a clash with American allies at the Group of 7 meeting in Canada, and Mr. Kim with a little travel help from his Chinese allies.

• Just hours before the meeting was to begin, American and North Korean officials continued to scramble behind the scenes, searching for areas of agreement on issues that have eluded consensus for decades.

• With thousands of journalists from around the world congregating in Singapore, Mr. Kim and his entourage left his hotel on Monday night, and the media scrambled before catching up with him at the Marina Bay Sands hotel.

As the meeting approached, American and North Korean officials worked to hammer out a joint statement the two leaders might make at the close of their talks. But it was unclear that they could do more than reach a broad, general agreement on tough questions like nuclear disarmament.

Mr. Trump told other Asian leaders he was confident about the prospects for the meeting, but the two sides may have fundamentally understandings of some crucial issues, like “denuclearization” of the peninsula.

To American officials, that has meant Pyongyang giving up its atomic weapons program, but North Korea has suggested that it would also mean a reduction or even elimination of American arms in the region. The vast scope of North Korea’s atomic program means ending it would be the most challenging case of nuclear disarmament in history.

It is also unclear whether the Trump administration would go further than its predecessors in assuring North Korea that, in exchange for concessions, it would be secure from attack by the United States.

The meeting holds the risk of exposing unbridgeable gaps, leaving both sides fuming, with little to show for all the fanfare.

[Richard M. Nixon took crib notes to his historic meeting with Mao Zedong in 1972. What should President Trump remember when he meets Mr. Kim?]

Mr. Kim arrived for the meeting on Sunday not on one of his country’s aircraft, but aboard an Air China jumbo jet — an American-made Boeing 747.

The choice of a plane supplied by China, North Korea’s closest ally, highlighted the paucity of resources in Mr. Kim’s country. The Air China jet is newer, bigger, more comfortable — and, aviation experts say, more reliable — than Mr. Kim’s Soviet-made jets.

Other members of the North Korean team arrived, along with Mr. Kim’s limousine, on North Korean-owned aircraft.

But Mr. Kim rode in a specially outfitted 747 that has been used to carry top Chinese officials. His usual plane, an Ilyushin-62, was built around 1980, and the type has been out of production since the mid-1990s.

“The president and the entire U.S. team are looking forward to tomorrow’s summit,” Mr. Pompeo said in a statement on Monday.

That team includes, among others, Mr. Pompeo; John F. Kelly, the White House chief of staff; John R. Bolton, the national security adviser; and Matthew Pottinger, the National Security Council’s top Asia hand.

The administration also recruited Sung Y. Kim, a seasoned North Korea negotiator currently serving as the American ambassador to the Philippines.

Among the North Koreans attending the summit meeting is Kim Yong-chol, a former leader of North Korea’s main spy agency, who now serves as a vice chairman of the ruling Workers’ Party. He had visited Mr. Trump at the White House on June 1, delivering a personal letter from Mr. Kim.

Ri Yong-ho, the foreign minister, and Choe Son-hui, a vice foreign minister, have haggled with the United States for decades over their country’s nuclear weapons program. Ms. Choe called Vice President Mike Pence “ignorant and stupid” last month, briefly jeopardizing the summit meeting. No Kwang-chol became minister of the People’s Armed Forces during a recent reshuffle of the top military leadership.

Kim Yo-jong, Mr. Kim’s only sister, has been an important face of North Korea’s recent diplomatic overtures. Mr. Kim sent her to South Korea in February to invite Mr. Moon to a summit meeting. She is in charge of the party’s Department of Propaganda and Agitation, one of the most powerful agencies in North Korea.

The summit meeting in Singapore is on track after some fraught on-again, off-again moments.

Where will the leaders meet? Who will be there? What’s on the agenda?

We’ve put together a primer to the high-stakes talks that breaks down the key players and the key issues.

About 2,500 journalists from around the world have registered for official credentials to cover the Trump-Kim summit meeting, according to Singapore’s Ministry of Communications. That might be an understatement — Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said closer to 5,000 were in Singapore to document the meeting.

Foreign journalists are working out of a large building usually reserved for Formula One racers and their pit crews. At a Marriott hotel where the White House press corps is stationed, television crews line up along an outside patio, as correspondents give their on-camera reports.

All three of the major American cable news networks are anchoring their nightly news programs from Singapore. North Korean experts are in high demand, with many of them signing contracts to appear as exclusive commentators on the talks.

Camera crews have staked out the St. Regis Hotel, where Mr. Kim is staying, although he eluded the media for most of Monday. In the evening, his entourage left the hotel and the news media frantically tried to figure out where he was going, before catching up to him at another hotel.

As if teasing the world’s jouranlists, Singapore’s foreign minister, Vivian Balakrishnan, tweeted a selfie with the North Korean leader with the hashtag #guesswhere?

The White House press corps — more than 350 reporters — filed dispatches from two floors of a glitzy ballroom at the Marriott Singapore South Beach, with hundreds of curved metal cylinders hanging from the ceiling. “This is the most dramatic WH press file I’ve been in,” David Nakamura, a reporter for The Washington Post, wrote on Twitter.

Reporters chased anyone they hoped could give them a shred of information. At one point on Sunday, journalists even swarmed one of their own, albeit a reporter from North Korea, who fled to his hotel.

While most foreign news outlets began wall-to-wall coverage on Sunday, the North Korean media waited until Monday to report that Mr. Kim had arrived in Singapore a day earlier and met with Singapore’s prime minister.

On social media, analysts reading the tea leaves noted that the Korean Central News Agency, KCNA, had mentioned that Mr. Kim flew to Singapore on a “Chinese plane.”

“By reporting that he landed in Singapore on ‘Chinese plane’ highlights not only historic nature of his journey beyond Korea & #China but also signals to his people that DPRK-Chinese relations have been restored,” tweeted Jean H. Lee, a former Associated Press bureau chief in Pyongyang and now a global fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington.

Perhaps more significantly, KCNA also reported that North Korea’s leader hoped to be “building a permanent and durable peacekeeping mechanism on the Korean Peninsula.” as well as “the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and other issues of mutual concern.”