Trump, Kim commit to ‘complete denuclearization’ of Korean peninsula after historic summit
After a historic meeting and handshake, U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un have signed a document reaffirming a commitment to the “complete denuclearization” of the Korean peninsula.
The two shook hands and were all smiles while they talked to the media at the Capella Hotel in Singapore on Tuesday morning.
After the day of meetings, Trump said the two had a “special bond” and said Kim was a “very talented man.”
Kim said there would be a “major change” in the world.
“It’s going to be a lot different than it was in the past,” Trump concurred.
“We had a historic meeting, and decided to leave the past behind,” Kim said.
When asked about denuclearization, Trump said, “we’re starting that process very quickly.”
The document outlines four points:
- New U.S.-DPRK (Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea) relations “in accordance with the desire of the people.”
- Efforts to build a lasting “peace regime” on the peninsula.
- Reaffirming the “commitment to work toward complete denuclearization” of the peninsula.
- Repatriation of POW/MIA remains .
Neither responded when asked whether they spoke about Otto Warmbier, a U.S. citizen who died shortly after being released from a North Korean prison.
Trump also said he was “absolutely” interested in a visit from Kim to the White House.
The pair expressed optimism about the meeting earlier in the day.
“I feel really great,” Trump said initially. “It’s going to be a great discussion and I think a tremendous success.”
WATCH: Trump-Kim summit: ‘The world will see a major change’ – Kim, Trump sign pact
Kim acknowledged it “was not easy to get here,” but they overcame all the obstacles.
“The past has … placed many obstacles in our way but we overcame all of them and we are here today,” he said, via a translator.
The two then went behind closed doors for a private conversation, only taking their translators with them, which lasted about 40 minutes.
After the meeting, Trump said the pair had an “excellent relationship.”
They then went to a more robust meeting that contained aides from both the Trump administration (chief of staff John Kelly, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and national security adviser John Bolton) and the Kim regime.
Heading into the expanded meeting, Trump said “we will solve a big problem” and “a big dilemma.”
They also attended a working lunch after the meeting.
The meeting was expected to focus on denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, but topics could also include economic sanctions and human rights.
Ahead of the meeting, North Korea had dismantled its nuclear testing sites as a show of good faith, but some experts said they are concerned that key evidence about the countries’ program was destroyed in the process.
The meeting is historic – no U.S. leader has ever met with Kim.
Advocates for the cause have applauded the meeting; Beatrice Fihn, the Executive Director of ICAN (which won the 2017 Nobel Peace prize for its denuclearization work) said she wishes the two leaders the best.
“Years from now we hope to look back on today as the start of a lasting peace for Korea and the entire region, free of their threats of nuclear war,” Fihn said in a release. “[Tuesday’s] talks must be grounded in international law and use the Treaty on Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons as the best framework we have to secure a deal that cannot be easily undone once the leaders return home.”
Kim is scheduled to leave at 2 p.m. local time, while Trump will host a press conference later on.
After the meeting, former NBA star Dennis Rodman – who has visited North Korea previously and is in Singapore for the meeting – said Trump had contacted him about his work in the Asian nation.
WATCH: ‘It should go fairly well’: Dennis Rodman arrives in Singapore ahead of Trump-Kim summit
“Donald Trump reached out, he called his secretary,” Rodman explained on CNN. “She called me and said ‘Donald Trump is so proud of you, he likes you a lot.’ And that means a lot. I don’t want to take any credit, we can all take credit and I’m just so glad this is happening.”
White House officials have said Rodman isn’t part of discussions between the two countries.
The meeting comes after Kim met South Korean President Moon Jae-In in May.
Trump called Moon before the summit.
“President Donald J. Trump spoke [Monday] with President Moon Jae-in of the Republic of Korea to discuss recent developments ahead of today’s summit with North Korea. The two leaders vowed to continue their close coordination following President Trump’s meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore,” an official readout of the call from the White House read.
LISTEN: Gordon Houlden, Director of the China Institute at the University of Alberta, discusses the summit in Singapore
Moon said one day earlier that he hoped for the best from the summit.
“I hope a big agreement on scrapping hostilities and denuclearising the Korean peninsula will be reached through this summit. This summit was possible only through the bold decisions of President Trump and Chairman Kim Jong Un,” Moon said.
In Seoul, a group of South Koreans cheered when the two leaders met.
The meeting comes amid trade troubles between the U.S. and many of its allies, including Canada.
Trump left the G7 meeting early on the weekend to head to the summit — and left relations between Canada and the U.S. in turmoil as he called Justin Trudeau “meek” and “dishonest.”
About 30 minutes before the meeting, Trump announced on Twitter that economic advisor Larry Kudlow had a heart attack.
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