U.S. President Donald Trump admitted Tuesday that if he is wrong about North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s commitment to the “complete denuclearization” of the Korean peninsula, he will never admit to it.
Trump and Kim pledged at the historic summit in Singapore to move to a denuclearization of the North, while providing little on the specific plan and verification.
“President Trump and Chairman Kim Jong Un conducted a comprehensive, in-depth, and sincere exchange of opinions on the issues related to the establishment of new U.S.-DPRK relations and the building of a lasting and robust peace regime on the Korean Peninsula,” the leaders said in a joint statement. “President Trump committed to provide security guarantees to the DPRK, and Chairman Kim Jong Un reaffirmed his firm and unwavering commitment to complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.”
The statement provided little detail of what Trump and Kim committed to in terms of timeline and verification of denuclearization of the Korean peninsula and how many nukes Kim is sitting on.
Trump later told a news conference he expected the denuclearization process to start “very, very quickly” and it would be verified by “having a lot of people in North Korea. The president also said the he trusts Kim will follow through, but won’t admit if he got it wrong.
“I don’t know that I will ever admit that, but I’ll find some kind of an excuse,” Trump said.
After the day of meetings, Trump said that the two had a “special bond” and that 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.
Trump had also wanted a commitment to ending the Korean War, which was stopped by an armistice, not a peace treaty, leaving the Korean Peninsula still technically in a state of war. The closest Trump and Kim got was a vow to “join their efforts to build a lasting and stable peace regime on the Korean Peninsula.”