Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un signed what the US president described as a “very important” document at their summit in Singapore, with the North Korean leader promising “complete denuclearisation” and the US pledging security guarantees for Pyongyang.
“My meeting with Chairman Kim was honest, direct and productive,” Mr Trump told reporters. “We are prepared to start a new history . . . and write a new chapter between our nations.” Mr Kim said the US and North Korea would “leave the past behind” in signing the document.
“The world will see a major change. I would like to express gratitude to President Trump for making this meeting happen.”
Asked whether North Korea had agreed to move towards denuclearisation, Mr Trump said: “We are starting that process very quickly.” The US president said he had invited Mr Kim to visit the White House at “the appropriate time” and that the North Korean leader had accepted his invitation.
The document signed by the leaders said the two leaders had “committed to the building of a lasting and robust peace regime on the Korean Peninsula”. It added that Mr Trump had “committed to provide security guarantees to [North Korea] and Chairman Kim Jong Un reaffirmed his firm and unwavering commitment to complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula”.
The leaders also agreed to have follow-on negotiations led by Mike Pompeo, secretary of state, and a senior North Korean official. While Mr Trump hailed the summit as “a terrific day”, sceptics said the two leaders did not produce any concrete results — something that many experts in Washington had worried might happen at the summit.
“If the joint statement is all they agreed on, it is really disappointing,” said Kim Jae-chun, a former South Korean government adviser. “What did they achieve other than shaking hands and saying nice things about improving relations? There is no mention of the scope of denuclearisation and its deadline, no mention of front-loading measures such as sending out some nuclear materials out of North Korea.”
The two leaders held a one-on-one meeting for about 40 minutes, followed by an expanded bilateral with their top aides and then a working lunch. Mr Trump called the talks with Mr Kim “really fantastic” as the two men concluded the first summit between a US president and North Korean leader, a historic event in Singapore that came after decades of hostility. “We both are going to do something and we have developed a very special bond,” Mr Trump said.
“We’re going to take care of a very big and very dangerous problem for the world.”
Source: Financial Times