De-nuke promise and ‘major change’ after Trump-Kim summit

Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump.

Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un have signed a joint letter committing to the denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula following their historic summit in Singapore.

The US president described the North Korean leader as a “very talented” negotiator and said their meeting was “honest, direct and productive”.

He provided security guarantees for Pyongyang and in return expects the process of denuclearisation to be started “very, very quickly”.

He insisted it would be verified – but critics will say the commitment amounts to nothing new.

“Anyone can make war but only the most courageous can make peace,” Trump said in a news conference after the talks.

The pair posed for a 13-second handshake before talks began – with their body language throughout the morning the subject of much analysis.

They later enjoyed a lunch that included a traditional prawn cocktail, fresh octopus, beef short rib confit with potato dauphinoise, soy braised codfish and Häagen-Dazs vanilla ice cream with cherry coulis.

Following the summit, Kim said the US and North Korea had “decided to leave the past behind” and that the world would see a “major change”.

In a joint statement released by the White House, the two leaders said they had conducted a “comprehensive, in-depth, and sincere exchange of opinions” on issues related to the “building of a lasting and robust peace regime on the Korean Peninsula”.

Trump committed to provide “security guarantees” to North Korea, while Kim “reaffirmed his firm and unwavering commitment to complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula”, the statement said.

The US president told reporters that Kim had agreed North Korea would destroy a major engine-testing site used for missiles.

Trump also said America’s joint military exercises with South Korea would be halted and would not be revived “unless and until we see the future negotiation is not going along like it should”.

And he revealed he would visit Pyongyang “at a certain time” and that he had invited Kim to the White House.

However, Trump said sanctions would remain in effect until denuclearisation happened, and there would be no reduction in the US’s military presence in the region.

Asked by reporters if he raised human rights issues with Kim, the president replied they had talked about the issue “briefly”.

Trump was also challenged by a reporter about calling Kim as “very talented”. The president defended his description, saying he had not called his counterpart “nice”.

Earlier, the president hailed the meeting as “better than anybody expected” and, after one-to-one talks and a working lunch, the pair strolled around the five-star Capella Hotel in Singapore, smiling and chatting.


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