Singapore: US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un signed an agreement on Tuesday pledging to support a peaceful resolution to seven decades of hostilities between the two countries and a de-escalation of nuclear tensions.
Under the agreement, the US committed to providing security guarantees to its old enemy while North Korea “commits to working towards complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula”.
However, that provision falls short of the hoped-for “complete, verifiable, irreversible denuclearisation” of North Korea that had been urged by the US and its allies in the build-up to Tuesday’s talks.
Trump defended the agreement at a press conference on Tuesday afternoon, saying both he and Kim are committed to its provisions.
The two leaders had a one-on-one meeting, with translators only, followed by an expanded meeting including their top aides and a working lunch at Capella Singapore hotel in Sentosa Island after months of diplomatic twists and turns.
“We’re signing a very comprehensive document, and we’ve had a really great time together, a great relationship,” Trump said while signing the document along with Kim in the presence of media at the end of the summit — the first between a sitting US president and North Korea’s top leader.
Trump said he was very proud of what took place today and the two leaders would “take care of a very dangerous problem for the world.”
The 71-year-old Trump said the summit worked out far better than expected and he’s developed a “very special bond” with 34-year-old Kim.
“We’ll meet again, we’ll meet many times,” said Trump when asked whether the two leaders will meet again.
They walked towards each other, stood face to face for the first time and shared a handshake against a backdrop of American and North Korean flags. They then appeared to share a few light-hearted words as they walked down a corridor to the hotel’s library.
Trump and Kim are the first leaders of their respective countries to meet, marking the culmination of months of diplomatic wrangling and negotiations.
Kim then said there were a number of “obstacles” to the meeting taking place in Singapore today.
Kim was asked at least three times if he would give up his nuclear weapons. In response, he just smiled.
“There will be challenges ahead but we will work with Trump. We overcame all kinds of scepticism and speculations about this summit and I believe that this is good for the peace,” Kim said.
After the delegation-level meeting, Trump joined Kim for a working lunch which had a mix of Western and Asian dishes, such as Korean stuffed cucumber and beef short rib confit with some Haagen-Dazs ice cream to top things off.
On the eve of the summit at Sentosa, the US had offered “unique” security guarantees to North Korea in return for a “complete, verifiable and irreversible” denuclearisation.
Sentosa is a popular tourist island a few hundred metres off the main island of Singapore.