Epoch making deal
Trump-Kim sign historic agreement for peace and cooperation
At a historic meeting in Singapore on Tuesday, the leaders of two hostile nations signed an agreement to put an end to a 65 year-long conflict and turn to a path for peace and security.
US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un appeared cautious and serious when they arrived for the summit at the Capella hotel on Singapore’s Sentosa, a resort island with luxury hotels.
Trump said Kim Jong Un pledged to move toward complete denuclearization, while the United States promised its old foe security guarantees.
The start of negotiations aimed at banishing what Trump described as North Korea’s “very substantial” nuclear arsenal could have far-reaching ramifications for the region, and in one of the biggest surprises of the day, Trump said he would stop military exercises with old ally South Korea, news agencies reported.
But Trump and Kim gave few other specifics in a joint statement signed at the end of their summit in Singapore, and several analysts cast doubt on how effective the agreement would prove to be in the long run at getting North Korea to give up its cherished nuclear weapons.
“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 said, referring to North Korea by the initials of its official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
After a handshake, they were soon smiling and holding each other by the arm, before Trump guided Kim to a library where they met with only their interpreters. Trump had said on Saturday he would know within a minute of meeting Kim whether he would reach a deal.
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”.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and North Korean officials would hold follow-up negotiations “at the earliest possible date”, the statement said.
Meanwhile, South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who held his own meeting with Mr Kim earlier this year, said the "two Koreas and US will write new history of peace and co-operation".
A spokesman, though, also said the "exact meaning and intention" of what Mr Trump had said "needs to be assessed".
China, North Korea's only major diplomatic and economic ally, also said the meeting created a "new history". The foreign ministry said sanctions on North Korea could be eased if it stuck to UN resolutions.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe praised President Trump's "leadership and effort", saying he supported North Korea's pledge on denuclearisation as "a step towards the comprehensive resolution of issues around North Korea".
But Russia warned that the "devil is in the detail" and Iran said North Korea should not trust the US. Mr Trump recently pulled the US out of a nuclear deal with Iran.
The summit began with a striking image, unimaginable just months ago.
The two men walked towards each other and firmly gripped each other's hands in front of US and North Korean flags.
Sitting alongside each other, ahead of a one-on-one meeting, the pair appeared relaxed against the odds.
"It was not easy to get here," Mr Kim said. "There were obstacles but we overcame them to be here."
The two men, accompanied only by interpreters, spoke for a little under 40 minutes. They were then joined by small delegations of advisers for a working lunch.
Over lunch they shared a mix of Western and Korean dishes, including stuffed cucumbers and Daegu jorim, a soy-braised fish dish.