Although the breakthrough made at the summit marks just the start of a diplomatic process, it could bring lasting change to the security landscape of Northeast Asia, just as former US President Richard Nixon visit to Beijing in 1972 led to the transformation of China.
Before signing what Trump described as a “comprehensive letter” (published below), Kim said the two leaders had a historic meeting “and decided to leave the past behind. The world will see a major change.”
Trump said the process of denuclearisation would happen “very, very quickly”, adding that he had formed a “special bond” with Kim and the relationship with North Korea would be very different.
“This is going to lead to more and more and more,” Trump said.
Asked whether he would invite Kim to the White House, Trump said: “Absolutely, I will.”
During a post-lunch stroll through the gardens of the Singapore hotel where the summit was held, Trump said the summit had gone “better than anybody could have expected”.
Kim stood silently alongside, but the North Korean leader had earlier described their meeting as a “a good prelude to peace”.
Both men walked to Trump’s bullet-proof limousine, nicknamed “The Beast”, and looked in at the rear seat, with Trump apparently showing Kim something inside. They then resumed their walk.
Both men had appeared cautious and serious when they first arrived for the summit at the Capella hotel on Singapore’s Sentosa, a resort island with luxury hotels, a casino, man-made beaches and a Universal Studios theme park.
But, with cameras of the world’s press trained on them, they displayed an initial atmosphere of bonhomie as they met on the verandah of the Capella, a refurbished 19th century British regimental officers’ mess.
After a handshake, they were soon smiling and holding each other by the arm, before Trump guided Kim to the library where they held a meeting with only their interpreters. Trump had said on Saturday he would know within a minute of meeting Kim whether he would reach a deal.
Inside, they sat alongside each other against a backdrop of North Korean and US flags, with Kim beaming broadly as the US president gave him a thumbs up.
The combatants of the 1950-53 Korean War are technically still at war, as the conflict, in which millions of people died, was concluded only with a truce.
After initial exchanges lasting around 40 minutes, Trump and Kim emerged, walking side-by-side through the colonnaded hotel before entering a meeting room, where they were joined by their most senior officials.
Kim was heard telling Trump through a translator: “I think the entire world is watching this moment. Many people in the world will think of this as a scene from a fantasy…science fiction movie.”
Asked by a reporter how the meeting was going, Trump said: “Very good. Very, very good. Good relationship.”
Kim also sounded positive about the prospects of peace.
“We overcame all kinds of scepticism and speculations about this summit and I believe that this is good for the peace,” he said. “I believe this is a good prelude for peace.”
The US dollar jumped to a three-week high on Tuesday and Asian shares rose on the news.
Trump was joined by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, National Security Adviser John Bolton, and John Kelly, White House Chief of Staff, for the expanded talks, while Kim’s team included former military intelligence chief Kim Yong Chol, foreign minister Ri Yong Ho and Ri Su Yong, vice chairman of the ruling Workers’ Party.
As the two leaders met, Singapore navy vessels, and air force Apache helicopters patrolled, while fighter jets and an Gulfstream 550 early warning aircraft circled.
Body language expert said both men tried to project command as they met, but also displayed signs of nerves.
After the meetings, the two teams and other senior officials met for a working lunch, where beef short ribs, sweet and sour pork and “Daegu Jormin”, or Korean braised cod, were served for the main course, according to the menu.
That was to be followed by dark chocolate tarts, pastries and vanilla ice cream for dessert. The North Korean leader’s sister and close confidante Kim Yo Jong was among the lunch party.
As the cameras captured the moment, Trump quipped: “Very nice. Getting a good picture everyone, so we all look nice and handsome and thin…perfect”.
In the hours before the summit began, Trump expressed optimism about prospects for the first-ever meeting of sitting US and North Korean leaders, while Pompeo injected a note of caution whether Kim would prove to be sincere about his willingness to denuclearise.
North Korea, however, has shown little appetite for surrendering nuclear weapons it considers vital to the survival of Kim’s dynastic rule.
Sanctions on North Korea would remain in place until that happened, Pompeo said on Monday. “If diplomacy does not move in the right direction … those measures will increase.”
The White House said later that discussions with North Korea had moved “more quickly than expected” and Trump would leave Singapore on Tuesday night after the summit, rather than Wednesday, as scheduled earlier.
Kim is due to leave on Tuesday afternoon, a source involved in the planning of his visit has said.
WATCH: President Trump and Kim Jong Un meet at historic summit in Singapore. https://t.co/MmLKv5K6vV pic.twitter.com/rlVlIPEYLn
— NBC News (@NBCNews) June 12, 2018
Trump had said on Saturday he would know within a minute of meeting Kim whether he would reach a deal.
God, this is just depressing. All that hype for this? All that drama and the Nobel talk? Come, art of the deal. This is it? This is, well, pathetic given that the US president was personally involved. https://t.co/1TKaCFXplP
— Robert E Kelly (@Robert_E_Kelly) June 12, 2018
The summit was part of a “changed era”, North Korea’s state-run KCNA news agency said in its first comments on the event.
Read the joint statement here:
Joint Statement of President Donald J. Trump of the United States of America and Chairman Kim Jong-un of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea at the Singapore Summit.
President Donald J. Trump of the United States of America and Chairman Kim Jong-un of the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) held a first, historic summit in Singapore on June 12, 2018.
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 US-DPRK relations and the building of a lasting and robust peace regime on the Korean Peninsula.
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.
Convinced that the establishment of new US-DPRK relations will contribute to the peace and prosperity of the Korean Peninsula and of the world, and recognizing that mutual confidence building can promote the denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula, President Trump and Chairman Kim Jong-un state the following:
1. The United States and the DPRK commit to establish new US-DPRK relations in accordance with the desire of the peoples of the two countries for peace and prosperity.
2. The United States and the DPRK will join their efforts to build a lasting and stable peace regime on the Korean Peninsula.
3. Reaffirming the April 27, 2018 Panmunjom Declaration, the DPRK commits to work towards complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula.
4. The United States and the DPRK commit to recovering POW/MIA remains, including the immediate repatriation of those already identified.
Having acknowledged that the US-DPRK summit — the first in history — was an epochal event of great significance and overcoming decades of tensions and hostilities between the two countries and for the opening of a new future, President Trump and Chairman Kim Jong-un commit to implement the stipulations in this joint statement fully and expeditiously.
The United States and the DPRK commit to hold follow-on negotiations led by the US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, and a relevant high-level DPRK official, at the earliest possible date, to implement the outcomes of the US-DPRK summit.
President Donald J. Trump of the United States of America and Chairman Kim Jong-un of the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea have committed to cooperate for the development of new US-DPRK relations and for the promotion of peace, prosperity, and security of the Korean Peninsula and of the world.
June 12, 2018
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