North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and US President Donald Trump react at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa island in Singapore on June 12 2018. Picture: REUTERS/JONATHAN ERNST
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and US President Donald Trump react at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa island in Singapore on June 12 2018. Picture: REUTERS/JONATHAN ERNST

Singapore — US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un pledged on Tuesday to work towards complete denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula, while Washington committed to provide security guarantees for its old enemy.

“President Trump committed to provide security guarantees to the DPRK and Chairman Kim Jong-un reaffirmed his firm and unwavering commitment to complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula,” said a joint statement issued after their historic summit in Singapore.

DPRK is the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the formal name of North Korea.

Trump said he expected the denuclearisation process to start “very, very quickly”.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and North Korean officials would hold follow-up negotiations “at the earliest possible date”, the statement said.

But it did not give details on how denuclearisation would be achieved.

The document [see below] also made no mention of the international sanctions that have crippled North Korea’s economy, instituted over its pursuit of its nuclear weapons programme.

Nor was there any reference to finally signing a peace treaty. 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.

But the joint statement did say the two sides had agreed to recovering the remains of prisoners of war, and those missing in action and repatriating them.

If the joint statement does lead to a lasting detente, it could fundamentally change 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” document, Kim said the two leaders had a historic meeting “and decided to leave the past behind. The world will see a major change.”

US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un have signed a “comprehensive” document following talks on ways to end a nuclear standoff on the Korean peninsula.

Trump said he had formed a “very special bond” with Kim and that the US relationship with North Korea would be very different.

“People are going to be very impressed and people are going to be very happy and we are going to take care of a very dangerous problem for the world,” Trump said.

Asked whether he would invite Kim to the White House, Trump said: “Absolutely, I will.” He called Kim “very smart” and a “very worthy, very hard negotiator”.

“I learned he’s a very talented man. I also learned that he loves his country very much.”

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Trump was joined by Pompeo, National Security Adviser John Bolton and White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, 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.

After the meetings, the two teams and other senior officials met for a working lunch. The North Korean leader’s sister and close confidante, Kim Yo-jong, was among the lunch party.

Optimism and caution

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 about whether Kim would prove to be sincere about his willingness to denuclearise.

Pompeo said the summit should set the framework for “the hard work that will follow”, insisting that North Korea had to move towards complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearisation.

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 was due to leave on Tuesday afternoon, a source involved in the planning of his visit has said.

Trump spoke to Moon and Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, both key allies of Washington in the region, to discuss developments ahead of the summit.

“I too, got little sleep last night,” Moon told his cabinet in Seoul as the summit began in Singapore.

“I truly hope it will be a successful summit that will open a new age for the two Koreas and the US and bring us complete denuclearisation and peace.”

Reuters


Full text of the document signed by US president Donald Trump, and North Korea leader Kim Jong-un:

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 denuclearization 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 toward complete denuclearization 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 in overcoming decades of tensions and hostilities between the two countries and for the opening up 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-up 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.

ss: DONALD J. TRUMP President of the United States of America

ss: KIM Jong-un Chairman of the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea

June 12 2018 Sentosa Island, Singapore