In a first-ever meeting between leaders of the United States and North Korea, Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un signed a comprehensive document pledging to work toward complete denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula, creating history. Both the countries have agreed to joint effort to build a stable and peaceful regime, while Washington has also committed to provide security guarantees to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK).
The historic document also said the two sides have agreed to recover the remains of Prisoners of War and those missing in action and repatriating them. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and North Korean officials would hold follow-up negotiations “at the earliest possible date”, the statement said.
Decided to leave the past behind: Kim Jong Un
The commitment from both the leaders came at a time when the entire world was watching them keenly as they conducted their historic summit in Singapore. “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. In response to a question about denuclearisation, Trump said. “We have decided to leave the past behind,” Kim said through a translator, at the signing table. “The world will see a major change,” he added.
“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. Calling Kim a “very worthy, very hard negotiator,” and someone who “loves his country very much,” Trump he had formed a “very special bond” with Kim and that relationship with North Korea would be very different.
The historic Trump-Kim handshake, smiles and walk
The exchange of pleasantries followed a series of meetings held today in Singapore. The meeting, that seemed impossible a few months ago, marks a dramatic shift in relations between Trump and Kim Jong, who traded insults and threats of war till early this year.
Both the leaders met this morning at the Capella Hotel, a secluded luxury resort on Singapore’s Sentosa Island. After a handshake that lasted for 13 seconds, both Trump and Kim remained hopeful of the Summit. Both also posed for the camera briefly after which Trump guided Kim Jong to a close door one-on-one summit. “Nice to meet you Mr President,” were Kim’s first words, to which Trump responded, “It’s my honour and we will have a terrific relationship, I have no doubt.”
In Pictures | Donald Trump, Kim Jong-Un’s historic Singapore handshake
After an interaction that lasted little less than an hour, Trump and Kim emerged, walking side-by-side through the colonnaded hotel before entering a meeting room, where they were joined by senior officials from their countries. 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.” Adding that meet was “very, very, very good,” Trump said both the countries have an “excellent relationship.” 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.
Both the parties then left for bilateral talks and shared a working lunch together. Trump and Kim, later, emerged from the meal for a brief stroll together. 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. Trump also said that the meeting with Kim was “better than anyone could have expected,” suggesting a major boost to the US-North Korea ties. After signing the document both the leaders bid farewell to each other.
What the joint text signed between Trump and Kim covered?
The document signed between the two countries can be broken into four major points
* The United States and the DPRK commit to establish new U.S.-DPRK relations in accordance with the desire of the peoples of the two countries for peace and prosperity.
* The United States and the DPRK will join their efforts to build a lasting and stable peace regime on the Korean Peninsula.
* Reaffirming the April 27, 2018 Panmunjom Declaration, the DPRK commits to work towards complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
* The United States and the DPRK commit to recovering POW/MIA remains, including the immediate repatriation of those already identified.
What the ‘comprehensive’ document did not cover
The joint agreement signed by Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un is light on specifics and does not detail how the goals would be achieved, analysts say. There is no clarity as to how the negotiation will lead to deunclearisation. The document also made no mention of the international sanctions that have crippled North Korea’s economy for pursuing its nuclear weapons programme. “It is unclear if further negotiations will lead to the end goal of denuclearisation,” said Anthony Ruggiero, senior fellow of Washington’s Foundation for Defense of Democracies think tank, reported Reuters. “This looks like a restatement of where we left negotiations more than 10 years ago and not a major step forward.”
How is the world reacting to the Trump-Kim meet?
Immediately after the historic summit, the dollar jumped to a 3-week top on Tuesday and Asian shares rose on news of the agreement. China, the third party to the truce, said it hoped North Korea and the United States could reach a basic consensus on denuclearisation. “At the same time, there needs to be a peace mechanism for the peninsula to resolve North Korea’s reasonable security concerns,” China’s top diplomat, State Councillor Wang Yi, told reporters in Beijing.
South Korea who was anxiously looking at the meeting between the two leaders, welcomed the decision, reported AFP. The English language Korea Times welcomed the meeting as a step towards ending tensions on the Korean peninsula, which has been divided between the communist North and democratic South for nearly 70 years.
(With inputs from agencies)