Trump, Kim hail historic summit | Daily News

Trump, Kim hail historic summit

US President Donald Trump (R) and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un shake hands following a signing ceremony during their historic US-North Korea summit, at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa island in Singapore yesterday. - AFP
US President Donald Trump (R) and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un shake hands following a signing ceremony during their historic US-North Korea summit, at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa island in Singapore yesterday. - AFP

Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un hailed their historic summit on Tuesday as a breakthrough in relations between Cold War foes, but the agreement they produced was short on details about the key issue of Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons.

The extraordinary encounter saw the leader of the world’s most powerful democracy shake hands with the third generation scion of a dynastic dictatorship, standing as equals in front of their nations’ flags.

Kim agreed to the “complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula”, a stock phrase favoured by Pyongyang that fell short of long-standing US demands for North Korea to give up its atomic arsenal.

And in a blockbusting press conference after the summit, Trump said the US would halt military exercises with Seoul -- a long-term irritant for Pyongyang, which claims they are a rehearsal for invasion.

The exercises were not mentioned in the document that the two men signed.

“We will be stopping the war games which will save us a tremendous amount of money,” Trump told reporters, adding that “at some point” he wanted to withdraw US troops from the South.

“Under the circumstances where we’re negotiating a very comprehensive agreement, I think it’s inappropriate to be having war games.” That sparked immediate reaction from analysts.

“Two more Trump concessions just in this presser: stopping US-S Korea military exercises and hope to withdraw US troops from SK,” tweeted Robert Kelly, Professor of Political Science at Pusan National University.

Ahead of the meeting, critics expressed concerns that it risked being more about media headlines than substantive progress.

Asked about denuclearisation -- the crux of the summit -- Trump said, “we’re starting that process”, adding that it would begin “very, very quickly.” Speaking to reporters, he said there would be a process of verification involving “a lot of people”, but gave no concrete details.

He also insisted that US sanctions would remain in place until Washington had seen progress.

The text of the two men’s agreement made no mention of previous US demands for “complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearisation” -- jargon for scrapping weapons and committing to inspections. - AFP

 


 

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