North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has committed to the “complete denuclearisation” of the Korean Peninsula after his historic meeting with United States President Donald Trump in Singapore on Tuesday, AFP reported. In a joint document they signed after their meeting, the two traditional enemies have agreed to establish new relations.
Details of the document are not fully known yet. The US president is expected to speak “at great length” about it at a press conference shortly.
“We are signing a very important document, a pretty comprehensive document,” Trump told reporters earlier. He said the denuclearisation process for North Korea would start “very, very quickly”.
Kim said the world would see “a major change”. He expressed his gratitude to Trump for making the summit between the two countries happen. “We had a historic meeting and decided to leave the past behind and we are about to sign the historic document,” he said.
The two leaders had met earlier in the day before leading delegation-level talks on the resort island of Sentosa. This was the first meeting between the heads of government of the two countries. Trump said he had a “terrific day” and called Kim a “very talented man” and a “worthy, smart negotiator” who “loves his country very much”. The US president said he was “absolutely willing” to invite Kim to the White House, AFP reported.
No official event is scheduled till 2.30 pm local time (12 pm Indian time), when Trump will address the media again.
‘It was not easy to get here’
Trump and Kim shook hands shortly after 9 am local time (6.30 am Indian time) at the Capella Hotel, The New York Times reported. Trump put his hand on Kim’s shoulder and went into a meeting with him with their interpreters as photojournalists clicked pictures of the highly anticipated moment.
“Many people in the world will think of this as a...form of fantasy...from a science fiction movie,” reporters heard Kim’s translator saying after they shook hands.
Trump said he hoped to have a “terrific relationship” with Kim Jong-un, reported AFP, while the North Korean leader pointed out how the two sides had arrived at the historic summit after overcoming obstacles. “The way to come to here was not easy – the old prejudices and practices worked as obstacles on our way forward but we overcame all of them and we are here today,” Kim said.
After their first one-on-one meeting for around 40 minutes, the two leaders began bilateral talks with their delegations. They proceeded with their advisers to continue talks over a “working lunch” at 11.30 am local time.
Since the Korean War in the 1950s, the leaders of the two countries have never met or even spoken on the phone, Reuters reported. However, following months of threats, economic sanctions and criticism of its nuclear programme, North Korea proposed the meeting and Trump accepted the invitation in March.
Both leaders had reached the southeast Asian island nation on Sunday. The following day, Trump met Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.
The meeting comes just months after the two leaders exchanged ridicule, insults and threats against each other. Trump had called Kim a “mad man” and the “Little Rocket Man”, and had warned North Korea of “fire and fury”. Kim had called Trump a “mentally deranged dotard”.