President Donald Trump promised “security guarantees” for North Korea while its leader, Kim Jong Un, pledged the “complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula” following their historic summit Tuesday in Singapore.
At a news conference following about five hours of talks with Kim, Trump announced that he will freeze US military “war games” with its ally South Korea while negotiations between the US and North Korea continue. While acknowledging that the timetable for denuclearization was long, Trump said, “once you start the process it means it’s pretty much over.” Experts agree that it will take many years of inspections and other highly technical and intrusive actions before it could be determined whether North Korea has abandoned its widely dispersed nuclear program. Although US intelligence into North Korea’s nuclear stockpile is limited, “probably less there than any other country,” Trump said, “we have enough intelligence to know that what they have is very substantial.” Prior to the news conference, Trump and Kim signed a document in which the two sides agreed to continue discussions. The document did not include an agreement to take steps toward ending the technical state of war between the countries, which has existed since 1950, when North Korea invaded South Korea, sparking the Korean conflict.
A joint statement from the two leaders, released by the White House, said that the US and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) “commit to establish new US-DPRK relations in accordance with the desire of the peoples of the two countries for peace and prosperity.” The two countries “will join their efforts to build a lasting and stable peace regime on the Korean Peninsula,” the statement said. Reaffirming the April 27 Panmunjom Declaration, “the DPRK commits to work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula,” the statement said. The statement provided no specifics or timeline for achieving this.
The two countries commit to recovering the remains of prisoners of war and soldiers missing in action, “including the immediate repatriation of those already identified,” it said.
“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 statement said.
“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.” Trump and Kim “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,” the statement said.
At the news conference, Trump thanked Kim “for taking the first bold step toward a bright new future for his people.” Kim has “an opportunity like no other” to bring his country back into the community of nations if he agrees to give up his nuclear program, Trump said.
Trump said Kim had accepted his invitation to visit the White House at the “appropriate” time.
After the document signing, Trump said he expected to “meet many times” in the future with Kim and that he “absolutely” would invite Kim to the White House.
Kim alluded to the “historic meeting” and said they “decided to leave the past behind.” The meeting was the first between an incumbent US president and a North Korean leader.
Source: Kuwait News Agency