Trump and Kim sign deal at historic summit

Kim Jong Un

In what was a rare but irresistible opportunity to press Kim on his plans, a reporter with the Los Angeles Times, Noah Bierman, asked: "Chairman Kim, will you denuclearize?" "The world will see a major change".

Light on specifics, the document signed by the leaders largely amounted to an agreement to continue discussions as it echoed previous public statements and past commitments. It said nothing about how the two countries would reach the goals, and "complete denuclearization" - the key point of contention between US and North Korean negotiators - wasn't spelled out. Trump insisted that their agreement will include verification.

South Korea's presidential office said it would seek clarification of "the precise meaning or intentions" of Trump's remarks on the exercises and troops.

Even as their accord left major questions unresolved, the two sides did succeed in striking a friendlier tone. Here we have a North Korean leader (one who has already ordered hundreds of gruesome, politically motivated executions in his six years in power and presides over a gulag in which tens of thousands of prisoners are forced into labor, starved, tortured, raped, and subjected to all manner of other horrors) being greeted as an equal by an American president. But in the hours before the summit, the White House unexpectedly announced Trump would depart Singapore earlier than expected - Tuesday evening - raising questions about whether his aspirations for an ambitious outcome had been scaled back.

But the declaration stopped short of the conditions the Trump administration had previously said were necessary for a deal - assuring the worldwide community that North Korea will verifiably and irreversibly disarm.

After speaking together for more than four hours, the pair emerged to sign the declaration believed to establish conditions of a relationship between the United States and North Korea.

"Sanctions are not an end", Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said at a daily briefing in Beijing.

The two leaders pose for photographers from a balcony on the Capella Hotel in Singapore. "We believe the Security Council should make efforts to support the current diplomatic efforts and contribute to the political settlement of the Korean Peninsula issue".

In a brief comment to the media, Mr Trump said he expected to have "a great discussion", reports The Straits Times.

"It was not an easy journey", Kim said earlier.

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 shook hands for several seconds, Trump reaching out to touch the North Korean leader on his right shoulder.

Many across the region have welcomed a flurry of diplomacy in recent months, but remain cautious about actual results.

Trump wants the complete, verifiable and irreversible dismantling of North Korea's nuclear weapons program.

The summit capped a dizzying few days of foreign policy activity for Trump, who shocked USA allies over the weekend by using a meeting in Canada of the Group of Seven industrialized economies to alienate America's closest friends in the West. Lashing out over trade practices, Trump lobbed insults at his G-7 host, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Kim has rejected calls to unilaterally give up his weapons in return for economic aid, and instead has proposed a step-by-step denuclearization process.

The summit is a historic event, to be sure, but whether or not Trump realizes it, the mere holding of the summit is a much bigger victory for Kim than it is for him.

Kim stood silently alongside, but the North Korean leader had earlier described their meeting as a "a good prelude to peace".

Warmbier was an American college student who was arrested in North Korea, came back to the USA with brain damage a year ago and later died.

Ryabkov said that Moscow was willing to assist in implementing the deal and hopes that six-party talks involving the two Koreas, the United States, Russia, Japan, and China will be revived at some point.

Yet the top US diplomat added Trump is ready to offer "unique" guarantees to ease the regime's concerns about giving up a nuclear arsenal that provides a deterrent against foreign adversaries while also serving as a key point of national pride.

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