Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un signed what the US president described as a “very important” document following the conclusion of their historic summit in Singapore.
“The letter that we are signing is very comprehensive, and I think both sides will be very impressed with the results,” Mr Trump said as he sat alongside the North Korean leader.
Mr Kim said the two countries would “leave the past behind” in signing the agreement. “The world will see the major change,” he added. “I would like to express gratitude to President Trump for making this meeting happen.”
Mr Trump did not say what the agreement entailed. But earlier he hailed his meeting with Mr Kim as “really fantastic” as the two men concluded the first summit between a US president and North Korean leader, a historic event in Singapore that came after decades of hostility.
“A lot of progress, really very positive . . . better than anybody could have expected,” Mr Trump said as he stood beside Mr Kim after their meetings. “Top of the line. Really good.”
He later said that “we’re going to take care of a very big and very dangerous problem for the world”.
The landmark summit marked the first stage in a process that the US, Japan, China and South Korea hope will lead to denuclearisation on the Korean peninsula. Mr Trump was scheduled to hold a press conference at 4pm local time to discuss the negotiations.
As the two men walked through the Capello Hotel where the summit was held, Mr Kim said to Mr Trump that “many people in the world will think of this as a . . . form of fantasy . . . from a science fiction movie.” Mr Trump added that the two men would head to a “signing” ceremony without providing any details.
Following a one-on-one meeting of about 40 minutes, Mr Trump and Mr Kim met with their broader delegations before holding a working lunch.
The US delegation consisted of Mike Pompeo, secretary of state, John Bolton, national security adviser, and John Kelly, chief of staff. The North Korean side included Mr Kim’s confidant Kim Yong Chol, who recently met Mr Trump in the White House.
At the opening of the summit, Mr Kim said there would be “challenges ahead but we will work with [President] Trump”. He said: “We overcame all kinds of scepticism and speculations about this summit and I believe that this is good for the peace.”
The summit, which comes 17 months after Mr Trump took office, follows a turbulent period that saw the two nations at one point appear to edge dangerously close to war. The leaders had fired insults at each other last summer with Mr Trump calling Mr Kim a “madman” and the North Korean leader responding by calling Mr Trump a “dotard”.
The Singapore summit is the product of intense diplomacy that began after Mr Kim signalled earlier this year that he wanted to meet Mr Trump. The opening came as the US continued to ratchet up a campaign aimed at squeezing North Korea economically in a bid to bring Mr Kim to the negotiating table.
Moon Jae-in, the South Korean president, on Tuesday he hoped that the summit would bring “complete denuclearisation and peace, and open a new era for the South, the North and the US.”
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