June 12, 2018
Many firsts, as historic summit between the leaders of North Korea and the United States takes place.
US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un signed a “comprehensive” document at the end of their summit in Singapore on Tuesday (June 12), as a once unthinkable meeting between foes appears to have yielded progress.
There were four major points stated in the joint declaration:
- “The US and North Korea commit to establish new relations in accordance with the desire of the peoples of the two countries for peace and prosperity.”
- “The United States and the DPRK will join their efforts to build a lasting and stable peace regime on the Korean Peninsula.”
- “Reaffirming the April 27, 2018 Panmunjom Declaration, the DPRK commits to work towards the complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula.”
- “The United States and the DPRK commit to recovering POW/MIA remains including the immediate repatriation of those already identified.”
Mr Kim, Chairman of the State Affairs Commission, said: “Today we had a very historic meeting, overcoming our past history and embarking on a new beginning…the world will see a major change.”
Mr Trump, in turn, said a turning point had been reached in the long fraught US-North Korea relationship. “We’re both going to do something, and we’ve developed a very special bond…we’re going to take care of a very big and dangerous problem for the rest of the world.
“It worked out far better for both of us than anybody could have expected,” he added.
When asked about denuclearisation, he said “we are starting the process very quickly”, but did not give any detail.
The day had started with a historic handshake between the two leaders at the summit venue.
At 9.04am, Mr Trump and Mr Kim strode into the courtyard at the hotel from separate sides, stood face to face for the first time and shared a 12-second handshake against a backdrop of American and North Korean flags.
The moment – tightly choreographed, with both men walking out at exactly the same time – was the culmination of weeks of uncertainty, false starts and finally, frenetic preparations on the part of the US, North Korea and Singapore.
From that point forward, the superlatives flowed. When asked how he felt as the two men sat down, Mr Trump said: “I feel really great. We’re going to have a great discussion and, I think, tremendous success. It will be tremendously successful. And it’s my honour. And we will have a terrific relationship, I have no doubt.”
Mr Kim said: “It was not easy to get here. The past worked as fetters on our limbs, and the old prejudices and practices worked as obstacles on our way forward. But we overcame all of them, and we are here today”.
A 41-minute one-on-one meeting ended with the two leaders smiling and waving to the media from a balcony and Mr Trump saying the discussion was “very very good”.
Then at the extended bilateral meeting, Mr Kim said he believed the summit was a “great prelude to peace”, to which Mr Trump agreed. “Of course there will be difficulties along the way, but as of today, a day that a good start has been made, I am determined to start a grand undertaking together,” he added.