– U.S. President Donald Trump heralded the signing of a joint statement with Kim Jong Un that pledged complete denuclearization and credited the North Korean leader for taking the “first bold step” for his people.
During an hourlong press conference following the signing of the agreement, Trump said the summit and the promises Kim made prove “real change is indeed possible.”
The meeting was “honest, direct and productive,” Trump told journalists in Singapore on Tuesday afternoon locla time.
“We got to know each other well.”
The U.S. president said the two sides are “preparing a new history, to write a new chapter between our nations.”
“Seventy years ago, an extremely bloody conflict ravaged the peninsula,” Trump said. “An armistice was agreed upon but the war never ended. It will soon end.”
Trump struck a tone optimism about the future of North Korea, a move that showed the kind of flexibility, but also volatility, the president has exercised since he first assumed office, when dealing with North Korea.
“The past does not have to define the future,” Trump said. “And as history has proven, adversaries can indeed become friends, the horrors of battle replaced by the blessings of peace.”
Full text: Statement from Donald Trump, Kim Jong Un after summit
The agreement signed Tuesday focused largely on promoting denuclearization, while not addressing the issue of human rights that Trump stressed earlier in the year, during his first State of the Union address.
Trump described the brutality of human rights abuses as a “rough situation” that may have been avoided during talks.
“It was discussed relatively briefly,” Trump said. “We’ll be doing something about it…it probably has to change.”
Trump also said the suspension of weapons tests in North Korea will be followed by, for now, an end to some of the more “provocative” joint drills with South Korea.
“We will be stopping the war games,” Trump said. “Unless we see the future negotiations…not going along, like it should.”
Trump provided “security guarantees” to North Korea and the leaders committed to recovering soldiers’ remains from the Korean War. The remains of some 5,000 U.S. soldiers are believed to be in the country
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