Trump, Kim agree to repatriating US military remains

 In U.S.

Both leaders characterised the document they signed as historic though neither provided details.

President Donald Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un concluded an extraordinary summit Tuesday with lofty promises by the American president to take care of a “very dangerous problem” and Kim forecasting “major change for the world.”

They signed a document that Trump described as “pretty comprehensive,” but he declined to describe it, saying the details would be revealed later.

The document signing followed a series of meetings at a luxury Singapore resort.

Trump said that the process of denuclearisation on the Korean peninsula will begin “very soon” as he wrapped up a landmark summit with Kim Jong Un.

“We’re starting that process,” Trump said in response to a question about denuclearisation, adding that it would start “very quickly.”

Earlier, Kim and Trump shook hands and smiled cautiously as they met at their summit, in which the two men will look for ways to end a nuclear standoff on the Korean peninsula.

 

Should they succeed in making a diplomatic breakthrough, it could bring lasting change to the security landscape of Northeast Asia, like the visit of former US President Richard Nixon to China in 1972 led to the transformation of China.

“Nice to meet you Mister President,” Kim said as he sat alongside Trump, against a backdrop of North Korean and US flags, beaming broadly as the US president gave him a thumbs up. Trump said he was sure they would have a “terrific relationship”.

With cameras of the world’s press trained on them, Trump and Kim displayed an initial atmosphere of bonhomie.

“I feel really great,” Trump said. “It’s gonna be a great discussion and I think tremendous success. I think it’s gonna be really successful and I think we will have a terrific relationship, I have no doubt.”

Kim replied: “Well, it was not easy to get here. The past has … placed many obstacles in our way but we overcame all of them and we are here today.”

Both men looked serious as they got out of their limousines for the summit at the Capella hotel on Singapore’s Sentosa, a resort island with luxury hotels, a casino, manmade beaches and a Universal Studios theme park.

But they were soon smiling and holding each other by the arm, before Trump guided Kim to the library where they held a meeting with only their interpreters. Trump had said on Saturday he would know within a minute of meeting Kim whether he would reach a deal.

After some initial exchanges lasting around half-an-hour, Trump and Kim emerged, walking side-by-side through the colonnaded hotel before re-entering the meeting room, where they were joined by their most senior officials.

As the two leaders met, Singapore navy vessels, and air force Apache helicopters patrolled, while fighter jets and an Gulfstream 550 Airborne Early Warning aircraft circled.

Financial markets were largely steady in Asia and did not show any noticeable reaction to the start of the summit. The dollar was at a three-week high and the MSCI index of Asia-Pacific shares was largely unchanged from Monday.

While Trump and Kim search each other’s eyes and words for signs of trust or deceit, the rest of the world will be watching, hoping that somehow these two unpredictable leaders can find a way to defuse one of the planet’s most dangerous flashpoints.

The Latest on the summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and President Donald Trump in Singapore (all UAE time):

11:45am

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has spoken with his Japanese and South Korean counterparts after President Donald Trump’s summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

Pompeo tweeted shortly after the summit ended Tuesday that he’d telephoned South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha and Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono. The State Department released a photograph of Pompeo on the phone.

Pompeo says on Twitter he provided the diplomats with “a brief readout of today’s meeting” between Trump and Kim. The two leaders concluded their summit by signing a document in which Trump pledged “security guarantees” to the North and Kim reiterated his commitment to “complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.”

The State Department is declining to release any additional information about the calls.

11:30am

President Donald Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un have concluded an extraordinary nuclear summit by signing a document in which Trump pledged “security guarantees” to the North and Kim reiterated his commitment to “complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.”

Light on specifics, the document largely amounted to an agreement to continue discussions as it reiterated previous public statements and past commitments. It did not include an agreement to take steps toward ending the technical state of warfare between the US and North Korea.

The pair promised in the document to “build a lasting and stable peace regime” on the Korean Peninsula and to repatriate remains of prisoners of war and those missing in action during the Korean War.

10:25am

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has left the small Singapore island that was the site of his meeting with President Donald Trump.

Kim’s convoy was left Sentosa Island on Tuesday afternoon after he signed a document with the American president, who stayed behind at the hotel where the two leaders met.

Both leaders characterised the document they signed as historic though neither provided details. Trump says the details would come later.

The summit was the first between a sitting US president and a North Korean leader.

10:16am

President Donald Trump is praising North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as a “very worthy, very smart negotiator” on behalf of his people as the two leaders bid each other farewell after their historic summit.

Trump was asked by reporters in Singapore during his final appearance with Kim on Tuesday what surprised him most during their meetings.

Trump says Kim has a “great personality” and is “very smart. Good combination.”

Trump also says he learned Kim is “a very talented man” and “loves his country very much.”

He’s wrapping up the summit by saying the two had “a terrific day” and “learned a lot about each other and about our countries.”

He says he expects they’ll meet again many times.

10:00am

President Donald Trump says he “absolutely” would invite North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to the White House.

After Kim and Trump signed what Trump called a “pretty comprehensive” document, Trump was asked about a possible invitation. Trump said “absolutely, I would” invite Kim.

Before Tuesday’s summit in Singapore, Trump had dangled the prospect of a White House visit for Kim.

Both leaders characterized the document they signed as historic though neither provided details. Trump said the details would come later.

Trump and Kim commented as they closed a historic first meeting between a sitting US president and a leader of North Korea.

9:15am

Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un emerged from their Singapore summit with the US president hailing “a lot of progress” and a “fantastic” sit-down.

“We had a really fantastic meeting,” Trump said as he strolled out of the Capella Hotel side-by-side with the North Korean leader.

“A lot of progress. Really, very positive, I think better than anybody could have expected, top of the line, really good,” Trump added, before showing Kim the interior of “The Beast”, his armour-plated limousine.

“We’re going right now for a signing,” Trump said, referring to an unspecified document.

9am

President Donald Trump has given North Korean leader Kim Jong Un a rare peek inside the US presidential limousine.

As the two leaders strolled around the grounds of the Singapore resort where they’re having their summit Tuesday, they walked up to the US limousine nicknamed The Beast.

Trump can be seen talking and gesturing before a Secret Service agent opens the door and the leaders look in.

It wasn’t immediately clear how Kim felt about the presidential tour, but he seemed to be smiling.

Trump says he and Kim will be signing a document shortly, but he declined to specify what that document would say.

8:55am

President Donald Trump says he and North Korea’s Kim Jong-un will be signing a document shortly.

Trump declined to specify what exactly the leaders would be signing.

Trump said after emerging from hours of talks with Kim on Tuesday in Singapore that “we’re going right now for a signing.”

Asked what he’d be signing, Trump said: “We’re going to be announcing that in a couple of minutes.”

Trump also said that the meeting was “going great” and that they had made “a lot of progress.” He says he thinks it was “better than anybody could imagine.”

8:45am

President Donald Trump says his summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un went “better than anybody could imagine.”

The leaders emerged from a working lunch and strolled together down a paved walkway Tuesday before stopping and posing before the waiting news media.

Trump said the meeting is “going great. We had a really fantastic meeting.”

He added that there has been “a lot of progress. Really very positive. I think better than anybody could imagine.”

The working lunch was the final official event scheduled for the leaders before they go their separate ways.

Trump is scheduled to address the press corps and then begin the journey back to Washington.

8:30am

President Donald Trump is sounding optimistic about his ability to persuade North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons program after a lengthy one-on-one meeting with leader Kim Jong-un.

Trump said Tuesday at the beginning of expanded discussions with aides from both countries that “We will solve a big problem” and “a big dilemma.”

He talked about the pair achieving “tremendous success together” and predicts that “it will be successful. It will be done.”

It was hard to hear the president and Kim over the constant clicking of camera shutters, and it remains unclear precisely what he was referring to.

But Kim appeared to echo the president’s optimism.

7:20am

President Donald Trump says that his one-on-one meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un was “very, very good” and that the two have an “excellent relationship.”

Trump and Kim met for about 40 minutes Tuesday one-on-one, joined only by interpreters.

Trump made the comments as he and Kim walked together along balcony as they headed to a larger meeting with aides.

Trump was flanked in the larger meeting by chief of staff John Kelly, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and national security adviser John Bolton. They sat across the table from Kim and his team.

6:15am

President Donald Trump is predicting that he and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un will have “a terrific relationship” as they meet face to face for the first time.

Trump said Tuesday after meeting Kim that he’s feeling “really great.” He says, “We’re going to have a great discussion and a terrific relationship.”


Kim says through an interpreter that it “was not easy to get here” and that there “were obstacles but we overcame them to be here.”

The two men are expected to meet on their own for the better part of an hour, with only a pair of interpreters in the room.

That decision has raised concerns about the risk of holding such a monumental meeting with barely anyone to bear witness.

6:00am

President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un are sharing a historic handshake as they meet for the first time.

 

The two clasped hands for a long while on Tuesday as they posed for photos in front of a row of US and North Korean flags. Trump then directed Kim to walk down a hallway, where they briefly spoke.

It’s the first ever meeting between a sitting US president and North Korean leader.

Trump and Kim arrived not long ago on Singapore’s Sentosa Island, the site of their unprecedented summit. It’s aimed at settling a standoff over Pyongyang’s nuclear arsenal.

The two will huddle alone for roughly 45 minutes before being joined by aides for a larger meeting and working lunch.

Trump has said he’ll know within minutes whether a deal can be made.

5:09am

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has arrived at Singapore’s Sentosa Island, where he’ll be meeting shortly face-to-face with President Donald Trump.

The two men are expected to share a handshake before they meet alone with a pair of interpreters for roughly 45 minutes while their entourages wait nearby.

 

After the intimate huddle, they’re scheduled to hold a larger meeting and working lunch. Trump’s chief of staff, national security adviser and secretary of state are among those expected to join.

The meeting is the first sit-down between a sitting US president and North Korean leader and is meant to settle a standoff over Pyongyang’s nuclear program.

Trump earlier defended his decision to meet with Kim, tweeting that North Korea has already released three detainees and that missile tests have halted.

4:45am

President Donald Trump has arrived on Singapore’s Sentosa Island for his historic meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

Trump’s motorcade pulled into the grounds of the Capella Hotel at 8:13 am Tuesday local time.

He is scheduled to meet Kim for the first time at 9am.

Kim is also en route to Sentosa Island for the meeting to discuss the fate of his country’s nuclear weapons arsenal.

4:30am

Kim Jong-un’s entourage has left for the luxury Singapore island resort where the North Korean leader will meet with President Donald Trump.

Kim’s black armored limousine with two large North Korean flags was surrounded Tuesday by police vehicles, their lights flashing, and other black cars.

There’s excitement surrounding the summit but also skepticism that the North will relinquish a nuclear weapons program it spent decades building despite crushing sanctions.

Kim and Trump are scheduled to meet alone, with their interpreters, after greeting each other at the resort.

4:50am

North Korea’s state media has reported on Kim Jong-un’s late-night tour of Singapore with unusual speed.

Pyongyang’s official Rodong Sinmun on Tuesday filled its front page with photos of his visits to Singapore’s landmarks, including the Flower Dome at Gardens by the Bay and the Marina Bay Sands resort.

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