President Trump meets North Korean leader Kim Jong Un

Geraldine Edwards
June 14, 2018

The statement of renewed U.S.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Trump could go further than previous presidents in trying to make a deal, suggesting the president was willing to ease Kim's concerns about America's military posture and security guarantees to allies in Northeast Asia as long as North Korea gives up its unconventional weapons.

Moon told Trump a successful summit would be a "great present" not only for the world, but for Trump's 72nd birthday on Thursday, Moon's spokesman, Kim Eui-kyeom, told reporters in Seoul.

Just minutes after arriving at the hotel, Trump and Kim shook hands in front of a display of flags of both countries.

The summit provided extraordinary pictures and surreal moments involving old enemies.

As the cameras captured the moment, Trump quipped: "Very nice". It said Trump will leave Singapore on Tuesday night rather than stay until Wednesday as originally planned.

The White House said Monday that the preliminary talks "have moved more quickly than expected" and that the summit, which will include a working lunch, would wrap up in one day.

Alluding to the North's concerns that giving up its nuclear weapons could surrender its primary deterrent to forced regime change, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters that the US was prepared to take action to provide North Korea with "sufficient certainty" that denuclearization "is not something that ends badly for them".

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A procession of North Korean officials - including his younger sister Kim Yo Jong - arrived shortly afterward. USA officials say Trump and Kim may hold one-on-one talks with only interpreters present.

Similar agreements in the past have not lasted.

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.

Kim stood silently alongside Trump as he spoke to media during a post-lunch stroll through the gardens of the Singapore hotel where the summit was held, but the North Korean leader had earlier described their meeting as a "a good prelude to peace". The leaders also offered lofty promises, with the American president pledged to handle a "very risky problem" and Kim forecasting "major change for the world".

The North has faced crippling diplomatic and economic sanctions as it has advanced development of its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

It was a day of pleasantries, but little public substance.

Tuesday's meeting is the first ever between a sitting United States president and North Korean leader.

As reporters yelled questions during the photo op, Trump told Kim, "The press, they never stop".

They have now left into a closed-door meeting.

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During a pre-summit tweet storm, Trump denounced "haters & losers" who said he should not have granted Kim - an autocrat accused of having political rivals killed - the prestige of a presidential meeting without more North Korean concessions.

Even as Pompeo floated the apparent USA concessions, he took a hard line on what the Trump administration would demand in return, He said economic sanctions would remain in place "until North Korea completely and verifiably eliminates its weapons-of-mass-destruction programs". "We will be fine!" Responding to questions, he said "absolutely" he would invite Kim to the White House.

Pompeo spoke as Choe Son Hui, North Korea's vice foreign minister, and Sung Kim, a USA envoy to the Philippines who led previous talks with Pyongyang, held working-level talks that lasted all day. "But", he added, "'The Apprentice' had more likable characters, more credible plots, and didn't involve the enslavement of 25 million people or prospect of nuclear war".

At his news briefing, Pompeo made no mention of human rights. "That is a tremendous achievement for North Korean diplomacy".

Pompeo said the summit should set the framework for "the hard work that will follow", insisting that North Korea had to move toward complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearisation.

The two leaders began the meeting at 9 a.m. Tuesday, Singapore time - prime time Monday back in the USA.

Both men had 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. This week, the president said he looked forward to getting to know his new negotiating partner.

He praised Trump and Kim for the "bold decisions" to hold a summit.

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