President Trump is holding a news conference in Singapore on Tuesday after his historic meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Their meeting, approximately 50 minutes long, resulted in the two men signing what Mr. Trump called a “pretty comprehensive” joint document.
While the leaders did not speak about what that document contains during the signing ceremony, photos of it taken as Mr. Trump held it aloft are legible, and it includes four key points of agreement between the two sides. The most important one, says CBS News correspondent Ben Tracy, appears to be a commitment by the North “to work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.”
The other three points are equally vague; vows by both nations to, “establish new U.S.-DPRK (North Korea) relations in accordance with the desire of the peoples of the two countries for peace and prosperity,” to “join their efforts to build a lasting and stable peace regime on the Korean Peninsula” and to bring home to the U.S. the remains of American troops killed during the hostilities of the Korean War.
At his news conference following the summit, Mr. Trump did not elaborate immediately on the agreement he had reached with Kim, but said North Korea was a nation with “tremendous potential and I think he understands that and I think he wants to do the right thing.”
He thanked the summit hosts, and then lauded Kim for an “honest, direct” meeting and for taking the “first bold new step” toward peace for his people.
Mr. Trump said he had spent “very intensive hours together” with Kim, and he again called the joint statement “very comprehensive,” and said “it’s going to happen.”
“Adversaries can indeed become friends,” Mr. Trump said, adding that there would be “vigorous negotiations as soon as possible.”
“The United States and the DPRK commit to hold follow-up negotiations, led by the U.S secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and a relevant high-level DPRK official, at the earliest possible date, to implement the outcomes of the US-DPRK Summit,” the joint statement says.
Mr. Trump said that following the signing of the document, Kim had told him that North Korea would destroy a missile engine testing site as an additional confidence building measure.
Before Mr. Trump stepped up to the podium on Tuesday, the gathered media were shown a promotional video, first in Korean and then in English, touting the rapidly unfurling diplomatic process between the Kim regime and South Korea and the U.S. The narration and images portrayed the tension which had manifested over the course of the last year, with missile launches and military maneuvers, but then shifted its focus to the future, saying “the light of hope can burn bright.”
“A story of opportunity,” the video narration said, presenting two possible outcomes for the dialogue, “one of moving back, and one of moving forward,” and putting the onus on Kim to “shake the hand of peace” and chose to take his country out of “isolation.”
Mr. Trump said earlier that North Korea would begin the denuclearization process “pretty quickly.” The president also said he would “absolutely” invite Kim to the White House soon.
Kim also expressed optimism, saying through a translator that he and Mr. Trump had an “historic meeting and decided to leave the past behind.”
“The world will see a major change,” the North Korean leader said.
The U.S. came to the summit seeking an agreement for the “complete and verifiable” denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, while the North was hoping to secure relief from crippling economic sanctions — what the U.S. refers to as “maximum pressure.” Kim also wanted guarantees of his regime’s security, and many analysts believe he was hoping for an agreement that would eventually see U.S. troops pulled out of the Korean Peninsula.
Mr. Trump was expected to fly back to the U.S. after his press conference.