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Posted at: Jun 13, 2018, 1:49 AM; last updated: Jun 13, 2018, 11:28 AM (IST)

Trump’s nuke-clear thumbs-up

SINGAPORE SUMMIT Kim pledges ‘complete denuclearisation’; sanctions to stay
Trump’s nuke-clear thumbs-up
US President Donald Trump (R) makes a thumbs-up gesture as he sits with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un for their historic summit at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa island in Singapore on Tuesday. AFP

Singapore, June 12

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Tuesday pledged to work toward the “complete denuclearisation” in return for security guarantees from the US as Donald Trump wrapped up his historic summit with outcomes that could ease tensions and reshape the geopolitics of the Asia-Pacific region.

“Yesterday’s conflict does not have to be tomorrow’s war,” the US President said, following more than four hours of intense talks with Kim, which he described as “honest, direct and productive”. Trump said Kim “reaffirmed” his commitment to denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula and also agreed to destroy a missile engine test site. 

“We are ready to write a new chapter,” Trump told reporters after the summit — the first between a sitting US President and North Korea’s top leader. Trump, however, said the sanctions on North Korea for its nuclear tests will remain for now.

Trump and Kim conducted a comprehensive, in-depth, and sincere exchange of opinions on the issues related to the establishment of new relations between the two countries and the building of a lasting and robust peace regime on the Korean peninsula, according to a joint  statement.

The document was signed after the two leaders had a one-on-one meeting, with translators only, followed by an expanded meeting and a working lunch at Capella Singapore hotel in Sentosa Island after months of diplomatic twists and turns.

In response to a question about denuclearisation, Trump said, “We’re starting that process... very quickly.”

Trump said he was very proud of what took place on Tuesday and the two leaders would “take care of a very dangerous problem for the world”. The 71-year-old said he has developed a “very special bond” with 34-year-old Kim. Trump said Kim is “a very talented man” and he will invite him to the White House at the “appropriate time”. 

Kim was asked at least three times if he would give up his nuclear weapons. In response, he just smiled. “There will be challenges but we will work with Trump. We overcame all kinds of scepticism about this summit and I believe this is good for peace,” Kim said. — PTI


Symbolic or effective?  

  • Noting promises in the past to denuclearise, analysts cast doubt on how effective Trump had been at obtaining his goal of banishing North Korea’s nuclear arsenal. Trump also made a surprise announcement that was sure to rattle South Korea and Japan, which rely on a US security umbrella, saying he would halt the regular military exercises with South Korea because they were expensive and “very provocative”. N Korea has long sought an end to these.

  • Summit gave international standing to the reclusive Kim. His government is under UN sanctions for its nuclear and ballistic missile programmes. Reuters

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