SINGAPORE (AP) — President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un met face to face for an unprecedented nuclear summit in Singapore early Tuesday.
They concluded their historic meeting 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.
Trump said discussions over the next steps to take with North Korea will be happening soon.
“We’re getting together next week to go into the details,” Trump said after the summit.
During a news conference in Singapore following their meeting, Trump thanked Kim “for taking the first bold step toward a bright new future for his people”.
Trump also said that he’s prepared “to start a new history” and “write a new chapter” between the two nations.
During the news conference in Singapore, Trump announced he will be ending joint military exercises between the United States and South Korea.
North Korea has long objected to the annual exercises, viewing them as practice for future military action against the North by the United States. Trump cast his decision as a financial consideration, saying the U.S. will save a lot of money by canceling the drills.
Trump said Kim informed him during their meeting that Kim is destroying a major missile engine testing site. Trump did not give a location for the testing site.
Trump said the remains of U.S. prisoners of war and those missing in action during the Korean War will be returned.
Trump said he’ll invite Kim to visit the White House at the “appropriate time.” And he said Kim has accepted. Trump also says he is open to visiting Kim some day in Pyongyang.
Trump said human rights did come up during the talks, albeit briefly.
Trump told reporters that North Korea’s denuclearization will have to be total and verifiable as he prepared to head home from his historic summit.
Trump spoke with reporters on Tuesday shortly before Air Force One took off from Singapore.
Trump says the U.S. would have to verify North Korea’s denuclearization. He says: “We’re going to have to check it. We will check it. Total and complete.”
Trump is heading home a day earlier than expected. He said he didn’t want to stay an extra night when everything he’d set out to do had been accomplished.
He says, “There was nothing more we could have done.”
Trump will be stopping in Guam and Hawaii as he makes his way back to Washington.
Trump became the first sitting American president to meet a North Korean leader when the two shook hands firmly at a resort hotel in Singapore.
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