12 Jun 2018

Trump, Kim sign denuclearisation agreement

11:17 pm on 12 June 2018

Donald Trump and Kim Jong-Un sign agreement to work towards "complete denuclearisation" of Korean Peninsula.

In June 2018, North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un and US President Donald Trump conclude their signing ceremony at the end of their historic US-North Korea summit in Singapore.

In June 2018, North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un and US President Donald Trump conclude their signing ceremony at the end of their historic US-North Korea summit in Singapore. Photo: AFP

The two leaders signed three documents after a historic summit in Singapore this afternoon.

US President Donald Trump said the talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un were "tremendous".

The signed document includes a pledge from Mr Kim to rid the Korean peninsula of nuclear weapons.

But in an extraordinary media conference later, Mr Trump announced details not in the paper.

He said he would halt US military exercises in South Korea, something widely seen as a concession.

The meeting was the first time a sitting US president has met North Korea's leader, and caps a remarkable turnaround for the two.

Last year saw the pair sling insults at each other, while North Korea conducted several ballistic missile tests in defiance of the international community.

What did they agree?

The summit centred on nuclear disarmament and reducing tensions.

The agreement said the two countries would co-operate towards "new relations", while the US would provide "security guarantees" to North Korea.

On nuclear weapons, Mr Kim "reaffirmed his firm and unwavering commitment to complete denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula".

Observers say the document lacks substance, in particular on how denuclearisation would be achieved.

However, speaking to reporters after, Mr Trump said:

  • The US would suspend "provocative" war games it holds with South Korea. Mr Trump said he wanted to see US troops withdraw from the South. Analysts have said this is a major concession
  • On denuclearisation, he said that Mr Kim had agreed to it being "verified", a key US demand ahead of the meeting
  • Mr Trump said Mr Kim had also agreed to destroy a "major missile engine testing site"
  • But he said sanctions would remain in place for now and argued "we haven't given up anything"

Several reporters asked whether Mr Trump had raised the issue of human rights with Mr Kim, who runs a totalitarian regime with extreme censorship and forced-labour camps.

The US president said he had, and did not retract his description of Mr Kim as "talented".

"Well, he is very talented," Mr Trump said.

"Anybody that takes over a situation like he did at 26 years of age and is able to run it and run it tough. I don't say he was nice."

What's the reaction been?

There has been a positive response to the summit from other key powers in the region.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who held his own meeting with Mr Kim earlier this year, said the "two Koreas and US will write new history of peace and co-operation".

A spokesman also said the "exact meaning and intention" of what Mr Trump had said "needs to be assessed".

China, North Korea's only major diplomatic and economic ally, also said the meeting created a "new history". The foreign ministry said sanctions on North Korea could be eased if it stuck to UN resolutions.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe praised President Trump's "leadership and effort", saying he supported North Korea's pledge on denuclearisation as "a step towards the comprehensive resolution of issues around North Korea".

Difference of interpretation?

The US had insisted before the meeting it would accept nothing less than complete denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula.

North Korea has said it is willing to commit to denuclearisation - but what it meant by this term is open to interpretation.

North and South Korea agreed in April to pursue the "complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula", and work toward declaring an official end this year to the 1950s Korean war.

However, some analysts at the time were overwhelmingly sceptical.

Professor Sung Yoon Lee from Tufts University in Boston told Morning Report yesterday he thought the deal was a trap laid by Kim Jong-un.

He said the leaders disagreed on what denuclearisation meant, with North Korea considering it to mean getting the US troops and their nuclear defence system out of Korea.

Trump and Kim's full joint statement

"President Donald J Trump of the United States of America and Chairman Kim Jong-Un of the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) held a first, historic summit in Singapore on June 12, 2018.

"President Trump and Chairman Kim Jong-Un conducted a comprehensive, in-depth, and sincere exchange of opinions on the issues related to the establishment of new US-DPRK relations and the building of a lasting and robust peace regime on the Korean Peninsula. President Trump committed to provide security guarantees to the DPRK, and Chairman Kim Jong-Un reaffirmed his firm and unwavering commitment to complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

"Convinced that the establishment of new US-DPRK relations will contribute to the peace and prosperity of the Korean Peninsula and of the world, and recognizing that mutual confidence building can promote the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, President Trump and Chairman Kim Jong Un state the following:

  • The United States and the DPRK commit to establish new US-DPRK relations in accordance with the desire of the peoples of the two countries for peace and prosperity.
  • The United States and the DPRK will join their efforts to build a lasting and stable peace regime on the Korean Peninsula.
  • Reaffirming the April 27, 2018 Panmunjom Declaration, the DPRK commits to work towards complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
  • The United States and the DPRK commit to recovering POW/MIA remains, including the immediate repatriation of those already identified.

"Having acknowledged that the US-DPRK summit - the first in history - was an epochal event of great significance and overcoming decades of tensions and hostilities between the two countries and for the opening of a new future, President Trump and Chairman Kim Jong Un commit to implement the stipulations in this joint statement fully and expeditiously.

"The United States and the DPRK commit to hold follow-on negotiations led by the US 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.

President Donald J Trump of the United States of America and Chairman Kim Jong Un of the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea have committed to cooperate for the development of new US-DPRK relations and for the promotion of peace, prosperity, and security of the Korean Peninsula and of the world."

- BBC / Reuters

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