President Donald Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un have made an agreement following a historical four-hour summit in Singapore on Tuesday, June 12.
The two leaders met at the Capella Hotel and shook hands in front of U.S. and DPRK flags. This marks the first time a sitting U.S. president meets with a North Korean leader.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 12, 2018
The agreement, although vague, focuses on establishing new U.S.-DPRK relations and denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula, a feat that seemed impossible a few months prior when the two nations traded nuclear threats, with Trump even saying that North Korea would face a wrath of “fire and fury” if they threatened the U.S.
Kim also agreed to return the remains of POW/MIA soldiers. In return, the U.S. will provide “security guarantees” to the DPRK to contribute to the “peace and prosperity of the Korean Peninsula and of the world,” reads Trump and Kim’s joint statement.
However, while the U.S. will stop their “war games” with South Korea, soldiers will remain stationed at the base, Trump said in a press conference Tuesday afternoon.
The White House later clarified the president’s comments Tuesday saying that the U.S. military would continue training with South Korea but would no longer be conducting large-scale, joint exercises, according to the Wall Street Journal. The clarification came while Trump was still flying back from Singapore.
“We have, right now, 32,000 soldiers in South Korea, and I’d like to be able to bring them back home,” Trump said. “But that’s not part of the equation right now. At some point, I hope it will be, but not right now.”
After signing the agreement, Kim also agreed to destroy a major missile engine testing site, according to Trump.
Trump received a mixture of congratulations and skepticism during the press conference over how faithful North Korea will be to the deal, but Trump is confident that Kim will see it through.
“My meeting with Chairman Kim was honest, direct, and productive. We got to know each other well in a very confined period of time, under very strong, strong circumstance,” Trump said at the beginning of the press conference. “We’re prepared to start a new history and we’re ready to write a new chapter between our nations.”
Reporters were also shown the video Trump played for Kim, which depicted what the future of North Korea could be. The video was later released Tuesday afternoon to the public through the White House’s Official Facebook page.
While denuclearization was the main focus of the summit, other topics such as human rights, religious freedom and Japanese abductees were also discussed, Trump said, and will continue to be topics in future meetings. Sanctions, he said, will also remain in place until the U.S. is sure that the “nukes are no longer a factor.”
There is no specific timeline for how long the denuclearization of North Korea will take, but follow-up negotiations will be led by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and a high-level DPRK official.
To read the complete transcript of the press conference, click here.
UPDATE 6/13/18: This article was updated to include the White House’s clarification of Trump’s statement about ending the “war games” with South Korea and the video Trump showed Kim.
Feature image retrieved from U.S. State Department’s Official Twitter.