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Trump and Kim Jong Un sign agreement on denuclearization

President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un signed a document in Singapore after their meetings; it outlines some of their key objectives.

Trump and Kim Jong Un capped off their historic Tuesday summit in Singapore by signing an agreement committing the United States to unspecified “security guarantees” for Pyongyang in exchange for a denuclearized Korean peninsula.

“President Trump committed to provide security guarantees to [North Korea], and Chairman Kim Jong Un reaffirmed his firm and unwavering commitment to the complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula," the statement said.

At a signing ceremony alongside Kim, Trump called the document “pretty comprehensive” despite its lack of specifics.

“I think both sides are going to be impressed with the result,” Trump told reporters. “We’re going to take care of a very big and very dangerous problem for the world.”

He added he would “absolutely” invite Kim to the White House to continue their talks.

Kim called the document “historic” and said it would lead to a new era in the U.S.-North Korea relationship.

“We had a historic meeting and decided to leave the past behind, and we are about to sign a historic document,” he said through a translator. “The world will see a major change.”

Kim also thanked Trump for making “this meeting happen.”

Photos of Trump at the signing ceremony holding up the document, which was not immediately released to the press, revealed its contents.

The statement touts the “great significance” of the “epochal event” of the first ever U.S-North Korea summit, adding it will help the “opening of a new future.”

The document does not elaborate on what steps the United States will take to guarantee North Korea’s security, nor does it lay out the steps North Korea will need to take to denuclearize.

It does commit to holding further negotiations led by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and a “relevant” North Korean official at “the earliest date possible.”

The statement refers to denuclearization of the entire Korean peninsula, North Korea’s favored language. And while the United States in the past has demanded so-called CVID — or complete, verifiable, irreversible denuclearization — the statement does not include the words “verifiable” and “irreversible.”

Asked at press conference later Tuesday whether the exclusion of those two words was a concession, Trump said “not at all.”

Trump and Kim agreed to four broad commitments, according to the signed document: to establish new U.S.-North Korean relations “in accordance with the desire of the peoples of the two countries for peace and prosperity;” to join “efforts to build a lasting and stable peace” on the peninsula;” to reaffirm the declaration Kim signed at his summit with South Korea’s president; and to recover the remains of Americans lost or killed during the Korean War.

At the press conference, Trump in particular touted the commitment on repatriating Korean War remains, saying he had received "countless calls" and letters from asking for help on the issue.

“The remains will be coming back," Trump said. "They’re going to start that process immediately.”

The signing ceremony concluded a summit that appeared impossible just one year ago, when both men's threats against each other fueled a growing nuclear crisis.
Trump had mocked the North Korean leader as "Little Rocket Man" as the two exchanged barbs over their weapons programs. Kim responded by dismissing the president as a "mentally deranged dotard" who would "pay dearly" for his threats against Pyongyang.

Trump and Kim, however, appeared to have a friendly rapport during their day together at the Singapore island resort.

Despite the optimistic rhetoric, the summit did not produce an ironclad nuclear agreement or a peace treaty to end the Korean War — two possibilities Trump raised ahead of the talks.

“We’re starting that process very quickly. Very, very quickly. Absolutely,” Trump said at the signing ceremony when asked by reporters if Kim had agreed to denuclearize.

At the press conference later, Trump also said he knows "for a fact" that Kim is going to "start a process" when returns home that will "make a lot of people very happy and very safe."

“I don’t think they’ve ever had the confidence, frankly, in a president that they have right now for getting things done and having the ability to get things done,” Trump said. “I think he might want to do this as much or even more than me because they see a very bright future for North Korea.”

Pompeo told reporters it would provide a “framework” for future negotiations.

Critics had said a summit that ended without a declaration on denuclearization would amount to a propaganda win for Kim, elevating him to legitimacy on the international stage.

Regional experts are also skeptical Kim will give up any of his weapons regardless of his declarations, saying the Kim family playbook is for the regime to make promises, drag out its efforts to carry out those pledges as it gets concessions and then later renege altogether.

Trump had lowered expectations for the results of the summit in the last couple weeks, saying it was the start of a process meant for the two leaders to get to know each other. The change in tone came after Trump first canceled the meeting, citing Kim’s “open hostility,” then decided to move forward after a visit to Washington by a high ranking North Korean official.

Analysts had expected both Trump and Kim to sell the summit as a success regardless of outcome since both have much at stake.

At the signing ceremony, Trump said he was “very proud” of what happened Tuesday and thanked Kim, reiterating that it was an “honor” to meet.

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