NEWS
12/06/2018 02:09 BST | Updated 14/06/2018 09:27 BST

Trump-Kim Summit: Leaders Sign Joint Agreement In Historic Meeting

The leaders signed a document committing to the 'complete denuclearisation' of the Korean peninsula.

Donald Trump and Kim Jong-Un have become the first sitting leaders of the US and North Korea to meet face-to-face, concluding their historic meeting by signing a joint agreement.

The document details four points the two leaders agreed upon, including a commitment by Kim to work towards the “complete denuclearisation” of the Korean peninsula, and a pledge to “build a lasting and stable peace regime” in the region.

The agreement does not appear to contain any firm promises from Pyongyang to abandon its nuclear weapon programme, but opens the door to ongoing discussions. In turn, Washington committed to provide security guarantees for North Korea.

Trump called it a “very important” and “comprehensive” document, adding that it would be discussed “at great length.” 

“I think both sides are going to be very impressed with the result,” he said.

Trump said that the two leaders had “developed a very special bond”.

Meanwhile, Kim said the “world will see a major change” and that he and Trump had “decided to leave the past behind”, hailing the day’s discussions as “historic”.

Trump added he “absolutely” would invite the North Korean leader to the White House.

The highly choreographed meeting began early on Tuesday amid intense international interest. Trump was about 45 minutes early for his face-to-face with the North Korean leader, which kicked off a few minutes after the scheduled time of 9am.

Kim’s heavily guarded motorcade departed a few minutes after Trump’s from the St Regis Hotel, located just down the road from the Shangri-La.

One of the world’s most reclusive leaders, Kim spent the evening before on a tour of sites on Singapore’s waterfront.

Jonathan Ernst / Reuters

Officials from the two sides held last-minute talks aimed at laying the groundwork for the meeting - an event that was almost unthinkable just months ago when the two leaders were exchanging insults and threats on Twitter, raising fears of war.

Before signing the agreement the two men met for a one-to-one meeting, with only their translators joining them, for around 48 minutes.

The pair then strolled to a balcony to wave at the press. Asked asked how the meeting was going, Trump said: “Very very good. Excellent relationship.”

SAUL LOEB via Getty Images

Trump and Kim then entered a meeting room to join top top aides. Flanking the US president were the White House chief of staff, John Kelly, the secretary of state department, Mike Pompeo, the national security advisor, John Bolton, and a senior state department official who acted as interpreter.

The two men emerged from the talks and were then photographed together on the steps of the Capella Hotel in Sentosa, a tiny island off Singapore’s southern coast, clasping hands for a 13-second handshake in front of a row of US and North Korean flags.

After the photocall, Trump directed Kim to walk down a hallway, where they  spoke briefly.

SAUL LOEB via Getty Images

Kim left the Capella just moments after the declaration was signed and dodged questions from reporters.

But Trump hinted that negotiations would be ongoing when it came to denuclearisation. “We’re starting that process very quickly. Very very quickly,” he said.

The President said he went into the summit hopeful, telling reporters beforehand: “I feel really great. It’s gonna be a great discussion and I think tremendous success.

“I think it’s gonna be really successful and I think we will have a terrific relationship, I have no doubt.”

“Well, it was not easy to get here,” Kim said, through an interpreter, before noting the two were able to overcome obstacles to start the summit.

Jonathan Ernst / Reuters
US President Donald Trump shakes hands with North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un before their expanded bilateral meeting at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa island in Singapore.

The road to the event had been a rocky one, with talks having been called off once already. In the lead-up, North Korea rejected any unilateral nuclear disarmament and wants the United States to remove its “nuclear umbrella” protecting South Korea and Japan.

The relationship between the two countries got off to a bad start under Trump, who last year derided Kim as a “maniac”, referred to him as “little rocket man” and threatened in a speech to “totally destroy” North Korea - a country of 26 million people - if it attacked the United States or one of its allies.

Kim responded by calling Trump a “mentally deranged US dotard”.