[U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un walk during their summit at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa island in Singapore June 12, 2018. (Anthony Wallace/Pool via Reuters TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)]
Singapore: Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un signed a "very comprehensive" document after their historic summit in Singapore on Tuesday, with the US president saying that the process of denuclearisation on the Korean peninsula will begin "very soon" and the North Korean leader promising to leave the past behind.
Trump and Kim had a one-on-one meeting, with translators only, followed by an expanded meeting including their top aides and a working lunch at Capella Singapore hotel in Sentosa Island after months of diplomatic twists and turns.
"We're signing a very comprehensive document, and we've had a really great time together, a great relationship," Trump said while signing the document along with Kim in the presence of media at the end of the summit - the first between a sitting US president and North Korea's top leader, according to PTI.
In response to a question about denuclearisation, Trump said, "We're starting that process very quickly."
"We have decided to leave the past behind," Kim said through a translator, at the signing table. "The world will see a major change," he added.
Trump said he was very proud of what took place today and the two leaders would "take care of a very dangerous problem for the world."
However, the agreement the two leaders produced today was short on details about the key issue of Pyongyang's nuclear weapons.
Kim agreed to the "complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula", a stock phrase favoured by Pyongyang that fell short of long-standing US demands for North Korea to give up its atomic arsenal whereas Trump said the US would halt military exercises with Seoul - a long-term irritant for Pyongyang, which claims they are a rehearsal for invasion, according to AFP.
The exercises were not mentioned in the document that the two men signed.
"We will be stopping the war games which will save us a tremendous amount of money," Trump told reporters, adding that "at some point" he wanted to withdraw US troops from the South.
Meanwhile, several political analysts said the summit had yielded symbolic, rather than tangible, results.
“It is unclear if further negotiations will lead to the end goal of denuclearisation,” said Anthony Ruggiero, senior fellow of Washington’s Foundation for Defense of Democracies think tank. “This looks like a restatement of where we left negotiations more than 10 years ago and not a major step forward.”
The document made no mention of the sanctions and nor was there any reference to finally signing a peace treaty. North Korea and the United States were on opposite sides in the 1950-53 Korean War and are technically still combatants, as the conflict, in which millions of people died, was concluded only with a truce.
But the joint statement did say the two sides had agreed to recover the remains of prisoners of war and those missing in action so that they could be repatriated, according to Reuters.
China, the third party to the truce, said it hoped North Korea and the United States could reach a basic consensus on denuclearisation.
“At the same time, there needs to be a peace mechanism for the peninsula to resolve North Korea’s reasonable security concerns,” China’s top diplomat, state councillor Wang Yi, told reporters in Beijing.
Russia’s deputy foreign minister said the Kremlin had a positive assessment of the summit but “the devil is in the details”, the Tass news agency reported.
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