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US PRESIDENT Donald Trump met his North Korean counterpart Kim Jong Un in Singapore today for a historic summit meeting ending in a joint agreement on the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula.
The pair met with a handshake today as the images were beamed across the world ushering in “new relations” between the two countries after North Korea’s military tests and Mr Trump’s “fire and fury” threats brought the world to the brink of nuclear war last year.
“It was not easy to get here. There were obstacles, but we overcame them to be here,” North Korea’s dynastic ruler said before the 40-minute meeting.
Mr Trump promised an end to “provocative” US military exercises in South Korea in a concession to Mr Kim, while Mr Kim “reaffirmed his firm and unwavering commitment to complete denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula.” The US president confirmed, however, that sanctions against Pyongyang were to remain in place.
In a sign of thawing relations between the pair, who traded insults for most of last year, Mr Trump reiterated his belief in the North Korean leader’s qualities. “Well, he is very talented. 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,” he said.
The leaders’ short joint statement, however, lacked specifics. It does not contain details on how denuclearisation will be achieved, although Mr Kim has agreed to the destruction of a “major missile engine testing site.”
South Korean President Moon Jae In, who held a surprise meeting with Mr Kim in the demilitarised zone last month, said: “The two Koreas and US will write new history of peace and co-operation.”
Further talks will aim to secure an official ending of the Korean war. Pyongyang and Seoul are still technically in conflict decades after fighting ended.
While the global response to the meeting has been largely positive, Iran warned North Korea against trusting the US after Mr Trump recently pulled out of the 2015 international nuclear deal and reimposed sanctions on Tehran last month.
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