US Pres­i­dent claims de­nu­cle­ari­sa­tion to start ‘very quickly’

Don­ald Trump and Kim Jong Un said they were pre­pared to work to­gether.

Hawke's Bay Today - - LOCAL NEWS -

US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un con­cluded an ex­tra­or­di­nary sum­mit yes­ter­day with Trump say­ing he ex­pected the de­nu­cle­ari­sa­tion process of the Korean penin­sula to start “very, very quickly”.

Trump promised to take care of a “very dan­ger­ous prob­lem” and Kim fore­casted “ma­jor change for the world”. They signed a doc­u­ment that Trump de­scribed as “pretty com­pre­hen­sive”, but he de­clined to de­scribe it in de­tail, say­ing the all would be re­vealed later.

The doc­u­ment sign­ing fol­lowed a se­ries of meet­ings at a lux­ury Sin­ga­pore re­sort.

Meet­ing with staged cer­e­mony on a Sin­ga­pore is­land, Trump and Kim came to­gether for a sum­mit that seemed just un­think­able months ago, clasp­ing hands in front of a row of al­ter­nat­ing US and North Korean flags, hold­ing a one-on-one meet­ing, ad­di­tional talks with ad­vis­ers and a work­ing lunch.

Through­out the sum­mit that could chart the course for historic peace or raise the spec­tre of a grow­ing nu­clear threat, both lead­ers ex­pressed op­ti­mism. Kim called the sit-down a “good pre­lude for peace” and Trump pledged that “work­ing to­gether we will get it taken care of”. In ad­vance of their pri­vate ses­sion, Trump pre­dicted “tremen­dous suc­cess” while Kim said through an in­ter­preter that “we have come here after over­com­ing” ob­sta­cles.

Aware that the eyes of the world were on a mo­ment many peo­ple never ex­pected to see, Kim said many of those watch­ing would think it was a scene from a “sci­ence fic­tion movie”. In the run-up to the meet­ing, Trump had pre­dicted the two men might strike a nu­clear deal or forge a for­mal end to the Korean War in the course of a sin­gle meet­ing or over sev­eral days. But in the hours be­fore the sum­mit, the White House un­ex­pect­edly an­nounced Trump would depart Sin­ga­pore ear­lier than ex­pected — last night — rais­ing ques­tions about whether his as­pi­ra­tions for an am­bi­tious out­come had been scaled back.

Giv­ing voice to the an­tic­i­pa­tion felt around the world, South Korean Pres­i­dent Moon Jae In said yes­ter­day that he “hardly slept” be­fore the sum­mit. Moon and other of­fi­cials watched the live broad­cast of the sum­mit, be­fore a Cab­i­net meet­ing in his pres­i­den­tial of­fice. The meet­ing was the first be­tween a sit­ting US pres­i­dent and a North Korean leader.

After meet­ing pri­vately and with aides, Trump and Kim moved into the lun­cheon at a long flower-be­decked ta­ble. As they en­tered, Trump in­jected some lev­ity to the day’s ex­tra­or­di­nary events, say­ing: “Get­ting a good pic­ture ev­ery­body? So we look nice and hand­some and thin? Per­fect.” Then they dined on beef short rib con­fit along with sweet and sour crispy pork.

And as they emerged from the meal for a brief stroll to­gether, Trump ap­peared to delight in show­ing his North Korean coun­ter­part the in­te­rior of “The Beast”, the famed US pres­i­den­tial limou­sine known for its high-tech for­ti­fi­ca­tions.

Crit­ics of the sum­mit leapt at the lead­ers’ hand­shake and the moon- light stroll Kim took ON Mon­day night along the glit­ter­ing Sin­ga­pore wa­ter­front, say­ing it was fur­ther ev­i­dence that Trump was help­ing le­git­imise Kim on the world stage as an equal of the US Pres­i­dent. Kim has been ac­cused of horrific rights abuses against his peo­ple.

Trump re­sponded to such com­men­tary on Twit­ter, say­ing: “The fact that I am having a meet­ing is a ma­jor loss for the US, say the haters & losers.” But he added “our hostages” are back home and testing, re­search and launches have stopped.

Trump also tweeted: “Meet­ings be­tween staffs and rep­re­sen­ta­tives are go­ing well and quickly . . . but in the end, that doesn’t mat­ter. We will all know soon whether or not a real deal, un­like those of the past, can hap­pen!”

Photo/AP

Don­ald Trump and Kim Jong Un said they were pre­pared to work to­gether.

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