His­toric

Trump, Kim meet at sum­mit in Singapore

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SINGAPORE — The Lat­est on the sum­mit be­tween North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and Pres­i­dent Donald Trump in Singapore (all times lo­cal):

Pres­i­dent Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un have signed what Trump says is a “very im­por­tant” and “pretty com­pre­hen­sive” doc­u­ment.

But Trump is re­fus­ing to tell re­porters what the dec­la­ra­tion says. The doc­u­ment is set to be handed out to re­porters later.

Trump said Tues­day as the lead­ers wrapped up their his­toric sum­mit in Singapore that he and Kim “have de­vel­oped a very spe­cial bond” dur­ing their day to­gether.

And he says, “Both sides are go­ing to be im­pressed with the re­sult.”

Kim told re­porters that “the world will see a ma­jor change,” though it’s un­clear how.

The sum­mit marked the first be­tween a sit­ting U.S. pres­i­dent and a North Korean leader.

Meet­ing with staged cer­e­mony on a Singapore is­land, Trump and Kim con­cluded a sum­mit that seemed just un­think­able months ago, clasp­ing hands be­fore a row of alternating U.S. and North Korean flags, hold­ing a one-on-one meet­ing, ad­di­tional talks with ad­vis­ers and a work­ing lunch.

Af­ter the lunch, Trump an­nounced the sign­ing cer­e­mony but pro­vided few de­tails.

At a meet­ing that could chart the course for his­toric peace or raise the specter of a grow­ing nu­clear threat, both lead­ers ex­pressed op­ti­mism. Kim called the sit­down a “good prelude for peace” and Trump pledged that “work­ing to­gether we will get it taken care of.”

For all the up­beat talk, it was an open ques­tion what, if any, con­crete re­sults the sit-down would pro­duce. 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 — Tues­day evening — 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 Tues­day he “hardly slept” be­fore the sum­mit. Moon and other of­fi­cials watched the live broad­cast of the sum­mit be­fore a South Korean Cabi­net meet­ing in his pres­i­den­tial office

The meet­ing was the first be­tween a sit­ting U.S. pres­i­dent and a North Korean leader.

Af­ter meet­ing pri­vately and with aides, Trump and Kim moved into the lun­cheon at a long flowerbe­decked 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 U.S. pres­i­den­tial limou­sine known for its high-tech for­ti­fi­ca­tions.

Crit­ics of the sum­mit leapt at the lead­ers’ hand­shake and the moon­light stroll Kim took Mon­day night along the glit­ter­ing Singapore wa­ter­front, say­ing it was fur­ther ev­i­dence that Trump was help­ing le­git­imize Kim on the world stage as an equal of the U.S. pres­i­dent. Kim has been ac­cused of hor­rific rights abuses against his peo­ple. Dur­ing his stroll, crowds yelled out Kim’s name and jos­tled to take pic­tures, and the North Korean leader posed for a selfie with Singapore of­fi­cials.

Trump re­sponded to such com­men­tary on Twit­ter, say­ing: “The fact that I am hav­ing a meet­ing is a ma­jor loss for the U.S., 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!”

The sum­mit capped a dizzy­ing few days of for­eign pol­icy ac­tiv­ity for Trump, who shocked U.S. al­lies over the week­end by us­ing a meet­ing in Canada of the Group of Seven in­dus­tri­al­ized economies to alien­ate Amer­ica’s clos­est friends in the West. Lash­ing out over trade prac­tices, Trump lobbed in­sults at his G-7 host, Cana­dian Prime Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau. Trump left that sum­mit early and, as he flew to Singapore, tweeted that he was yank­ing the U.S. out of the group’s tra­di­tional clos­ing state­ment.

As for Singapore, the White House said Trump was leav­ing early be­cause ne­go­ti­a­tions had moved “more quickly than ex­pected” but gave no de­tails. The pres­i­dent planned to stop in Guam and Hawaii on the way back to Wash­ing­ton.

The un­fold­ing sum­mit was a re­mark­able change in dy­nam­ics from less than a year ago, when Trump was threat­en­ing “fire and fury” against Kim, who in turn scorned the Amer­i­can pres­i­dent as a “men­tally de­ranged U.S. do­tard.” Be­yond the im­pact on both lead­ers’ po­lit­i­cal for­tunes, the sum­mit could shape the fate of count­less peo­ple — the ci­ti­zens of im­pov­er­ished North Korea, the tens of mil­lions liv­ing in the shadow of the North’s nu­clear threat, and mil­lions more world­wide.

Al­lud­ing to the North’s con­cerns that giv­ing up its nu­clear weapons could sur­ren­der its pri­mary de­ter­rent to forced regime change, Sec­re­tary of State Mike Pom­peo told re­porters that the U.S. was pre­pared to take ac­tion to pro­vide North Korea with “suf­fi­cient cer­tainty” that de­nu­cle­ariza­tion “is not some­thing that ends badly for them.”

AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

U.S. PRES­I­DENT DONALD TRUMP SHAKES HANDS with North Korea leader Kim Jong Un at the Capella re­sort on Sen­tosa Is­land on Tues­day in Singapore.

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