US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un have pledged to work toward complete denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula while Washington committed to provide security guarantees for its old enemy.
“President Trump committed to provide security guarantees to the DPRK and Chairman Kim Jong-un reaffirmed his firm and unwavering commitment to complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula,” said a joint statement issued after their historic summit in Singapore on Tuesday.
DPRK is the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the formal name of North Korea.
Trump said he expected the denuclearisation process to start “very, very quickly”.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and North Korean officials would hold follow-up negotiations “at the earliest possible date”, the statement said.
It however did not give any details on how denuclearisation would be achieved. The document also made no mention of the international sanctions that have crippled North Korea’s economy, for pursuing its nuclear weapons program.
Nor was there any reference to finally signing a peace treaty. The combatants of the 1950-53 Korean War are technically still at war, 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 recovering the remains of prisoners of war and those missing in action and repatriating them.
If the joint statement does lead to a lasting detente, it could fundamentally change the security landscape of Northeast Asia, just as former US President Richard Nixon visit to Beijing in 1972 led to the transformation of China.
Before signing what Trump described as a “comprehensive” document, Kim said the two leaders had a historic meeting “and decided to leave the past behind. The world will see a major change.”
Trump said he had formed a “very special bond” with Kim and that relationship with North Korea would be very different.
“People are going to be very impressed and people are going to be very happy and we are going to take care of a very dangerous problem for the world,” Trump said.
Washington to provide unspecified “security guarantees” in exchange for North Korea’s “unwavering commitment to complete denuclearization,” Trump-Kim agreement says https://t.co/3OScA8Njr4
— TIME (@TIME) June 12, 2018
Asked whether he would invite Kim to the White House, Trump said: “Absolutely, I will.”
He called Kim “very smart” and a “very worthy, very hard negotiator.”
“I learned he’s a very talented man. I also learned that he loves his country very much.”