Kim Jong Un, Trump shake hands, make history

Kim Jong Un, Trump shake hands, make history

The US President Donald trump and the head of the DPRK Kim Jong-UN made on Tuesday morning at the Singapore meeting before the summit in an expanded format.

If taken at face value, the full elimination of North Korea's extensive storehouse of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons could take years, making the prospect a tough sell to Kim, given the crippling effects of Trump's "maximum pressure" sanctions program on North Korea's economy.

The broad agreement was light on specifics, largely reiterating previous public statements and past commitments. -North Korea relations. Formally, the DPRK and the US are in a state of war after the end of the military conflict in Korea, 1950-1953, which ended with the signing of the armistice agreement. -North Korean relations "in accordance with the desire of the peoples of the two countries for peace and prosperity", and joint efforts to recover POW/MIA remains from the Korean War of more than six decades ago.

During a post-lunch stroll through the gardens of the Singapore hotel where the summit was held, Mr Trump said the meeting had gone "better than anybody could have expected".

Throughout the summit that could chart the course for historic peace or raise the specter of a growing nuclear threat, both leaders expressed optimism.

Trump then directed Kim to walk down a hallway, where they briefly spoke.

Trump earlier defended his decision to meet with Kim, tweeting that North Korea has already released three detainees and that missile tests have halted.

They have now left into a closed-door meeting.

Before signing what Mr Trump described as a "comprehensive" document, Mr Kim said the two leaders had a historic meeting "and chose to leave the past behind. We're going now for a signing", Trump told journalists following talks on ways to end a nuclear standoff on the Korean peninsula.

Tuesday's meeting is the first ever between a sitting USA president and North Korean leader.

Kim was heard telling Trump through a translator: "I think the entire world is watching this moment". The meeting marked one of biggest gambles of Trump's norm-smashing approach to foreign affairs, coming only months after he and Kim traded cartoonish insults and aggressive threats of nuclear Armageddon.

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Throughout the day, Trump and Kim staged frequent photo opportunities that showed them getting along. Later, during a working lunch, Trump asked photographers for good pictures "so we look nice and handsome and thin".

The two clasped hands for a while as long as they posed for photos in front of a row of USA and North Korean flags.

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 USA president. Critics have urged Trump to demand that Kim reform his repressive government, which the State Department has accused of assassinating dissenters and jailing tens of thousands of prisoners to maintain its grip.

"It's a huge win for Kim Jong Un, who now - if nothing else - has the prestige and propaganda coup of meeting one on one with the president, while armed with a nuclear deterrent", said Michael Kovrig, a northeast Asia specialist at the International Crisis Group in Washington.

The optimistic 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 USA dotard".

President Trump shakes hands with North Korea leader Kim Jong Un at the Capella resort on Sentosa Island in Singapore.

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 US was prepared to take action to provide North Korea with "sufficient certainty" that denuclearization "is not something that ends badly for them".

"We're prepared to take what will be security assurances that are different, unique than".

Critics said all the pomp and ceremony - American and North Korean flags stood side-by-side to form the backdrops for numerous photo opps - lent too much prestige to Kim, a dictator who imprisons and murders his opponents, all while pursuing long-range nuclear weapons.

"A lot of progress - really very positive".

"I truly hope it will be a successful summit that will open a new age for the two Koreas and the United States and bring us complete denuclearisation and peace". It showcases AP's overall coverage of the event.

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