10 highlights of Trump-Kim summit

Photo: CNN

US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un held a historic summit in Singapore on June 12, 2018.

The pair issued a joint statement that left the door open for future talks.

Trump later held a press conference detailing his discussions with Kim during their meeting.

Below are 10 highlights of the Trump-Kim summit.

New US-North Korea relations

Trump and Kim pledged to establish new US-North Korea relations.

"The United States and the DPRK commit to establish new US-DPRK relations in accordance with the desire of the peoples of the two countries for peace and prosperity," said the statement.

The statement in fact suggested that the US has recognized the legitimacy of the North Korean regime.

Whether the two countries will establish diplomatic ties in the future will depend on the future developments.


Kim vowed to promote the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

"Reaffirming the April 27, 2018 Panmunjom Declaration, the DPRK commits to work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula," said the statement.

The US had demanded complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization ahead of the summit, but the document was signed without detailing exactly what that would entail.

The concession makes space for a so-called gradual nuclear disarmament which was advocated by China and North Korea.

Security guarantees

Trump announced his commitment to provide security guarantees to the DPRK.

"President Trump committed to provide security guarantees to the DPRK," said the statement. "The United States and DPRK will join their efforts to build a lasting and stable peace regime on the Korean Peninsula."

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo once said that the US would provide "different and unique" security guarantees to North Korea.

However, due to its complexity, the issue remains unsettled.

Peace treaty

The US, South Korea and North Korea reportedly had sought to sign a peace treaty at the summit to end the 1950-1953 Korean War.

However, due to the absence of China, another major stakeholder in the conflict, the three countries gave up the idea.

Therefore, no peace treaty was signed by Trump and Kim at their meeting.

Military exercise cancellation

Trump expressed his intention to halt US-South Korea joint military exercises in his press conference.

"It's inappropriate to be having war games," he said, calling them "provocative," and adding that "it really is something that I think they very much appreciate."

"We have, right now, 32,000 soldiers in South Korea, and I'd like to be able to bring them back home," Trump said, adding that such a move isn't part of the equation right now.

Sanction relief

The US and China, North Korea's main economic partner and key diplomatic ally, have disagreements over when to relieve sanctions on North Korea.

Hours after the summit, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told reporters that the UN Security Council could consider easing sanctions if North Korea makes progress in diplomatic relations and denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula.

"Sanctions are not an end," said Geng at a daily briefing. "We believe the Security Council should make efforts to support the diplomatic efforts at the present time."

However, Trump suggested sanctions should remain until North Korea achieves "complete denuclearization."

"Sanctions would be removed when we are sure the nukes are no longer a factor," he said.

Reciprocal visits

The summit laid the foundation for Trump's visit to Pyongyang and Kim's visit to Washington.

Trump told reporters that he will visit Pyongyang "at a certain time."

He added that he invited Kim to the White House and Kim accepted it, but it will have to take place "at the appropriate time, a little bit further down the road."

Human rights

Human rights seem to be not a "huge deal" for the so-called new US-DPRK relations.

Asked what he expects Kim to do about the human rights record in North Korea, Trump said, "It was discussed. It was discussed relatively briefly compared to denuclearization," adding that "obviously that is where we started and where we ended. They will be doing things. I think he wants to do things."

Trump also praised Kim by saying that he's "very smart and "very good negotiator."

US prisoners of Korean War

About 5,300 of the nearly 7,800 US troops who are still unaccounted for from the 1950-53 Korean War had gone missing in North Korea.

It is reported that North Korean regime has pledged to find the remains and send them back to the US.

The move can win support from the American citizens for the Trump administration.

China's presence

Though being absent, China's influence could be felt at the summit.

"President Xi [Jinping] of China. He has really closed up that border. Maybe a little less the last couple of months. That's okay. He really has. He is a terrific person and friend of mine. Really the great leader of his people," said Trump, adding that "I want to thank them for their efforts to help us get to this very historic day."

Kim's flight to Singapore was also provided by Chinese carrier Air China.

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