North Korea vows 'complete denuclearisation', Trump hails Kim's bold steps

Elias Hubbard
June 14, 2018

North Korea's state media has described the talks between Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump as part of a "changed era" - the secretive state's first comment on the momentous summit.

The system has been set up on North Korea-China border since June 8 with armed soldiers from both countries on special emergency alert, as Pyongyang has asked Beijing to step up security measures in the area, they said.

While Trump said things were going excellently, Kim did not answer questions from the press pool regarding denuclearization and giving up nuclear weapons.

Among those joining the leaders on the US side were Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, White House chief of staff John Kelly and national security adviser John Bolton.

Critics at home said the joint statement by the two leaders was short on detail and that Trump had made too many concessions to Kim. North Korea has reportedly said it is willing to deal away its entire nuclear arsenal if the United States provides it with reliable security assurances and other benefits.

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USA and North Korean officials huddled throughout Monday at the Ritz-Carlton hotel ahead of the sit-down aimed at resolving a standoff over Pyongyang's nuclear arsenal.

During this warming of relations between the two Koreas, March saw Mr Trump stun the world by accepting an invitation to meet Mr Kim.

Joseph Yun, former US envoy for North Korea policy, alluded to that when he told a Senate hearing last week that there's a risk of "overloading the agenda" for the summit.

North Korea, however, has shown little appetite for surrendering nuclear weapons it considers vital to the survival of Kim's dynastic rule.

The lead-up to the summit has been marked by uncertainty and waves of frenetic diplomacy - at one point, Mr Trump even briefly called off the summit, after a senior North Korean official described remarks by US Vice-President Mike Pence as "stupid".

They also say by winning the prestige of a meeting with the world's most powerful leader, Mr Kim has already gained a victory. -North Korea summit aimed at denuclearizing the Korean peninsula.

Trump left his hotel a few minutes before Kim left the St. Regis Hotel in Singapore, ahead of their meeting at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa Island.

Officials of the two sides held last-minute talks to lay the groundwork for the summit of the old foes, an event nearly unthinkable just months ago, when they were exchanging insults and threats that raised fears of war.

It was a far cry from previous year when Trump threatened North Korea with "fire and fury" and mocked Kim as "little rocket man", and Kim denounced the US president as the "mentally deranged USA dotard".

"I just think it's going to work out very nicely", he said during a lunch with Singapore's prime minister on Monday. At the same time, he'd admitted he doesn't believe he requires extensive preparation to take stock of Kim.

A peace treaty ending the Korean War, complete denuclearisation of North Korea or will it be just an elaborate get-to-know-you session?

But North Korea wasn't always a secret, impoverished nation.

Officials from the two sides held last-minute talks aimed at laying the groundwork for a meeting that was nearly unthinkable just months ago when the two leaders were exchanging insults and threats that raised fears of war.

Talks proceeded at multiple levels, including logistical discussions to allay Kim's fears of being deposed while traveling further afield than he ever has before as the country's leader.

North and South Korea remain technically at war after the 1950-53 conflict ended in an armistice that Seoul's then leader refused to sign and divided the peninsula along the Demilitarised Zone.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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