Korea Lighthope's Beacon

Reflections on the Singapore Summit

Written by Jim Denison

“Nice to meet you, Mr. President.” With these words, Kim Jong Un shook hands with Donald Trump as the two made history in Singapore.

Before the summit, the sitting heads of the United States and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea had never met. The summit began last night at 9 p.m. ET (9 a.m. Tuesday morning in Singapore) and lasted for four hours. The two met before a row of alternating US and North Korean flags, then sat down for a thirty-eight-minute, one-on-one meeting.

Their top advisers then joined them for another two hours of talks. The delegations concluded by sharing lunch together. Afterward, Mr. Kim announced, “The world will see a major change.”

Mr. Trump told reporters at the outset of the summit, “We’re going to have a great discussion. It’s my honor and we will have a terrific relationship, I have no doubt.” Mr. Kim added that “old prejudices and practices worked as obstacles in our way forward, but we overcame all of them and we are here today.”

The two signed a “joint statement” in which “President Trump committed to provide security guarantees to the DPRK, and Chairman Kim Jong Un reaffirmed his firm and unwavering commitment to complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.”

The document makes four specific statements: (1) the two nations will commit to establish new relations; (2) they will “join their efforts to build a lasting and stable peace regime on the Korean Peninsula; (3) the DPRK “commits to work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula”; and (4) the two nations commit to recovering POW/MIA remains, “including the immediate repatriation of those already identified.”

According to the agreement, the US and North Korea “commit to hold follow-up negotiations” led by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and a high-level DPRK official “at the earliest possible date” to implement the outcomes of the summit. The two nations will cooperate “for the promotion of peace, prosperity, and the security of the Korean Peninsula and of the world.”

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About the author

Jim Denison