US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un agreed to the “complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula” in a joint agreement on Tuesday, as they wrapped up a historic day that saw both leaders meeting for the first time.
In exchange, Trump committed to provide “security guarantees” to North Korea.
In the four-point document, the US and North Korea committed to establishing new US-North Korea relations, building a stable and lasting peace regime and reaffirming the Panmunjeom declaration from April 27.
North Korea also pledged to recover the remains of prisoners of the 1950-1953 Korean War, including the “immediate repatriations of those already identified.”
The document concluded with both parties committing to hold further negotiations, led by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and a high-level North Korean official, “at the earliest possible date.”
It is still unclear what several terms like “security assurances” and “complete denuclearization” would entail.
Minutes before signing the document, Trump hailed the agreement as being “very comprehensive,” while Kim said that North Korea had “decided to leave the past behind”, adding that “the world would see a major change.”
Trump also promised to invite Kim to Washington, however it was unclear when that would happen.
The two leaders shook hands a final time before parting ways, with Trump calling Kim “a very talented man” who “loves his country very very much,” in his final remarks.
Kim is expected to leave the city state shortly for Pyongyang, while Trump is scheduled to hold a press conference later in the day before departing for Washington.
The agreement marks an end to an unprecedented day that saw both men exchanging handshakes for the first time at Capella hotel, before proceeding for a one-on-one meeting, which was followed by bilateral talks and lunch.
Asked by reporters how he felt after the initial meeting with Kim, Trump responded: “I feel really great. It’s going to be a great discussion and I think a tremendous success.”
Kim, unprompted, added: “It was not easy to get here. In the past, old practices and prejudices worked against us and placed many obstacles in our way, but we overcame all of them and we are here today.”
A live interpreter translated his remarks, made in Korean, for the press.
Trump appeared confident ahead of the talks in Singapore, tweeting at the weekend that the meeting offered a chance to achieve a “truly wonderful result for North Korea and the World,” adding once he landed in Singapore that there was “excitement in the air!”
Hours before the anticipated meeting, however, he slammed what he described as haters and losers.
“The fact that I am having a meeting is a major loss for the US, say the haters & losers,” Trump wrote on Twitter.
The US had managed to recover hostages from North Korea and stopped further nuclear testing and missile launches, “and these pundits, who have called me wrong from the beginning, have nothing else they can say!” he said, later adding “We will be fine!”
Washington has stuck firmly to its request for Pyongyang to relinquish its nuclear weapons development programme, with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo saying on Monday that the “complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula is the only outcome that the US will accept.”
However, it is still unclear what Pyongyang has agreed to in the terms and conditions of the document.
Both leaders landed in the city-state on Sunday. Since then, Trump and Kim have held separate meetings with Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, and officials from the US and North Korean delegations have met together behind closed doors.