Trump and Kim open historic summit with handshake

Trump says he will stop 'war games' with South Korea

Trump says he will stop 'war games' with South Korea

US President Donald Trump held a historic meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un today at the DPRK-USA Singapore Summit, in which the latter assured complete denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula.

The question of North Korea's dismal human rights record came up a couple of times at the news conference, and at first, Trump said that he and Kim discussed it "relatively briefly", but later saying that "it was discussed at length outside of the nuclear situation". A quick answer: Probably not.

Before a row of alternating US and North Korean flags, the leaders shook hands warmly at a Singapore island resort, creating an indelible image of two unorthodox leaders as they opened a conversation that could determine historic peace or raise the spectre of a growing nuclear threat.

Mr Trump says he believes they will have a "terrific relationship".

While Trump said during the news conference that he raised the issue of the abduction of Japanese nationals during his meeting with Kim, no reference was made in the joint statement about human rights issues pertaining to North Korea.

Trump put his hand out first, followed by Kim as they strode toward each other.

Pompeo sought to counter concerns that North Korea and the U.S. came away from the talks with fundamentally different interpretations. The words came back to haunt the administration, as the war dragged on throughout Bush's presidency. "History is a record of people who take action and rise to a challenge", he said.

As Mr Trump acknowledged that denuclearisation would not be accomplished overnight, the North suggested that Mr Trump had moved away from his demand for complete denuclearisation before United States sanctions on the long-isolated country are removed.

At his press conference in Singapore, Trump said that he would halt United States military exercises in South Korea, something widely seen as a concession to Pyongyang as it has long claimed they are invasion rehearsals.

On Monday, Mattis told Pentagon reporters that there had been no discussions on future withdrawals of USA troops from Korea.

In South Korea, the liberal Kyunghyang Shinmun newspaper said Trump and Kim have started a "march of peace" to end almost seven decades of hostility and pave the way for permanent peace and prosperity on the peninsula.

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

Pompeo's defensive stance started on Tuesday, when he bridled at a question from a reporter who asked why the summit document didn't explicitly specify the much-vaunted "complete, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearisation" that the White House said it was pursuing.

While Trump was facing questions at home and among allies about whether he gave away too much in return for far too little at the summit, North Korean state media heralded claims of a victorious meeting with the USA president; photos of Kim standing side-by-side with Trump on the world stage were splashed across newspapers.

The US has stationed combat troops in South Korea since the end of the Korean War in the 1950s and has used them in a variety of drills.

Trump on Wednesday continued to tout his decision to suspend the military exercises as he returned from meeting North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore.

Critics, however, saw the handshake and Kim's earlier moonlight stroll as evidence Trump was helping to legitimize Kim as his equal on the world stage even though the North Korean regime has been accused of horrific rights abuses.

Just after its start, both men walked toward each other from opposite ends of a colonnade, pausing before a row of alternating US and North Korean flags for a lengthy handshake as cameras flashed and video and photos were beamed around the world.

The 75-year-old grandmother usually takes to the air for major announcements, including ebulliently reporting the news of North Korea's sixth and largest nuclear test last September.

North Korea is believed to possess more than 50 nuclear warheads, with its atomic programme spread across more than 100 sites constructed over decades to evade global inspections.

Mr Trump said scrapping them will save a "tremendous amount of money", but he added that they could be reinstated if co-operation from the North declines.

Experts now expect a temporary peace to continue since North Korea has probably won what it wanted from Tuesday's summit and Trump is unlikely to back down from summit deals that he wants to portray as a diplomatic triumph.

The Korean War was the first "hot war" under the Cold War framework established after the end of World War II.

Duckworth said any discussion of withdrawing US forces from the Korean peninsula must be tied to concrete and verifiable changes in North Korea's behavior "and it must be done in close consultation with our allies". "That's a huge call", said Mr Broinowski.

But we're not gonna play the war games.

"I really, really hope for a good outcome", said Yoon Ji, a professor at Seoul's Sungshin University.

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