What is Donald Trump doing in Singapore

Historic meeting in Singapore: Donald Trump promises peace to Kim Jong Un and Korea

April 13, 2019 - 9:08 a.m.

Summit with high hopes

After much back and forth, it has now worked out: US President Donald Trump and North Korea's ruler Kim Jong Un met in Singapore for a summit. It is the first time that an incumbent US president has met with a leader of the isolated country. Both politicians were optimistic about building a sustainable relationship. At the end of the Gifer, they signed an agreement in which Kim declares himself ready for complete nuclear disarmament on the Korean peninsula.

Trump: "Opponents can become friends"

Trump also promises peace to Korea. "The war hasn't ended in 70 years, but it will end soon," said Trump. "The past does not have to define the future," stressed the US president. The North Korea conflict does not have to lead to a war in the future. "Opponents can become friends," said Trump. In their joint summit declaration in Singapore, Trump and Kim committed themselves to a "robust" peace on the Korean peninsula, which they want to work on. In addition, Trump said he would stop his country's joint military maneuvers with ally South Korea.

Disarmament should "begin very, very quickly"

Donald Trump has achieved an initial success: the US President and the North Korean ruler Kim agreed on a joint agreement with the first steps for nuclear disarmament. After the four-hour summit, the two signed the document. Kim Jong Un declares that he is ready for complete nuclear disarmament. In the summit document signed with US President Donald Trump on Tuesday in Singapore, he declares his "firm and unshakable commitment" to comprehensive nuclear disarmament. In return, Trump assures security guarantees. Trump said disarmament will now "begin very, very quickly".

"We'll have a great relationship"

At 9:00 a.m. local time, the two politicians approached each other in the luxury hotel Capella on the island of Sentosa and shook hands in front of numerous cameras - a historic moment. Both politicians looked serious and tense, but Trump touched his counterpart briefly on the shoulder twice.

At the beginning, Kim made it clear that he wanted to open a new chapter in the tense relationship with the USA. "Old practices and prejudices worked against us. But we have overcome them all. And now we are here," he said in front of the cameras as they sat down for a personal interview in the hotel library. "I feel really good, we'll have a good conversation," said Trump. "We'll have a great relationship, no doubt about it."

Much is at stake for both countries

The first summit of the two countries is accompanied by high hopes. The dispute over North Korea's nuclear weapons program is one of the most dangerous conflicts in the world. According to Kim, North Korean nuclear missiles could hit the US mainland. "A complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization on the Korean peninsula is the only result the US will accept," said Secretary of State Mike Pompeo as the benchmark. However, it is not yet clear whether Kim understands the concept of denuclearization in the same way as Trump does.

There is also a lot at stake for North Korea: In addition to strong security guarantees and economic aid, the communist country is hoping for the lifting of the harsh sanctions that the United Nations and the United States have imposed unilaterally in response to its nuclear and missile tests. In a concession, Kim had declared a nuclear and missile test ban in April and announced that he wanted to concentrate on economic development in the future. If an agreement on the North Korean nuclear program fails, the US could tighten its sanctions even further.

Politically, North Korea wants diplomatic relations with the USA. At the summit it could possibly be announced that the USA could set up a representation in Pyongyang as a first step. Since the state of war has never been ended under international law since the end of the Korean War in 1953, a peace treaty would be necessary - as Trump had promised - to satisfy the security needs.

"Runs better than anyone could have expected"

After the historic handshake, Trump and Kim first spoke in camera for almost 40 minutes. Then they met in a larger group with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Chief of Staff John Kelly and Security Advisor John Bolton. On the North Korean side, the notorious former intelligence chief and influential advisor General Kim Yong Chol and Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho took part in the deliberations.

After a joint lunch that followed, Trump said he was positive about the summit: "It went better than anyone could have expected," said the US President. According to him, the meeting brought "a lot of progress". After signing the agreement, Trump also announced that he would invite Kim to the White House in Washington for further talks.