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Trump, Kim to sign unspecified document

By CHEN WEIHUA in Singapore | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2018-06-12 13:28
US President Donald Trump and DPRK's leader Kim Jong-un walk after lunch at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa island in Singapore June 12, 2018. [Photo/Agencies]

US President Donald Trump said that he and Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea leader Kim Jong-un will go for a signing ceremony, without specifying what kind of document it is.

He made the remarks while walking out with Kim after the working lunch on Tuesday.

"Its going great. We had a really fantastic meeting, a lot of progress, really very positive. I think better than anybody could have expected — top of the line, really good," Trump told the pool press there.

"We're going right now for a signing", he said.

Trump had earlier described his one-on-one meeting with Kim as "very, very good".

The two started their historic summit on Tuesday morning at the Capella hotel in Sentosa on an optimistic note.

Right after they sat down in the Capella hotel for the one-on-one session, Trump said the summit will be a tremendous success, adding that "we will have a terrific relationship, no doubt.

"The way to come to here was not easy, Kim said. "The old prejudices and practices worked as obstacles on our way forward but we overcame all of them and we are here today."

Trump replied, "That's great."

The two shook hands and exchanged words at 9:04am after arriving at the Capella Hotel for the first summit between leaders of the two countries.

The handshake lasted about 10 seconds. Both wore smile during the handshake, unlike the serious look when they arrived at the hotel. Trump also patted on Kims arm and back during their handshake and walk into the meeting room.

The two engaged in a private session for more than 30 minutes, accompanied by only translators. Then an expanded session was held with the attendance of their advisors. A working lunch will follow afterwards.

It is still unknown what kind of agreement would be reached at the summit. Diplomats from both countries continued their discussions whole day on Monday trying to narrow their differences on key issues.

The US has tamped down the previous high expectation of a swift denuclearization and instead talked about a process that will take time. But Secretary of State Mike Pompeo insisted on Monday that the ultimate goal is for a complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

Pompeo said the US will offer security guarantee but gave no details. The DPRK has key concerns over issues such as the signing of a peace treaty to end the 1950-1953 Korean War, the lift of economic sanctions, US troop reduction in South Korea and cut of US-South Korea joint military drills on the peninsula.

"The fact that is happening at all reflects both sides' interests in buying time, capping the risk of military conflict, and expanding the problem beyond the intractable symptom of denuclearization to the underlying mutual mistrust caused by seven decades of adversarial relations, said Scott Snyder, senior fellow for Korea studies and director of the program on US-Korea policy at the Council on Foreign Relations."

Charles Kupchan, a professor at Georgetown University and a former Obama administration official, said he is cautiously hopeful that the summit will set the stage for a breakthrough.

"Bold moves of this sort are often needed to push long-standing rivalries toward rapprochement, he said.

"My main concern is that neither side has undertaken the necessary preparations for this meeting. I also worry that the volatile and unpredictable nature of both leaders could make a meaningful breakthrough difficult to sustain. Both Trump and Kim are known for changing their minds, so only time will tell whether any progress achieved at the summit is sustainable, said Kupchan, author of the book How Enemies Become Friends.

"My best guess is that the leaders will declare that they have reached a broad agreement to move forward toward a peace treaty, normalization, and denuclearization. They will then task their teams to turn their agreement into reality. That is when the hard work will begin — and the chances of failure go up significantly, he said.

Ian Bremmer, president and founder of Eurasia Group, said Trump has accomplished more on DPRK to date than any US president, citing the facts of China tightening sanctions, the suspense of DPRK missile and nuclear tests, the release of US prisoners and Kims reaching out to China, South Korea, Russia and US diplomatically.

"However summit goes, thats progress, he said in a tweet on Tuesday.

Kim is scheduled to leave Singapore around 2 pm on Tuesday, while Trump is planned to leave in the evening around 8 pm.

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