Jun 12, 2018, 7:07 PM ET

President Trump urges Kim Jong Un to seize 'new chapter' in future of North Korea

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President Donald Trump on Tuesday hailed his historic meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as an opportunity to usher in "a glorious new era of security and prosperity" for the North Korean people, calling for Kim to seize on the opportunity in the interest of world peace.

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"My meeting with Chairman Kim was honest, direct and productive," Trump said in a press conference following the meeting. "We got to know each other well in a very confined period of time under very strong, strong circumstances. We're prepared to start a new history and we're ready to write a new chapter between our nations."

But reflecting on the meeting Trump appeared to brush off for the most part North Korea’s dismal record regarding human rights, saying it was only discussed “relatively briefly” compared to the primary goal of convincing Kim to dismantle his nuclear program.

“Anybody that takes over a situation like he did at 26 years of age and is able to run it and run it tough,” Trump said. “I don't say he was nice or say anything about it. He ran it, few people at that age – you could take one out of 10,000 could not do it.”

Though when pressed later in the news conference by ABC News chief White House correspondent Jonathan Karl, Trump claimed it was actually discussed “at length.”

“We will be doing something on it,” Trump said. “It's rough. It's rough in a lot of places, by the way. We will continue that and I think ultimately agree to something. It was discussed at length outside of the nuclear situation.”

PHOTO: President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un walk after lunch during their historic summit in Singapore, June 12, 2018.
SLIDESHOW: PHOTOS: Trump goes face to face with Kim in historic summit with North Korea

In a speech to the United Nations last September, Trump made human rights a key issue in his overall condemnation of Kim Jong Un’s regime.

“No one has shown more contempt for other nations and for the wellbeing of their own people than the depraved regime in North Korea,” Trump said. “It is responsible for the starvation deaths of millions of North Koreans, and for the imprisonment, torture, killing, and oppression of countless more.”

Trump and Kim spent more than four and a half hours together at the Capella Hotel resort on Sentosa Island Tuesday, holding both a one-on-one sit down with translators followed by an expanded meeting with their top national security aides.

The meetings yielded a joint statement signed by both leaders in which the U.S. agreed to provide security commitments for North Korea in exchange for "complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula."

PHOTO: President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un walk off after a signing ceremony during a meeting on Sentosa Island, June 12, 2018, in Singapore.Evan Vucci/AP
President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un walk off after a signing ceremony during a meeting on Sentosa Island, June 12, 2018, in Singapore.

While it's unclear what specific security commitments Trump is willing to put on the table, he said during his press conference that he plans to order the halt of joint U.S.-South Korean military exercises that the North Koreans have long described as an obstacle to productive talks.

"It's a very provocative situation," Trump said. "When I see that and you have a country right next door, so under the circumstances that we're negotiating a very comprehensive, complete deal, I think it's inappropriate to be having war games."

Even as Trump downplayed the importance of the exercises, the move would amount to a potentially major concession to North Korea even as it hasn't set forward any known concrete steps that would fully eliminate its nuclear program.

"We haven't given up anything," Trump said. "Other than -- you're right, I agreed to meet and I think the meeting was every bit as good for the United States as it was for North Korea."

The agreement signed by Trump and Kim states that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will be tasked with meeting with a high-level North Korean official "at the earliest possible date to implement the outcomes" of the summit.

Trump also said in his press conference that U.S. sanctions against North Korea will remain in effect as the country takes steps to dismantle its nuclear program.

The state-run media organization of North Korea, Korean Central News Agency, reported on Tuesday that Kim Jong Un said it's urgent for the two countries "to make bold decisions on halting irritating and hostile military actions against each other."

"Kim Jong Un said in order to achieve peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula and realize its denuclearization, the two countries should commit themselves to refraining from antagonizing with each other out of mutual understanding, and take legal and institutional steps to guarantee it," KCNA reported.

KCNA went on to claim that both Kim and Trump "shared recognition to the effect that it is important to abide by the principle of step-by-step and simultaneous action in achieving peace, stability and denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula," and that both men agreed to visit each other's country.

As far as concessions from North Korea, Kim gave an "immediate agreement" to a proposal by Trump for reclaiming the remains of U.S. servicemen still in the country, according to KCNA.

The president fielded questions for more than an hour in his first solo news conference since February of 2017.

He sought to brush off questions that his appearance with Kim legitimizes his dictatorship, with some citing a video played for reporters prior to the start of the press conference that the president said he gifted to Kim in an attempt to show him the bright future available to his country.

The video portrayed North Korea abandoning its nuclear weapons and being able to adopt Western-style markets, transportation systems and joining South Korea in the modern era.

"I showed it to you because that is the future," Trump said. "That could very well be the future. The other alternative is not a good alternative."

Following his press conference, the president will depart Singapore earlier than the White House had originally scheduled. Secretary of State Pompeo said Monday that negotiations with the North Koreans were "moving quite rapidly," and the U.S. anticipated they would "come to their logical conclusion even more quickly than we had anticipated."

The conclusion of the historic summit followed an often tumultuous year and a half where at times it appeared that the U.S. and North Korea were closer than ever before to engaging in direct military conflict.

Before Kim's departure, the president heaped praise on the young dictator, saying he learned from their meeting that he's "a very talented man" who "loves his country very much."

PHOTO: President Donald Trump speaks during a news conference after his meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa island in Singapore, June 12, 2018.Jonathan Ernst/Reuters
President Donald Trump speaks during a news conference after his meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa island in Singapore, June 12, 2018.

“We're going to take care of a very big and very dangerous problem for the world,” Trump said. “This is going to lead to more and more and more, and it's an honor to be with you. Very great honor.”

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  • Paulie

    DPRK 'committed' itself to denuclearization in the past in these years: 1985, 1992, 1994, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2016

    “There is no longer a Nuclear Threat from North Korea.” – D. Trump

    “I’ll ever admit that, but I’ll find some kind of an excuse.” – D. Trump

  • P bis

    This entire trip could have been handled thru FOX News' satellite or Skype. As Kim said it was a sci-fi scenario. All the millions spent by the Trump admin on flying cars equipment, and people to Siingapore and for what? Duh!

  • Amy Farmer

    Trump is so good at seizing things.

  • NuffAlready

    The skeptic in us all should be examining why two unstable, traitorous, and unscrupulous wannabee dictator/dictator would choose to hold their "meeting" alone. This meeting, after the overly pomp and circumstance hoopla of their actual handshake, as carefully choreographed and coiffed as their hairdos

    These two men ARE drawn to each other! And their mutual needs to control public image, the media, and their people. For their own personal gain.

  • Bud Simpson

    What it boils down to is 2 of the 3 biggest liars, are country leaders, sort of said they might do some things.

    Didn't Cadet Bone Spur say the world has never seen a negotiator like him before?

    Didn't he say that if Un didn't agree to denuclearize North Korea then he'd walk out?

    ...and then left with a kinda promise and now claims it was a huge success. Based on the way these two keep their promises they could have saved a lot of money and just phoned this one in.

    SAD!

    #FAKEPOTUS

  • AmericanGirl

    Let me guess, could "new chapter" mean Trump hotels? This just out from AP - BREAKING: Trump says he talked up North Korea's real estate, beachside hotel opportunities in Kim Jong Un meeting.

  • AmericanGirl

    "President Trump says he got North Korea to commit to destroying a major missile testing site but "we didn't put it in the agreement because we didn't have time."

  • Betty Bloop

    the general vagueness of the agreement pretty well illustrates that they haven't yet agreed on a lot.

  • Jan515

    What an historic accomplishment by President Trump. Even the head of the UN said this historic meeting has a chance to make the world more peaceful.

  • aarfc

    Oh my! Donnie is cheating on Vlad!

  • Robert Conrrad

    Here come the angry, sick full of hate commie/libs.

  • Dave Park

    If things work out, there will another Asian country available to take American jobs.

  • Alex Ross

    "...the summit has failed to secure any concrete commitments by Pyongyang for dismantling its nuclear arsenal."

    But Kim got what he wanted...

  • AmericanGirl

    Trump on Kim: "A talented man who loves his country very much. An honor to meet him."
    This so-called "talented man" atrocities in NK “entail extermination, murder, enslavement, torture, imprisonment, rape, forced abortions and other sexual violence, persecution on political, religious, racial and gender grounds, the forcible transfer of populations, the enforced disappearance of persons and the inhumane act of knowingly causing prolonged starvation." 2014 UN report
    And don't forget Trump standing next to him bashing the free press. An embarrassment all around but mostly seeing our flag fly next to theirs.That's some regimen you've elected, cons.

  • pfon71361

    It was a great moment for the prospects of peace between powerful nations captured by photographers. That was when President Trump stood with the other G7 leaders before the meetings which ended on a very sour note over the weekend. Now to the handshake seen around the world. Certainly a powerful image. But in this case, in terms of a binding, lasting agreement toward North Korean demilitarization, a thousand words are worth far more than just a picture. Symbolism, however evocative, must never be a substitute for substance.

  • Alex Ross

    Does it seem like Kim is like Lucy pulling the football away from Charlie Brown's feet?

  • Robert Reid

    The liberal comments below show why anyone with any common sense is fleeing the democratic party.

  • Alex Ross

    Does it surprise anyone that this meeting had ZERO details like all the rest of his meetings?

  • Jen Bordon

    Since they're both pathological liars, we'll never know the significance of the meeting,
    nor the impact.

  • #COYS

    They should take divider and chief Obama's Nobel Prize and give it to Trump

  • sg

    Trump got played and doesn't even know it. This is why you prepare.

  • Harvey Pooka

    What? Just, what? No mention of Kim executing his gov't officials, starving his people, the kidnapping and torturing of foreign nationals, and all of these things are still happening. The last execution was recent, they still deny holding Japanese abductees, and their people still slave away in camps.

    Great job, Donald? A smiling and joking Kim? It's disgusting. This whole summit was nothing but a money grab that'll only benefit #TheTwoDictators.

  • Tegbessou Géléhéso

    Well it's about time... this is historic. Good job Donald!