U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday said he would “absolutely” invite DPRK leader Kim Jong Un to Washington DC, following the signing of a joint agreement on Tuesday.
Details on what exactly has been decided remain unclear and are expected to emerge in the next hour or so.
In a joint signing following several hours of talks between the two Koreas, President Trump said the agreement would result in a “great change” in the two countries’ relations.
“I think our whole relationship with North Korea and the Korean peninsula is going to be a much different situation than it has in the past,” the President said. “We both want to do something, we both are going to do something.”
Both sides would be impressed with the agreement, Trump continued, saying he had developed “a very special bond” with Kim.
In response to a question from a reporter, the President also said he would “absolutely” invite Kim Jong Un to Washington DC.
The DPRK leader did not respond when asked if he would accept.
Kim Jong Un then said the document would represent “a new start at the historic meeting while leaving the past behind.”
“The world will see a major change,” he said. “I express my gratitude toward President Trump who has strived for today’s meeting.”
Following the signing, Trump said he had learned that the North Korean leader is a “very talented man” and that he “loves his country very much.”
In response to a question on whether North Korea would begin denuclearization soon, the President said “We’re starting that process very quickly, very very quickly, absolutely.”
The two men emerged at 1338 local time to sign the document, followed by officials from both sides.
Kim Jong Un was at the signing flanked by his sister Kim Yo Jong – a senior DPRK official in her own right – while President Trump was assisted by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
Following a lunch between the DPRK and U.S. leaders, President Trump told press there had been “a lot of progress at this morning’s talks.”
“I think [it went] better than anybody could have expected,” he said. “We’re going right now for a signing.”
The two men met for a historic summit at 0900 local time at the Capella Hotel on Singapore’s Sentosa Island.
They then held a one-on-one meeting for roughly 45 minutes, before an expanded bilateral meeting featuring top officials from Pyongyang and Washington.
Ahead of that meeting, Kim Jong Un said the two had made an “excellent start.”
The two sides then participated in a working lunch.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at a press conference on Monday told press that the U.S. would not accept any agreement that did not see North Korea commit to full denuclearization.
Sanctions and pressure, Pompeo warned, would continue and increase should diplomacy fail.
But he also offered Kim an olive branch, saying that the U.S. would be willing to help North Korea gain foreign direct investment and other economic opportunities in the event that it took steps towards denuclearization.
The Secretary of State also said that President Trump “recognizes” the North Korean leader’s need for security guarantees before complete verifiable and irreversible denuclearization (CVID) can take place.
“President Trump… is prepared to ensure that a North Korea free of weapons of mass destruction will also be a secure North Korea,” Pompeo told media.
Featured image: Kevin Lim/THE STRAITS TIMES