Following a historic meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un, President Trump held a news conference in Singapore.
The North Korean leader had already departed when Trump took the podium where he spoke for more than one hour about their meeting and signing what he called a “pretty comprehensive” joint document. He told reporters he would do whatever he needs to do as president “to make the world a safer place.”
The president told reporters “we’re prepared to start a new history” as he spoke at Singapore’s Capella Hotel where the two leaders had met just hours earlier. He explained that Kim had taken the “first bold step towards bright new future” in signing a “comprehensive” document agreeing to “complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.”
“Only 70 years ago, an extremely bloody conflict ravaged the Korean Peninsula,” Trump said. “It will soon end. The past does not have to define the future. There’s no limit to what North Korea achieves if it gives up its nuclear weapons.”
Trump revealed he had extended an invitation to Kim to visit the White House, saying “it’s something we’ll look at down the line.”
“It is really going to be something that is pleasant,” he added. “And he’s accepted.”
Photos of President Trump and Kim Jong Un together at the nuclear summit in Singapore. pic.twitter.com/HtsnZ8k0ye
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) June 12, 2018
The U.S. “will be stopping the war games,” Trump said, referring to halting military drills with South Korea, but added that it would only happen – as well as lifting economic sanctions – “when we are sure the nukes are no longer a factor.”
“We’ve done exercises for a long time with South Korea. We call them war games,” Trump said. “They’re tremendously expensive. The war games are very expensive. It’s a very provocative situation. It’s inappropriate to do war games.”
The joint document signed by the two leaders earlier reportedly has promises by both nations to “establish new U.S.-DPRK (North Korea) relations in accordance with the desire of the peoples of the two countries for peace and prosperity,” to “join their efforts to build a lasting and stable peace regime on the Korean Peninsula” and to bring home to the U.S. the remains of American troops killed during the hostilities of the Korean War, according to CBS News.
Trump praised North Korea as a nation with “tremendous potential and I think he (Kim) understands that and I think he wants to do the right thing.”
He described Kim as a “very smart, very good negotiator,” saying the North Korean leader “might want to do this as much or more than me,” praising him for an “honest, direct” meeting and for taking the “first bold step toward a bright new future for his people.”
“Adversaries can indeed become friends,” Mr. Trump said.”We signed a very comprehensive document and I think he’s going to live up to that.”
Kim had reportedly told the president that North Korea would destroy a missile engine testing site, something Trump referred to as a “big thing.” He also acknowledged that the denuclearization process “does take a long time to pull off complete denuclearization… scientifically.”
Speaking on the long history of North Korea’s human rights violations, Trump described it as “a rough situation.”
“We did discuss it today, very strongly. It’s rough. It’s rough in a lot of places, by the way,” said Mr. Trump, adding, “I think it will change.”
Trump told reporters he “really believes” Kim will keep his word, but candidly admitted he could be wrong.
“I may be wrong and stand before you in six months and say, ‘Hey I was wrong,'” he said, before adding, “I don’t think I’ll ever admit that.”
The president headed back to the U.S. on Air Force One on Tuesday.
— ABC News (@ABC) June 12, 2018
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