Singapore (GPA) – The first meeting between Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump has concluded. Here is some information on their meeting, as well as the joint statement issued afterward.
US President, Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un, his DPRK counterpart, have concluded their first brief meeting in Singapore on Tuesday, or late Monday night in US time. Although the meeting was short, it is historic in that it is the first time a sitting US President has met with a leader of the DPRK.
While there aren’t any concrete agreements from this first talk, there is still potential for peace and some of Trump’s statements could be promising (as long as the hawks who work for him don’t sabotage things). Below is the joint statement by Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump.
Related: Dermot Hudson of the Korean Friendship Association on North Korea’s Motives and Likely Moves in Negotiations
Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un Joint Statement
President Donald J. Trump of the United States of America and Chairman Kim Jong Un of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) held a first, historic summit in Singapore on June 12, 2018.
President Trump and Chairman Kim Jong Un conducted a comprehensive, in-depth and sincere exchange of opinions on the issues related to the establishment of new US-DPRK relations and the building of a lasting and robust peace regime on the Korean Peninsula. President Trump committed to providing security guarantees to the DPRK, and Chairman Kim Jong Un reaffirmed his firm and unwavering commitment to complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
Convinced that the establishment of new US-DPRK relations will contribute to the peace and prosperity of the Korean Peninsula and of the world, and recognizing that mutual confidence building can promote the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, President Trump, and Chairman Kim Jong Un, state the following:
- The United States and the DPRK commit to establish new US-DPRK relations in accordance with the desire of the peoples of the two countries for peace and prosperity.
- The United States and DPRK will join their efforts to build a lasting and stable peace regime on the Korean Peninsula.
- Reaffirming April 27, 2018, Panmunjom Declaration, the DPRK commits to work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
- The United States and the DPRK commit to recovering POW/MIA remains, including the immediate repatriation of those already identified.
Having acknowledged that the US-DPRK summit — the first in history — was an epochal event of great significance in overcoming decades of tensions and hostilities between the two countries and for the opening up of a new future, President Trump and Chairman Kim Jong Un, commit to implementing the stipulations in the joint statement fully and expeditiously. The United States and the DPRK commit to holding follow-on negotiations, led by the US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, and a relevant high-level DPRK official, at the earliest possible date, to implement the outcomes of the US-DPRK summit.
President Donald J. Trump of the United States of America and Chairman Kim Jong Un of the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea have committed to cooperate for the development of new US-DPRK relations and for the promotion of peace, prosperity, and the security of the Korean Peninsula and of the world.
DONALD J. TRUMP
President of the United States of America
KIM JONG UN
Chairman of the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
June 12, 2018
So it appears that meetings between Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un have concluded for now and most of the negotiating will fall on US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Pompeo has built some rapport with Pyongyang in recent weeks in meetings planning the Singapore summit and making a deal to return US spies that were incarcerated in the DPRK.
The good news is that Trump did agree to uphold the joint Korean Panmunjom Declaration, signed by Kim Jong Un and President of the Republic of Korea, Moon Jae-in. This was the statement agreed to by both Koreas ensuring that Pyongyang and Seoul would work towards increasing economic cooperation, drawing down military exercises on both sides of the DMZ, denuclearizing the peninsula, and working towards reunification. The Panmunjom Declaration also included provisions to work towards reunifying families divided during the Korean War to build trust with each other, much like the DPRK has now pledged to work with the US to repatriate remains of those killed in the Korean War.
These pledges made by the DPRK already seemed to be working, when following the summit, Trump mulled possibly ending the joint US-RoK military drills. He had clearly listened sincerely to Kim since he even used language from the lexicon of DPRK supporters, calling the exercises “provocative.” It remains to be seen if Trump will follow through with this promise and after he floated this idea the US military forces in Korea issued a statement saying “USFK has received no updated guidance on execution or cessation of training exercises – to include this fall’s schedule Ulchi Freedom Guardian.”
Pyongyang, as well as their closest ally China, have repeatedly ask for a freeze to these military drills in exchange for a freeze in the DPRK’s weapons program in the past but always got rebuffed by Washington. If Trump were to be the President to end these drills he would be making the first concrete steps towards making peace in years. This would also arguably make Trump the first President to acknowledge that the DPRK has legitimate concerns with submarines off their coast, nuclear bombers in the skies, and military drills to simulate killing Kim.
Who knows if Trump is sincere in any of these promises though? Nobody, really.
Kim will obviously still be on guard after this summit. The US has made several deals with the DPRK in the past but has a historical record of not delivering on their end of the bargain. Trump is correct when he says Bill Clinton is the reason the DPRK sought a nuclear deterrent, but not for being too soft on Korea like Trump believes. The DPRK was hostile even after the deal under Clinton brokered by Jimmy Carter because Clinton was a liar and never delivered on any of the promised infrastructure and energy aid the US has promised in exchange for a weapons freeze. This has been the pattern with every president since.
Some at the ‘prestigious’ US media outlets are already complaining that Kim didn’t have to give up anything at this summit, yet he has already made tons of concessions to the US in the leadup. This site does not often post things that support Trump’s view of the world but in this case, he is correct and the military-industrial-media-complex is once again trying to foil peace in favor of profits. Trump may not be an honest man or a sincere negotiator, but we don’t know what could come out of these talks. Even if there is only a minuscule chance at finally officially ending the Korean War and bringing peace to the Peninsula it must be encouraged for the sake of humanity.
James Carey is an organizer based in Detroit, Michigan, founder of Geopolitics Alert, and an experienced analyst on Middle Eastern affairs with a particular focus on Turkey. He also covers topics ranging from Latin America and Asia to Europe. You can also hear James in his weekly podcast; The Left is Dead which he co-hosts with investigative journalist Jake Anderson.