Historic handsake has denuke deal

  • Trump, Kim hail US-North Korea summit despite doubts over agreement
- AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, SINGAPORE

Jun 13, 2018-Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un hailed their historic summit on Tuesday as a breakthrough in relations between Cold War foes, but the agreement they produced was short on details about the key issue of Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons.

The extraordinary encounter saw the leader of the world’s most powerful democracy shake hands with the third generation scion of a ruling dynasty, standing as equals in front of their nations’ flags. Kim agreed to the “complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula”, a stock phrase favoured by Pyongyang that fell short of long-standing US demands for North Korea to give up its atomic arsenal.

After a day filled with smiles and compliments in the sumptuous setting of a luxury Singapore hotel that was watched around the world, the US “committed to provide security guarantees” to North Korea.

Ahead of the meeting, critics expressed concerns that it risked being more about media headlines than substantive progress. Asked about denuclearisation--the crux of the summit--Trump said, “we’re starting that process”, adding that it would begin “very, very quickly.”

But the text of the agreement made no mention of previous US demands for “complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearisation”. Melissa Hanham of the US-based Center for Nonproliferation Studies said on Twitter that the two sides “still don’t agree on what ‘denuclearisation’ means.”

“We’ll meet again,” Trump said after a signing ceremony, standing with Kim on the verandah. “We will meet many times.”

Published: 13-06-2018 07:05

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