Trump says agreement will 'absolutely' lead to denuclearization of North Korea

Trump says agreement will 'absolutely' lead to denuclearization of North Korea

Trump says agreement will 'absolutely' lead to denuclearization of North Korea

US President Donald Trump shakes hands with North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un after they signed documents that acknowledged the progress of the talks and pledge to keep momentum going, after their summit at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa island in Singapore on Tuesday.

In their first moments of meeting each other, US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un both sought to project a sense of command but displayed some anxiety at the start of their high-stakes summit in Singapore.

At a news conference after the historic meeting with Kim in Singapore, Trump announced he would halt what he called "very provocative" and expensive regular military exercises that the United States holds with South Korea.

"I feel really great", Trump said as he sat with Kim.

It was not clear from the outset whether the leaders would get on well when they met, with Trump issuing a stark warning to Kim ahead of the meeting that this was a one-time shot for North Korea to engage in talks.

China is North Korea's most important economic and diplomatic backer, despite its anger at Pyongyang's sabre rattling.

North Korea and the United States remain technically at war because the fighting ended with an armistice, not a peace treaty.

The White House said later that discussions with North Korea had moved "more quickly than expected" and Trump would leave Singapore on Tuesday night after the summit, rather than Wednesday, as scheduled earlier.

It would be folly for Trump, himself a product of the 24-hour news cycle, to confuse optics for substance and think that just because he looked good and felt good in Singapore, this alone constitutes success.

Trump did not answer a reporter's question on whether the two spoke about Otto Warmbier, the American student who died shortly after his release from North Korean imprisonment in a coma exactly one year ago.

Li Nan, senior researcher at Pangoal, a Beijing-based Chinese public policy think-tank, said the meeting had only symbolic significance. The drills help keep U.S. forces at a state of readiness in one of the world's most tense flashpoints.

Elsewhere scores of people were glued to TV screens at the Seoul railway station, cheering and clapping in response to Trump and Kim's cordial greetings. US shares were set to drift lower, with Dow futures down 0.2 percent and S&P 500 futures 0.1 percent lower. "We will meet many times".

Washington and Pyongyang are expected to issue a joint communique before both leaders depart from Singapore Tuesday.

"It was not easy to get here", but the two sides "overcame" obstacles, the North Korean leader said through a translator.

"Just come out to the world healthy with a big cry", Im Jong-seok wrote, apparently wishing for a successful outcome from the meeting between Trump and Kim.

They agreed to establish relations between the countries and committed to "build a lasting and stable peace regime on the Korean Peninsula", where the US and South Korea are still technically at war with the North.

North Korea and the USA were on opposite sides in the 1950-53 Korean War and are technically still at war, as the conflict, in which millions of people died, was concluded only with a truce.

"At the same time, there needs to be a peace mechanism for the peninsula, to resolve North Korea's reasonable security concerns", he said.

The liberal Hankook Ilbo newspaper marvelled that the United States president didn't shake hands in the usual "Trump way" of domineering his counterpart.

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