Live Updates: Trump-Kim Summit Ends with Promise to Suspend Military Exercises
In the joint statement, Mr. Trump “committed to provide security guarantees” to North Korea. Mr. Kim “reaffirmed his firm and unwavering commitment to complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.”
But the statement was short on details and did not lay out potential next steps or a timetable. It was not immediately released to reporters, but was legible in a photo of Mr. Trump holding it up at the ceremony.
The statement said the two nations would hold “follow-on negotiations” led by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and a high-level North Korean official “at the earliest possible date, to implement the outcomes” of the summit meeting.
The statement also said the two nations would “join their efforts to build a lasting and stable peace regime” on the divided Korean Peninsula, meaning talks to reduce military tensions that could eventually lead to a formal peace treaty to end the Korean War.
Trump promises a bright future, in video montage
Mr. Trump presented Mr. Kim with a short video depicting the prosperity that could come with peace. The video, which was shown to journalists before Mr. Trump’s news conference, was a hyperbolic movie-trailer-style montage of many, many images, both positive and dire.
Among them: airplanes, bridges, skyscrapers, smiling children, American armaments, missile launches, postwar devastation, high-speed trains, a basketball player dunking a ball and horses running through water.
“There comes a time when only a few are called upon to make a difference, but the question is: What difference will the few make?” intones a narrator in the English-language version of the video.
“The past doesn’t have to be the future. Out of the darkness can come the light.”
Pentagon and South Korea’s military caught off guard
American and South Korean officials were surprised by Mr. Trump’s plans to end “war games” on the Korean Peninsula. Lt. Col. Jennifer Lovett, a United States military spokeswoman in South Korea, said in an email that the American command there “has received no updated guidance on execution or cessation of training exercises — to include this fall’s schedule Ulchi Freedom Guardian.”
“We will continue with our current military posture until we receive updated guidance from the Department of Defense,” she added.
Mr. Trump’s statement that he was suspending joint military exercises with South Korea also stunned many South Koreans. The annual exercises have been an integral part of the alliance with the United States that forms the bulwark of South Korea’s defenses against the North.
Mr. Trump’s pronouncement raised fears that Washington was making concessions before North Korea had actually dismantled its nuclear weapons.
The South Korean Defense Ministry issued a curt statement saying that it was trying to determine Mr. Trump’s intentions.
Despite the uncertainty, President Moon Jae-in of South Korea celebrated the meeting’s outcome, calling it “a historic event that has helped break down the last remaining Cold War legacy on earth.”
“I pay my high compliments for the courage and determination of the two leaders, President Trump and Chairman Kim, not to settle for that outdated and familiar reality but to take a daring step toward change,” Mr. Moon said.
“Once again, I would like to pay my respects to President Trump, who achieved a feat that no one else has ever delivered,” he said.
News credit : Nytimes