US president hails deal after historic summit with Kim

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US President Donald Trump says his historic talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un that ended in a joint agreement were “tremendous”.

The signed document includes a pledge from Mr Kim to rid the Korean peninsula of nuclear weapons.

Mr Trump later said the US would suspend its military exercises that have infuriated North Korea, which analysts see as an apparent concession.

It was the first time a sitting US president met a North Korean leader.

The pair shook hands, held talks together and ate lunch accompanied by advisers.

It caps a remarkable turnaround for the two, who only last year were engaged in angry threats.

The summit centered on nuclear disarmament and reducing tensions.

The agreement said the two countries would co-operate towards “new relations” while the US would provide “security guarantees” to North Korea.

On nuclear weapons, Mr Kim “reaffirmed his firm and unwavering commitment to complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula”.

Observers say the document lacks substance, in particular on how denuclearization would be achieved.

But in a media conference after, Mr Trump went further, unveiling details not in the agreed text.

  • The US would suspend its “provocative” war games it holds with South Korea, he said, while he added he wanted to see US troops withdrawn from the South. Analysts have said this is a major concession
  • On denuclearization, he said that Mr Kim had agreed to it being “verified”, a key US demand ahead of the meeting
  • Mr Trump said Mr Kim had also agreed to destroy a “major missile engine testing site”
  • But he said sanctions would remain in place for now, and argued “we haven’t given up anything”.

Several reporters asked whether Mr Trump had raised the issue of human rights with Mr Kim, who runs a totalitarian regime with extreme censorship and forced-labor camps.

The US president said he had, and would not retract his description of Mr Kim as “talented”.

“Well, he is very talented,” Mr Trump said. “Anybody that takes over a situation like he did at 26 years of age and is able to run it and run it tough. I don’t say he was nice.”