After an unprecedented meeting with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un on Tuesday, US President Donald Trump said the the two nations are willing to “prepare for a new history”.
The summit at Singapore—the first between a sitting US president and a North Korean leader—will mark a turnaround of relations between Trump and Kim after a long-running exchange of threats and insults.
“We are ready to write new chapters. The past does not to have define future,” the US President said, certain that denuclearisation will begin “very, very quickly”.
Asked if the North Korean leader agreed to denuclearise, Trump said “absolutely”. “Kim Jong Un has the chance to cease a better future for his country. Anyone can make war but only the most courageous can make peace,” he said after the historic meeting.
Septuagenarian Trump called his meeting with Kim, 35, as “one of the greatest moments in the history of the world”.
Trump and Kim kicked off their history-making summit aimed at normalising bilateral ties and complete denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula. They shook hands at a luxury hotel in Singapore’s Sentosa island after months of diplomatic twists and turns. The two men walked towards each other and firmly gripped each other’s hands in front of US and North Korean flags.
The handshake assumes significance as Trump and Kim are the first leaders of their respective countries to meet, the culmination of months of diplomatic wrangling and negotiations. The President expressed the hope that the historic summit would be “tremendously successful”.
Sitting next to the North Korean leader, Trump said, “We will have a terrific relationship ahead.”
“I feel really great. It’s gonna be a great discussion and I think tremendous success. I think it’s gonna be really successful and I think we will have a terrific relationship, I have no doubt,” Trump responded when asked how he felt in the first minute.
The North Korean dictator said there were a number of “obstacles” to the meeting taking place in Singapore today. “We overcame all of them and we are here today,” he told reporters through a translator.
“Well, it was not easy to get here. The past has placed many obstacles in our way but we overcame all of them and we are here today,” he added.
Trump then said. “Thank you very much”.
After shaking hands in front of a row of American and North Korean flags, Trump and Kim walked along a colonnade, inside the hotel and up a flight of stairs.
At 9:06 a.m. (local time), they entered the room where they held their one-on-one meeting. The translator sat beside Trump.
Sentosa is a popular tourist island a few hundred metres off the main island of Singapore.
(Inputs from agencies)
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