Trump and Kim Sign Denuclearization Agreement
They have shaken hands, they have broken bread, and have now signed a historic agreement.
During a historic summit in Singapore, President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un signed an agreement committing to the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula. It was the first time a sitting US President has ever met with a North Korean leader.
The agreement states that President Trump has committed to provide “security guarantees” while Kim reaffirmed “his firm and unwavering commitment to complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula”.
Just before signing, Trump told reporters, "It's going great. We had a really fantastic meeting, a lot of progress, really very positive, I think better than anyone could have expected. Top of the line, really good."
Kim Jong Un stated, "We decided to leave the past behind us. The world will see a major change."
The agreement reaffirms the Panmunjom Declaration, the agreement signed by South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Kim in April of this year. The declaration signaled that the two countries would work towards ending the Korean War and the Korean conflict, beginning a new era of peace and sharing commitments in ending divisions and confrontation by approaching a new era of national reconciliation, peace, prosperity, and improvements to inter-Korean relations.
Trump appears to have committed to suspending joint military exercises with the South Koreans, stating that they would “stop wargames”. There is no mention of sanctions in the agreement, which Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had previously stated would stay in place. Trump confirmed in a press conference that the sanctions will stay in place and only removed once “the nukes are no longer a factor”.
President Trump - “Anyone can make war, but only the most courageous can make peace.”
The agreement also includes language that asserts North Korea will expatriate the remains of identified MIA/POWs. It’s welcome news, and on the heels of the release of three American prisoners, it’s something we expect will be followed through on. The Veterans of Foreign Wars had sent a letter to Trump earlier this week urging him to include this in the agreement. Remains of an estimated 5,300 missing American service members are in North Korea and potentially recoverable.
“For the families of those who never returned, the passage of time does not heal their wounds,” wrote Keith Harman, commander in chief of the VFW. “For them, the days became weeks, and the weeks became months, then years, and now, sadly, decades.”
More high-level negotiations over difficult issues like the pace of North Korea’s denuclearization and a verification process to certify that the North has disarmed are slated to begin as early as next month.
Kim Jong Un discussed how difficult it was to make it to this point. “It was not an easy path here. There’s a history of holding onto our ankles, and it appeared there were times that there were unfortunate practices where they were trying to block our eyes and our ears, but we’ve overcome everything and come to this place.”
The document’s bullet points are:
The agreement is proof that Kim Jong Un sees the future differently than his father, who invested huge amounts into nuclear weapons as a means of making the world respect and fear North Korea. Kim Jong Un has an opportunity here to shift the focus of his country away from nuclear weapons and towards economic development, and progress for his people.
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