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Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un narrowed their hands Tuesday in Singapore during the historic summit that brought together the leaders of the United States and North Korea for the first time.
After almost five hours of meeting, both leaders signed an “exhaustive” document from which details are now beginning to be known.
These are the four points of the agreement reached between Trump and Kim Jong-un.
- The United States and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) are committed to establishing new relations between the two countries in accordance with the desire of their peoples to achieve peace and prosperity.
- The United States and North Korea will join forces to build a peaceful and stable regime on the Korean peninsula.
- Reaffirming the Panmunjom Declaration of April 27, 2018, North Korea is committed to working towards a complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.
- The United States and North Korea are committed to recovering prisoners of war and missing persons in combat, including the immediate repatriation of those who have already been identified.
The document also establishes the commitment of both countries to continue with the negotiations led by the Secretary of State of the United States, Mike Pompeo, and a senior official of North Korea whose name has not been specified.
These conversations will take place “as soon as possible” and will seek to implement the agreements reached in Singapore.
“A very special tie”
Hours before the content of the signed document was announced, the US president assured that the denuclearization process would begin “very, very fast.”
“Relationships are going to be very different from what they were in the past,” said the president, who said he had developed “a very special bond” with Kim.
The North Korean leader, for his part, said that “the world would see a major change” and that both he and Trump had decided to “leave the past behind”.
Trump also said he would “definitely” invite Kim to visit him at the White House.
Hours before, the leaders began the meeting with a handshake in front of the journalists and in front of the flags of their countries, to then leave for the room where they met face to face.
Seated and separated by a small table, before starting that meeting alone they both posed for the press and went back to shake hands. And they answered some questions from journalists.
“It was not easy to get here … There were obstacles, but we beat them to be here,” said Kim, who had never responded to Western journalists before.
For his part, Trump predicted that he would have an “excellent relationship” with Kim , which he repeated after the brief face-to-face encounter with the North Korean leader .
Both left the meeting they had exclusively with their translators and moved to another room, along with senior officials from both countries.
The main issue that both had on the table was the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula , although details of the agenda of the meeting, beyond the meeting without interpreters, and a subsequent working lunch were not made official .
What Kim and Trump are looking for
North Korea reached this summit after a year of numerous successes in its nuclear and weapons tests, and after having announced that it had already completed its atomic weapons development program.
Trump’s final goal is for Kim to dispose of nuclear weapons in a “complete, verifiable and irreversible” manner. However, achieving this goal is somewhat difficult, according to the analysts consulted by BBC Mundo.
It is a process that could last up to ten years. Also, there are doubts about what Kim is really willing to compromise.
Another hot topic at the summit was the formal end of the Korean War, the conflict that began in 1950 and ended in 1953 with an armistice and not a peace treaty.
Trump had stated, before the meeting, that this peace agreement would probably be “the easy part”.
However, aware of the complexity of the summit, the US government itself moderated its speech before the start.
The corporal gestures of the historic greeting between Trump and Kim
Insults and threats crossed over, but this Tuesday everything changed. This was the body language of the greeting:
- Trump was the first to reach out. The first salute lasted 12 long seconds and the US president then put his hand on Kim’s arm.
- Trump placed his hand on Kim’s back to guide him to the summit site.
- They talked and smiled again in the corridors and again shook hands.
- Trump touched Kim several times on the back as they walked to the site of the encounter face to face.
- Trump also showed a thumbs up as a sign that they had overcome the obstacles to reach the summit.
“These talks will set a framework for the difficult work that will come later,” said Secretary of State Mike Pompeo upon his arrival in Singapore.
For his part, Kim Jong-un seeks recognition, security and prosperity, according to the BBC correspondent Laura Bicker.
Kim seeks respect in the international scene, as well as guarantees from the United States for his country and, above all, the stability of the regime.
The young North Korean leader has also put the focus on the economy and is expected to seek some help in that regard to refloat his battered country.
Experts consider it an achievement that these two leaders, who until recently exchanged insults and threats, have sat down at the same negotiating table.
Start of thaw
The North Korean thaw began at the beginning of the year, when in his speech to inaugurate 2018, Kim reached out to South Korea.
Seoul responded positively, North Korea sent a delegation to the Winter Olympics that celebrated the South and Kim ended up meeting in person with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, later, leaving a historical image of rapprochement between the two Koreas.
A South Korean delegation then delivered a message in Washington to Trump, with Kim’s invitation to a meeting between leaders.
The new and unpredictable occupant of the White House agreed, breaking decades of foreign policy in the United States.
On the way to the summit, however, Trump retracted and came to cancel the meeting; although he changed his mind again after receiving a high official from North Korea in the White House, who handed him a letter.
Since this new period of relative peace began, Pyongyang stopped its missile and nuclear tests, and dismantled the site where it conducted the tests of this type before several international journalists.