12 burning questions about the Trump-Kim Summit, answered


President Donald Trump said he trusts Kim Jong Un and that he has received the same trust in return following a historic sit-down with the North Korean leader.

"Just landed - a long trip, but everybody can now feel much safer than the day I took office".

Earlier Wednesday, North Korea's state KCNA news agency said denuclearization would be a "step by step process" with "simultaneous action", a stance that appeared to contradict the US refusal to offer sanctions relief before North Korea gives up its nuclear weapons.

The Singapore agreement does not detail plans for North Korea to demolish a missile engine testing site, a concession Trump said he'd won, or Trump's promise to end military exercises in the South while negotiations between the US and the North continue.

Greg Scarlatoiu, with the US -based Committee for Human Rights in North Korea said he was disappointed that human rights was not discussed in any substantial way, but noted that the summit is the beginning of a longer diplomatic process.

Mr Trump said on Tuesday the U.S. was stopping "very provocative" and costly military exercises with South Korea to facilitate denuclearisation negotiations with North Korea.

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Conservative House Republicans were unrepentant in their praise for the president for engaging with North Korea, a sharp reversal from many of their views on similar negotiations between President Barack Obama's Secretary of State John Kerry and Iran.

But like everyone else, military chiefs in South Korea were caught off-guard by Trump's unilateral declaration of an end to joint exercises, which is likely to embolden conservatives calling for Seoul to develop nuclear weapons of its own.

Trump's Tuesday meeting with Kim produced a wave of U.S. concessions in exchange for vague, nonbinding promises from North Korea, but it did make nuclear war all but inconceivable at the present moment.

However, there was no mention of the previous USA aim of "complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization" from Pyongyang.

It says the sides "commit to establish new US-DPRK relations in accordance with the desire of the peoples of the two countries for peace and prosperity". Even in cases where the US president has studied his briefing materials, unlike Trump, having others present can prevent a situation where the two nations disagree about what promises were made.

During his talk with Hannity, Trump said his inflammatory rhetoric helped spur this new meeting. Asked about this yesterday, Trump said: "I think he wants to get it done".

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Trump and Kim wrote of a new future for the world in their joint statement, but that new future may be one ruled from Beijing, not Washington.

In Japan, the prospect of canceled US-South Korean drills was met with concern. The next scheduled major exercise, involving tens of thousands of troops, normally is held in August.

Joint military exercises between US and South Korean troops have long angered Pyongyang.

President Moon Jae-in spoke by phone with Mr Trump for 20 minutes late on Tuesday, but an official readout of the call made no mention of military exercises, according to Reuters.

On the huge domestic issue of Japanese citizens kidnapped by North Korea decades ago, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe welcomed that Trump had apparently brought it up with Kim, but there was no tangible progress.

The media message to the masses was clear: this is a big success for Kim - known in the North as the Marshal - and the result of his wise leadership.

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But others said it's a great step forward for peace.