FOLLOWING the historic meeting, president Trump held an eyebrow-raising, hour-long press conference destined to go down in history. He offered up some commentary on what happened at the talks, along with a few words of wisdom, delivered in his own unique style…
■ It’s a very great day [and] a very great moment in the history of the world. Chairman Kim is on his way back to North Korea and I know for a fact as soon as he arrives he’s going to start a process that will make a lot of people very happy and very safe.
■ It’s an honour to be with everyone today. The media. There’s a big gathering of media. It makes me feel very uncomfortable. But it is what it is.
■ He [Kim] is very talented. Anybody that takes over a situation like he did at 26 and is able to run it and run it tough — I don’t say he was nice — he ran it.
■ We will be stopping the war games, which will save us a tremendous amount of money… plus I think it’s very provocative.
■ [How will verification of denuclearisation be achieved?] It’s going to be achieved by having a lot of people there.
■ I think he [Kim] might want to do this as much, or even more, than me. Because they see a very bright future for North Korea. So, you never know, but we signed a very comprehensive document today.
■ It’s been very rhetorical. I think without the rhetoric it [the meeting] wouldn’t have happened.
■ What we signed today — a lot of things were included. And then you have things that weren’t included that we got after the deal was signed. I’ve done that before in my life.
■ [Asked about human rights in North Korea] I believe it’s a rough situation over there, there’s no question about it, and we did discuss it pretty strongly, at pretty good length. We’ll be doing something on it. It’s rough in a lot of places by the way, not just there. I think ultimately we’ll agree to something.
■ I had 300 sanctions that I was getting ready to put on [North Korea] last week and I said, you know, I can’t really put on sanctions when I’m meeting with, I thought it would be very disrespectful. 300 very big ones, powerful ones. I said it would be disrespectful.
■ [Asked about the White House’s ‘propaganda’ video] I hope you liked it, I thought it was good and interesting enough to show. We had it made up. I showed it to him today, actually during the meeting. And I think he loved it… I thought it was well done.
■ Should we keep going [with the press conference] for a little while? I don’t know, it’s up to the legendary Sarah Huckabee Sanders. Should we keep going Sarah? Well, I don’t care. It just means we get home a little later in the evening. [The press conference continues.]
■ [How long will denuclearisation take?] We will do it as fast as can be done scientifically. I’ve read horror stories it’s a 15-year process, assuming you want to do it quickly I don’t believe that, I think whoever wrote that is wrong.
■ I had an uncle who was a great professor for 40 years at M.I.T. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) and I used to discuss nuclear with him all the time. He was a great expert, a great, brilliant expert. We used to talk about nuclear, we’re talking about a very complex subject, it’s not just like, ‘oh gee, let’s get rid of the nukes’. It takes a period of time.
■ He [Kim] understands [nuclear weapons]. He understands it so well. He understands it better than the people that are doing the work for him. That is an easy one.
■ We have pretty good intelligence [in North Korea] although probably less there than any other country, but we have enough intelligence to know that what they have [in nuclear capabilities] is very substantial.
■ [After a young female reporter says ‘congratulations’ on the summit] Thank you. Thank you for the nice way you treated me, appreciate it, really it’s very good, it’s really beautiful what you do.
■ They [North Korea] have great beaches. You see that whenever they are exploding their cannons into the ocean. I said, ‘Boy, look at that beach, wouldn’t that make a great condo behind.’ And I explained and said, instead of doing that you could have the best hotels in the world right there. Think of it from a real estate perspective.
■ [When a reporter identifies himself as working for TIME magazine] Am I on the cover again this week?
■ I’ll do whatever it takes to make the world a safer place. If I have to sit on a stage with Chairman Kim and that’s going to get us to save 30million lives then I’m willing to sit on the stage and travel to Singapore.
■ I think honestly he’s [Kim] going to do these things. I may be wrong. I may stand before you in six months and say, ‘Hey, I was wrong’ — I don’t know if I’ll ever admit that but I’ll find some kind of an excuse.
■ Where’s [the journalists from] South Korea? You deserve one [a question]!
■ We had a great conversation, it was a very heartfelt conversation. [Reporter asks how can what happened at talks be verified if no transcript was made] I don’t have to verify because I have one of the great memories of all time, so I don’t have to.