DONALD TRUMP hailed his historic meeting with Kim Jong-un yesterday — as he basked in the glow of a love-in that proved a sharp contrast to his acrimonious G7 summit days earlier.
The US president praised the North Korea dictator as ‘a worthy negotiator’ and ‘very smart’ after they met for hours in Singapore to discuss nuclear weapons and peace on the Korean peninsula.
They signed an agreement to establish new diplomatic ties, along with a vow to work towards a ‘lasting and stable peace’ and a commitment to denuclearisation.
It also included a commitment to repatriate the remains of prisoners and those declared ‘missing in action’ during the Korean War in the 1950s. But critics said the deal lacked substance and handed a propaganda victory to Mr Kim.
Mr Trump said he had pledged to end military exercises in the seas surrounding the peninsula and hoped one day to pull US troops out of the South. He also claimed Mr Kim would get to work on dismantling more of his nuclear machinery ‘as soon as he arrives’ home.
It was a far cry from the manner in which Mr Trump left the G7 summit in Canada at the weekend after clashing with allies over trade tariffs and branding Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau ‘dishonest’ and ‘weak’.
He was all smiles as he shook hands with Mr Kim before one-to-one talks.
As they walked in the luxury Capella Resort, a camera crew picked up Mr Kim’s translator telling Mr Trump: ‘There are many people who will think of this as a scene from a science fiction movie.’
The pair appeared to have got on so well that, at one point, Mr Trump opened the door to his bulletproof limo — nicknamed ‘The Beast’ — to give Mr Kim a glimpse inside. Mr Trump also showed Mr Kim a short video that laid out the opportunities North Korea could enjoy if it scrapped its nuclear arsenal. Later, both leaders hailed the occasion — the first time a sitting US president has met a North Korean leader — as they signed the agreement.
After the signing, Mr Trump told reporters the two countries had developed a ‘very special bond’. He said: ‘We had a terrific day.’
Mr Kim added: ‘Today we had a historic meeting and decided to leave the past behind and we are about to make a historic change.’
Mr Trump said sanctions would remain in place until he was satisfied progress had been made, but revealed Mr Kim had accepted an invitation to visit the White House. He also said he could visit Pyongyang.
South Korean president Moon Jae-in said the two Koreas and US ‘will write a new history of peace and co-operation’, while Britain’s foreign secretary Boris Johnson called it ‘an important step’.
In an interview with ABC News, Mr Trump hit back at claims he was sending a ‘confusing’ message by ‘reaching out to our enemies’ after the G7 summit.
He said he had ‘great friendships’ with the G7 and liked Mr Trudeau, but his comments were ‘going to cost him a lot of money’.