Trump says Kim 'very smart', North Korea to denuclearize 'very, very quickly'

Reuters

Posted at Jun 12 2018 03:04 PM | Updated as of Jun 12 2018 05:00 PM

US President Donald Trump and North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un walk during their summit at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa island in Singapore Tuesday. Anthony Wallace/Pool via Reuters

SINGAPORE - US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un signed a "comprehensive" document on Tuesday following a historic summit in Singapore aimed at the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.

There were no immediate details on the contents of the document but Trump said he expected the denuclearization process to start "very, very quickly."

Although the breakthrough made at the summit marks just the start of a diplomatic process, it could bring lasting change to the security landscape of Northeast Asia, just as former US President Richard Nixon visit to Beijing in 1972 led to the transformation of China.

Before signing what Trump described as a "comprehensive letter", Kim said the two leaders had a historic meeting “and decided to leave the past behind. The world will see a major change.”

Trump said he had formed a "very special bond" with Kim and that relationship with North Korea would be very different.

"People are going to be very impressed and people are going to be very happy and we are going to take care of a very dangerous problem for the world," Trump said.

Asked whether he would invite Kim to the White House, Trump said: "Absolutely, I will."

He called Kim "very smart" and a "very worthy, very hard negotiator."

"I learned he's a very talented man. I also learned that he loves his country very much."

During a post-lunch stroll through the gardens of the Singapore hotel where the summit was held, Trump said the summit had gone "better than anybody could have expected".

Kim stood silently alongside, but the North Korean leader had earlier described their meeting as a "a good prelude to peace".

Both men walked to Trump's bullet-proof limousine, nicknamed "The Beast", and looked in at the rear seat, with Trump apparently showing Kim something inside. They then resumed their walk.

They had appeared cautious and serious when they first arrived for the summit at the Capella hotel on Singapore's Sentosa, a resort island with luxury hotels, a casino, man-made beaches and a Universal Studios theme park.

But, with cameras of the world's press trained on them, they displayed an initial atmosphere of bonhomie as they met on the veranda of the Capella, a refurbished 19th century British regimental officers' mess.

After a handshake, they were soon smiling and holding each other by the arm, before Trump guided Kim to the library where they held a meeting with only their interpreters. Trump had said on Saturday he would know within a minute of meeting Kim whether he would reach a deal.