Trump-Kim summit concludes with signing of agreement

Photo: CNA video screengrab
Photo: CNA video screengrab

US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un have officially signed… something. And they did so with a roomful of reporters watching.

Following a working lunch between the US and North Korean delegations, Trump and Kim Jong Un emerged in the courtyard of the Capella Hotel to speak to the press.

According to Trump, who did most of the talking, the talks went “better than anybody could have expected,” and “a lot of progress” was made. He then said that they were going to head for a signing of some sort, without providing further details.

About 1:35pm, the leaders were back in front of the press to publicly sign a set of documents as promised. At this point in time, what exactly was signed remains maddeningly vague, thought Kim assured reporters that “the world will see a major change.” According to Trump, it’s a “very important” and “pretty comprehensive” document.

“I learned that he’s a talented man who loves his country very much,” Trump said of Kim later on.

Perhaps providing some hint as to the contents of those documents, an anonymous US official who spoke to CNN in the summit’s fourth hour said that the leaders would be signing a document that acknowledges that progress has been made, and one that pledges to keep the momentum for talks going. In other words, we probably shouldn’t hold our breath for a truly momentous announcement. Today’s meeting would seem to be an introductory gathering, presumably the first of many to come between Trump and Kim.

While some might perceive today’s landmark summit as a glorified photo op, nobody could argue against the fact that a thaw of some sort — even if a minor one — seems to have been achieved in US-North Korea relations.

“What you want in diplomacy is, you want to earn the right to proceed. So at least you’re in the game there, and the game is you can keep gaining yards on each play,” stated former US ambassador to Singapore Frank Lavin in an interview with Coconuts Singapore.

Initially scheduled to leave for home on a 2pm flight at Changi Airport, it looks like Kim will be running a bit late. Kim has already left Sentosa for The St. Regis while Trump will be holding a press conference at 2:30pm before leaving straight for Paya Lebar Airbase to catch a flight to Washington at 7pm.

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