Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un on Tuesday signed a document pledging the “complete denuclearization” of North Korea, alongside US security guarantees for the Pyongyang regime.
“The letter that we are signing is very comprehensive, and I think both sides will be very impressed with the results,” President Trump said, sitting next to the North Korean leader, at the historic meeting in Singapore.
Kim, for his part, said the two countries “leave the past behind” as both sign the document. “The world will see a major change,” he promised. “I would like to express gratitude to President Trump for making this meeting happen.”
Trump said “We are starting that process very quickly,” describing the denuclearization of what until moments ago was considered the ultimate rogue state on the planet.
The document also says Trump and Kim are “committed to the building of a lasting and robust peace regime on the Korean Peninsula,” and that Trump is “committed to provide security guarantees to [North Korea] and Chairman Kim Jong Un reaffirmed his firm and unwavering commitment to complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.”
The two leaders met one-on-one for 40 minutes, and were then joined by their top aides, and then had lunch. Trump described the meeting as “really fantastic.”
“We are very proud of what took place today. I think our whole relationship with North Korea and the Korea peninsula is going to be very much different situation,” the President added. “We both are going to do something and we have developed a very special bond. […] We’re going to take care of a very big and very dangerous problem for the world.”
The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea was created at the end of World War II, in 1945, after the Korean Peninsula had been divided into two zones along the 38th parallel, with the northern half of the peninsula occupied by the Soviet Union and the southern half by the United States. Initial hopes for a unified, independent Korea had evaporated as the politics of the Cold War resulted in the establishment of two separate states with diametrically opposed political, economic, and social systems.
North Korea functions as a highly centralized, one-party state. Its constitution describes it as a revolutionary and socialist state. The country is governed by the Ten Principles for the Establishment of a Monolithic Ideological System, which establishes standards for governance and a guide for the behavior of North Korean subjects. The Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK) has an estimated 3,000,000 members and dominates every aspect of North Korean politics.
North Korea promised to halt its development of nuclear weapons under the Agreed Framework, signed with President Bill Clinton in 1994. But after President GW Bush took power, North Korea revived its nuclear program in response to the US attack on Iraq.
On Monday, as the two leaders were walking together on the grounds of the Capella Hotel where the summit is being held, Kim turned to Trump and said that “many people in the world will think of this as a form of fantasy from a science fiction movie.”