Tuesday, 21 August, 2018

Trump, Kim confident but body language reveals nerves at first meeting

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Kelvin Reese | 13 June, 2018, 01:13

The official start of the summit came when the two world leaders shook hands shortly after 9 a.m. local time.

Many analysts have suggested that the discussion about denuclearization means very different things to North Koreans than it does to American officials. Trump said at a press conference that he will be ending joint military exercises between the United States and South Korea.

"I also think I'll know if it's going to happen fast - it may not, but I'll know pretty quickly whether or not in my opinion something positive will happen".

Last year Kim was "Little Rocket Man", according to Trump, and USA officials regularly mentioned his likely role in the assassination of his half-brother with nerve agent in a Malaysian airport, as well as his uncle's execution. Earlier today, when the contents of the documents remained maddeningly vague, Kim assured reporters that "the world will see a major change".

The summit took place at the British colonial style Capella Hotel in Sentosa Island, a tourist paradise.

The actual text of the document was visible in a picture from the signing, after Trump held it up to show their signatures.

The letter, signed by US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, does not specify what the commitments are.

North Korea's anti-US propaganda dates to the war and regularly shows North Korean soldiers bayonetting the USA flag.

The language used around the denuclearisation clause is thought to favour North Korea's view that the entire Korean Peninsula needs to denuclearise, likely including U.S. forces in South Korea. Beyond the impact on both leaders' political fortunes, the summit could shape the fate of countless people - the citizens of impoverished North Korea, the tens of millions living in the shadow of the North's nuclear threat, and millions more worldwide. Since 1953, a ceasefire has made that conflict largely symbolic, with suffering limited to South Koreans killed in provocative strikes, and the North Koreans who suffer in a gulag state or die fleeing it.

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But Trump's key negotiator, ambassador Sung Kim, told reporters afterwards there was a lot of work still to be done.

Kim and Trump come face-to-face for the first time. "Longer than that, you start to suffer some issues", said Spoehr, a retired three-star Army general.

"I think the entire world is watching this moment".

China wants to ensure its interests are preserved in any negotiations, including that they don't result in a unified Korea that is pro-America.

Grilled by USA reporters, Trump also paid tribute to Otto Warmbier and his parents and said the college student, who fell into a coma in detention in North Korea, "did not die in vain".

"I am still not sure whether the North is willing to denuclearize or not", said Jo Han-won.

Both men were desperate for this meeting, with Trump perhaps even more so. If we withdraw our forces and that's part of the deal, I can't support the deal.

Yun had warned against any agreement to reduce the USA presence, which includes 28,000 troops, in South Korea.

South Korea said last month the issue of US troops stationed there was unrelated to any future peace treaty with North Korea and that American forces should stay even if such an agreement were signed.

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