Home Diplomatic Suite Latest: Trump, Kim to sign unspecified document shortly

Latest: Trump, Kim to sign unspecified document shortly

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By ZEKE MILLER, CATHERINE LUCEY, JOSH LEDERMAN and FOSTER KLUG, Associated Press

The Latest on the summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and President Donald Trump in Singapore (all times local):

12:55 a.m.

President Donald Trump says he and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un will be signing a document shortly.

Trump declined to specify what exactly the leaders would be signing.

Trump said after emerging from hours of talks with Kim on Tuesday in Singapore that “we’re going right now for a signing.”

Asked what he’d be signing, Trump said: “We’re going to be announcing that in a couple of minutes.”

Trump also said that the meeting was “going great” and that they had made “a lot of progress.” He says he thinks it was “better than anybody could imagine.”

Earlier:

SINGAPORE (AP) — President Donald Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un came together for a momentous summit Tuesday that could chart a course for historic peace or raise the specter of a growing nuclear threat, with Kim saying the sit-down was a “good prelude for peace” and Trump pledging that “working together we will get it taken care of.”

In a meeting that seemed unthinkable just months ago as the leaders traded insults, Trump and Kim met with staged ceremony at a Singapore island resort. They shook hands warmly in front of a row of alternating U.S. and North Korean flags and then moved into a roughly 40-minute one-on-one meeting, joined only by their interpreters, before including their advisers.

For all the upbeat talk, it remained to be seen what, if any, concrete results the sit-down would produce.

“We are going to have a great discussion and I think tremendous success. We will be tremendously successful,” Trump said before their private session.

Kim said through an interpreter: “It wasn’t that easy to come here. We have a past that held our ankles (to keep us from moving forward). Wrong prejudice and practices have also covered up our eyes and ears. We have come here after overcoming all those” obstacles.

Aware that the eyes of the world were on a moment that many people never expected to ever see, Kim remarked that many of those watching “will think of this as a scene from a fantasy … science fiction movie.”

In the run-up to the meeting, Trump had predicted the two men might strike a nuclear deal or forge a formal end to the Korean War in the course of a single meeting or over several days. But on the eve of the summit, the White House unexpectedly announced Trump would depart Singapore by Tuesday evening, raising questions about whether his aspirations for an ambitious outcome had been scaled back.

The meeting was the first between a sitting U.S. president and a North Korean leader. A lunch meeting with the leaders and their aides featured beef short rib confit along with sweet and sour crispy pork.

Critics of the summit leapt at the handshake and the moonlight stroll Kim took Monday night along the glittering Singapore waterfront, saying it was further evidence that Trump was helping legitimize Kim on the world stage as an equal of the U.S. president. Kim has been accused of horrific rights abuses against his people. During his stroll, crowds yelled out Kim’s name and jostled to take pictures, and the North Korean leader posed for a selfie with Singapore officials.

Trump responded to that commentary Tuesday on Twitter, saying: “The fact that I am having a meeting is a major loss for the U.S., say the haters & losers.” But he added “our hostages” are back home and testing, research and launches have stopped.

Trump also tweeted: “Meetings between staffs and representatives are going well and quickly … but in the end, that doesn’t matter. We will all know soon whether or not a real deal, unlike those of the past, can happen!”

Addressing reporters on Monday, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo sought to keep expectations in check, saying: “We are hopeful this summit will have set the conditions for future successful talks.”

The summit capped a dizzying few days of foreign policy activity for Trump, who shocked U.S. allies over the weekend by using a meeting in Canada of the Group of Seven industrialized economies to alienate America’s closest friends in the West. Lashing out over trade practices, Trump lobbed insults at his G-7 host, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Trump left that summit early and, as he flew to Singapore, tweeted that he was yanking the U.S. out of the group’s traditional closing statement.

 

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