It wasn’t a peace treaty, nor did it even bring us to the point where it could be said that peace is near. But the joint statement laying out the intentions of the two countries which was signed by President Trump and Kim Jung Un of North was a historic first step toward peace.

It outlined that Trump committed to providing security guarantees to North Korea, while Kim had “reaffirmed his firm and unwavering commitment to complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.”

But as President Reagan used to say, “the devil is in the details.” Those details need to be worked out for a final treaty, and there are many potholes ahead that present the possibility to slow down or even utterly destroy the chance of a peace treaty.

The agreement signed in Singapore includes loose commitments by the two countries:

  • The US and DPRK work for “peace and prosperity”
  • The two nations will work for a “stable peace” on the peninsula.
  • They will “work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.”
  • “The United States and the DPRK commit to recovering POW/MIA

Trump was optimistic that Kim would follow through on his commitment and claimed that the North Korean leader would start the process the moment he landed in Pyongyang.

After the declaration had been signed according to the POTUS, the despot with the funny hair agreed to something not in the deal, to destroy “a major missile engine testing site.” And in turn, the President agreed to end military exercises that the U.S. has long conducted with South Korea in the region. “They’re tremendously expensive,” he said. “I think it’s inappropriate to be having war games ” while trying to make peace

US leaders have consistently called for “complete, verifiable, irreversible denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula,” but the agreement only calls for complete denuclearization. Per the President, details about making the denuclearization permanent and verifiable need to be negotiated.

And there’s the rub. North Korea has promised denuclearization before, but they never agreed to verification. President Trump and Secretary of State Pompeo are well aware of the history and even during the post-summit press conference, the POTUS assured the nation about verification.

Reporter:   Mr. President, this joint statement does not talk about verifiable or irreversible denuclearization.

Pres. Trump:  Yeah.

Reporter:   Was that a concession on the part of the United States?

Pres. Trump:  No, not at all.  Because if you look at it, I mean, it said we are going to — let’s see here — it will be gone.  I don’t think you can be anymore plain than what we’re asking — “issues related to the establishment of the new U.S. DPRK relations” — the building.  We talk about the guarantees, and we talk about “unwavering commitment to the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.”  This is the document that we just signed.

Reporter: Did you discuss with Chairman Kim methods to verify, either with the United States or international organizations, that very process?  And do you have a timetable —

Pres. Trump:  Yes, we did.  Yes, we did.  And we’ll be verifying.

Reporter: Can you give that to us?

Pres. Trump:  Yeah, we’ll be verifying.  It will be verified.

Reporter:   How is that going to be achieved, Mr. President?

Pres. Trump:  Well, it’s going to be achieved by having a lot of people there, and as we develop a certain trust.  And we think we have done that.  Secretary Pompeo has been really doing a fantastic job — his staff, everybody.  As we do that, we’re going to have a lot of people there, and we’re going to be working with them on a lot of other things.  But this is complete denuclearization of North Korea, and it will be verified.

Reporter:    Will those people be Americans or international —

Pres. Trump:  Uh, combinations of both.  Combinations of both.  And we have talked about it, yes. As we do that, we’re going to have a lot of people there, and we’re going to be working with them on a lot of other things.  But this is complete denuclearization of North Korea, and it will be verified.

Negotiations to complete an agreement will begin immediately, and while the talks continue, America will continue to hold Kim’s chubby little feet to the fire. In fact, Secretary of State Pompeo confirmed the sanctions will remain in place until the denuclearization is complete.

So where are we? Well, all those people complaining that President Trump was moving this country toward a nuclear war with Iran were wrong. The talks begun in Singapore wouldn’t have happened without Trump’s harsh words and warnings of a military strike.

Those who feared President Trump was unprepared and would make too many concessions were also wrong.  Except for putting the war games on hold, all the compromises were made by the North Korean despot, including blowing up one nuclear facility, ceasing nuclear and missile testing, and releasing the three Americans held by Kim’s government.

It is true that many will say that just by meeting with Kim Jung Un, America made a significant concession and perhaps so. But as President Trump (and most businessmen) knows, two sides cannot come to an agreement without looking each other in the eye. That’s how an opponents weakness is revealed, and trust is developed.

It is hypocritical that many of the same people criticizing Trump for appearing with the North Korean despot were perfectly happy when without first gaining concessions President Obama went to Cuba to meet with (and even go to a baseball game with) Raul Castro.

Now the real work begins, the two sides need to fill in the blanks. Will they work toward an actual agreement which includes the “complete, verifiable, irreversible denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula,”  or will they follow the Obama/Iran model an agreement without denuclearization or verification?

My money is on a real agreement. With the Iran agreement, the U.S. was desperately trying to create a foreign policy legacy for Barack Obama. These negotiations are different. Based on Trump ramping up the sanctions over the past seventeen months, the weak North Korean economy is near collapse. It is Kim Jung Un who needs an agreement with the U.S.  The American President already walked away from negotiations once and will do it again if necessary.

The agreement signed by President Trump wasn’t the end, it was just the beginning. But based on the understanding and the team negotiating the details, we should be optimistic that any full agreement will lead to real, verifiable denuclearization of North Korea (plus new criticism and incorrect predictions from the Democrats and the Mainstream Media).

Below is the statement text made at the beginning of his post-summit press conference made at 4:15 am EDT, and the agreement signed by President Trump and Kim Jung Un both provided by the White House:

Well, thank you very much, everybody.  We appreciate it.  We’re getting ready to go back.

We had a tremendous 24 hours.  We’ve had a tremendous three months, actually, because this has been going on for quite a while.  That was a tape that we gave to Chairman Kim and his people, his representatives.  And it captures a lot.  It captures what could be done.  And that’s a great — a great place.  It has the potential to be an incredible place.  Between South Korea — if you think about it — and China, it’s got tremendous potential.  And I think he understands that and he wants to do what’s right.

It’s my honor today to address the people of the world, following this very historic summit with Chairman Kim Jong Un of North Korea.  We spent very intensive hours together, and I think most of you have gotten the signed document, or you will very shortly.  It’s very comprehensive.  It’s going to happen.

I stand before you as an emissary of the American people to deliver a message of hope and vision, and a message of peace.

Let me begin by thanking our incredible hosts in Singapore, especially Prime Minister Lee, a friend of mine.  This is a country of profound grace and beauty, and we send our warmest wishes to every citizen of Singapore, who really made this visit so important and so pleasant, despite all of the work and all of the long hours.

I also want to thank President Moon of South Korea.  He’s working hard.  In fact, I’ll be speaking to him right after we’re finished.  Prime Minister Abe of Japan — a friend of mine — just left our country, and he wants what’s right for Japan and for the world.  He’s a good man.  And a very special person, President Xi of China, who has really closed up that border — maybe a little bit less so over the last couple of months, but that’s okay.  But he really has.  And he’s a terrific person and a friend of mine, and really a great leader of his people.  I want to thank them for their efforts to help us get to this very historic day.

Most importantly, I want to thank Chairman Kim for taking the first bold step toward a bright new future for his people.  Our unprecedented meeting — the first between an American President and a leader of North Korea — proves that real change is indeed possible.

My meeting with Chairman Kim was honest, direct, and productive.  We got to know each other well in a very confined period of time, under very strong, strong circumstance.  We’re prepared to start a new history and we’re ready to write a new chapter between our nations.

Nearly 70 years ago — think of that; 70 years ago — an extremely bloody conflict ravaged the Korean Peninsula.  Countless people died in the conflict, including tens of thousands of brave Americans.  Yet, while the armistice was agreed to, the war never ended.  To this day, never ended.  But now we can all have hope that it will soon end.  And it will.  It will soon end.

The past does not have to define the future.  Yesterday’s conflict does not have to be tomorrow’s war.  And as history has proven over and over again, adversaries can indeed become friends.  We can honor the sacrifice of our forefathers by replacing the horrors of battle with the blessings of peace.  And that’s what we’re doing and that’s what we have done.

There is no limit to what North Korea can achieve when it gives up its nuclear weapons and embraces commerce and engagement with the rest of the world — that really wants to engage.  Chairman Kim has before him an opportunity like no other: to be remembered as the leader who ushered in a glorious new era of security and prosperity for his people.

Chairman Kim and I just signed a joint statement in which he reaffirmed his “unwavering commitment to complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.”  We also agreed to vigorous negotiations to implement the agreement as soon as possible.  And he wants to do that.  This isn’t the past.  This isn’t another administration that never got it started and therefore never got it done.

Chairman Kim has told me that North Korea is already destroying a major missile engine testing site.  That’s not in your signed document; we agreed to that after the agreement was signed.  That’s a big thing — for the missiles that they were testing, the site is going to be destroyed very soon.

Today is the beginning of an arduous process.  Our eyes are wide open, but peace is always worth the effort, especially in this case.  This should have been done years ago.  This should have been resolved a long time ago, but we’re resolving it now.

Chairman Kim has the chance to seize an incredible future for his people.  Anyone can make war, but only the most courageous can make peace.

The current state of affairs cannot endure forever.  The people of Korea — North and South — are profoundly talented, industrious, and gifted.  These are truly gifted people.  They share the same heritage, language, customs, culture, and destiny.  But to realize their amazing destiny, to reunite their national family, the menace of nuclear weapons will now be removed.

In the meantime, the sanctions will remain in effect.  We dream of a future where all Koreans can live together in harmony, where families are reunited and hopes are reborn, and where the light of peace chases away the darkness of war.  This bright future is within — and this is what’s happening.  It is right there.  It’s within our reach.  It’s going to be there.  It’s going to happen.  People thought this could never take place.  It is now taking place.  It’s a very great day.  It’s a very great moment in the history of the world.

And Chairman Kim is on his way back to North Korea.  And I know for a fact, as soon as he arrives, he’s going to start a process that’s going to make a lot of people very happy and very safe.

So it’s an honor to be with everybody today.  The media — this is a big gathering of media, I will say.  It makes me feel very uncomfortable.  (Laughter.)  But it is what it is.  People understand that this is something very important to all of us, including yourselves and your families.


Joint Statement of President Donald J. Trump of the United States of America and Chairman Kim Jong Un of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea at the Singapore Summit

President Donald J. Trump of the United States of America and Chairman Kim Jong Un of the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) held a first, historic summit in Singapore on June 12, 2018.

President Trump and Chairman Kim Jong Un conducted a comprehensive, in-depth, and sincere exchange of opinions on the issues related to the establishment of new U.S.–DPRK relations and the building of a lasting and robust peace regime on the Korean Peninsula.  President Trump committed to provide security guarantees to the DPRK, and Chairman Kim Jong Un reaffirmed his firm and unwavering commitment to complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

Convinced that the establishment of new U.S.–DPRK relations will contribute to the peace and prosperity of the Korean Peninsula and of the world, and recognizing that mutual confidence building can promote the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, President Trump and Chairman Kim Jong Un state the following:

  1. The United States and the DPRK commit to establish new U.S.–DPRK relations in accordance with the desire of the peoples of the two countries for peace and prosperity.
  2. The United States and the DPRK will join their efforts to build a lasting and stable peace regime on the Korean Peninsula.
  3. Reaffirming the April 27, 2018 Panmunjom Declaration, the DPRK commits to work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
  4. The United States and the DPRK commit to recovering POW/MIA remains, including the immediate repatriation of those already identified.

Having acknowledged that the U.S.–DPRK summit—the first in history—was an epochal event of great significance in overcoming decades of tensions and hostilities between the two countries and for the opening up of a new future, President Trump and Chairman Kim Jong Un commit to implement the stipulations in this joint statement fully and expeditiously.  The United States and the DPRK commit to hold follow-on negotiations, led by the U.S. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, and a relevant high-level DPRK official, at the earliest possible date, to implement the outcomes of the U.S.–DPRK summit.

President Donald J. Trump of the United States of America and Chairman Kim Jong Un of the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea have committed to cooperate for the development of new U.S.–DPRK relations and for the promotion of peace, prosperity, and security of the Korean Peninsula and of the world.