Live / Trump and Kim make history with a handshake

Beijing has applauded the summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, calling it historic

Live / Trump and Kim make history with a handshake

Beijing has applauded the summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, calling it historic

12 June 2018 Tuesday 10:09
Live / Trump and Kim make history with a handshake

Kim in 'Trump pen snub'

Journalist Martyn Williams has spotted that at the last minute before the signing, Kim Jong-un's sister Kim Yo-jong swapped the pens so Kim would not sign the document with a Donald Trump pen.

Summit a 'starting point' - Chinese state news agency

China's official Xinhua news agency has posted a commentary on the Trump-Kim summit.

It said the meeting had "ignited hopes for a political solution to the Korean peninsula nuclear issue", but adds:

"No one, however, would expect the half-day summit to be able to iron out all differences and remove deep-seated mistrust between the two long-time foes.

"The road toward the goal of a nuclear-free peninsula and realizing regional peace and prosperity is bound to be a bumpy one that requires patience and wisdom. The first step is always the hardest to take."

No coverage yet on N Korean TV

North Korean state television has started at its usual time of 0600 gmt on 12 June, but it has made no mention yet of leader Kim Jong-un’s meeting with US President Donald Trump in Singapore a short while earlier.

Korean Central Television (KCTV) began broadcasting at 0600 gmt - which is 1500 hours local time - and carried news of Kim’s Singapore tour the previous day even as international media outlets have been showing live coverage of the summit between him and Trump.

After starting with patriotic music and the day's broadcast schedule, around 0610 gmt the TV channel instead carried a short clip featuring a female news anchor talking about Kim's visits to popular sights in Singapore, without photos or footage of his tour.

Political rockstar Kim?

Jenny Town, Korea analyst and editor at 38North, has been analysing Kim Jong-un’s reception in Singapore - replete with a myriad of political handshakes and selfies - for the BBC.

The summit is a "huge win for Kim-Jong-un… the optics literally couldn’t have been better if he had tried to stage it himself”, she says.

“The fact is this is Kim Jong-un - six months ago he was one of the world’s most hated leaders, and now he’s [being treated like] a political rockstar.”

'Signature wars'

This is a summit where nothing goes unscrutinised - and so Northeast Asia analyst John Nilsson-Wright has been looking for clues in the two leaders' signatures.

Trump's gives off "short term get-the-job-done self assurance", he says.

Kim's meanwhile screams "soaring, aspirational all-to-play-for ambition".

Lukewarm reaction to leaders' declaration

Analysts and correspondents have been poring over the leaders' declaration and some have given their reaction on Twitter.

It's fair to say these observers are not that excited by what they've read.

China claims unique role

In Beijing, Foreign Minister Wang Yi described the Singapore summit as an "equal dialogue" between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un. He also said it was exactly what China had always wanted. He also added that "no one will doubt the unique and important role played by China: a role which will continue."

Experts say China will be keen on any de-escalation in tension between the two sides - but will also be wary of being excluded from negotiations.

'We both want to do something'

Trump gives his reaction after he and Kim sign a document the US president described as "comprehensive".

"We're very proud of what took place today," he said.

"We both want to do something, we both are going to do something," he added.

A four-point declaration

The BBC's Laura Bicker has the four key points from the Trump-Kim Declaration:

The United States and the DPRK [Democratic People's Republic of Korea] commit to establish new US-DPRK relations in accordance with the desire of the peoples of the two countries for peace and prosperity.

The United States and the DPRK will join their efforts to build a lasting and stable peace regime on the Korean Peninsula.

Reaffirming the April 27, 2018 Panmunjom Declaration, the DPRK commits to work towards the complete denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula.

The United States and the DPRK commit to recovering POW/MIA remains including the immediate repatriation of those already identified.

Kim 'commits to complete denuclearisation'

Details are coming through on the agreement. According to the AFP news agency, Mr Kim has committed to the "complete denuclearisation" of the Korean peninsula.

That sound big - but he has committed to that already, in talks with South Korea, and we still don't know what it entails.

How N Korea's media is covering the day

BBC Monitoring has the front page of North Korea's Rodong Sinmun newspaper - which carries a series of photos of Mr Kim's walkabout in Singapore before his meeting with Mr Trump.

Kim's travels in 2018

Kim Jong-un did not travel abroad during the first six years of his tenure, which many pundits attributed to his fear of a coup in his absence. But, in 2018, he has already visited China twice, crossed over to South Korea, toured Singapore, and might even visit Russia in September, say BBC Monitoring.

Who's in-charge while Kim is away?

While much of the world's attention is focused on the summit, much less is known about who is running the reclusive country while the Supreme Leader is away, say our colleagues at BBC Monitoring.

Mr Kim arrived in Singapore on 10 June, accompanied by his influential sister Kim Yo-jong and his right hand man Kim Yong-chol.

But, crucially, he left 90-year-old ceremonial head of state Kim Yong-nam and Choe Ryong-hae, another senior leader, in Pyongyang, apparently in charge.

'A big win for Kim'

The BBC's Rupert Wingfield-Hayes says the summit amounts to a huge victory for the North Korean leader.

"It's a very big win for Trump to be saying the whole relationship is different from the past and he's honoured to be with him.

"These are extraordinary things to be saying about a man who just a few months ago was being described as 'little rocket man' and considered as the leader of a regime that was reviled around the world," our correspondent says.

Trump to speak to press on Sentosa

It looks like Mr Trump is actually still on Sentosa - he is expected to speak to the press there later on, at the Capella hotel where the mysterious document was signed.


In response to a question about whether they had reached an agreement on denuclearisation - the nebulous term which has underpinned their entire interaction - Mr Trump says they will be "starting this process very quickly".

Here's a short explainer of why it's such a tricky term.

And Kim's off too

Mr Kim's motorcade has also now left the island of Sentosa. He's expected to be heading out of Singapore very soon.

And they're leaving the island

Mr Trump's convoy has left Sentosa - the island where the meeting took place. He's crossing the short cause way to the Singapore mainland. He's said he'll talk to the press later. Mr Kim, meanwhile, is expected to leave Singapore within hours.

Praise from China

Beijing has applauded the summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, calling it historic.

The fact that the two leaders "can sit together and have equal talks has important and positive meaning, and is creating a new history," Foreign Minister Wang Yi said.

He also reiterated Beijing's call for "full denuclearisation" to resolve tensions on the Korean peninsula.

'Comprehensive is a big word'

Prof Robert Kelly tells the BBC that there is speculation in the South Korean media that the mystery document signed by both leaders is a peace treaty - but if this were the case it would also have to involve South Korea, he says.

The fact that Donald Trump said it was "comprehensive" suggests it could cover other issues such as human rights, sanctions and economic aid.

"Comprehensive is a big word," Prof Kelly says on the BBC.

Did they address human rights?

Probably not. Asked whether they spoke about Otto Warmbier, they didn't respond.

US student Otto Warmbier was arrested in North Korea in 2016, held there for months and died shortly after he was eventually brought back to the US in 2017 in a coma.

Recap on that briefing

Here's what just happened;

US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un signed a document - we don't know what it said.

Mr Trump said it was "very important" and "pretty comprehensive" and that he and "Chairman Kim" were "both very honoured" to sign it.

Mr Kim said they had a "historic meeting and decided to leave the past behind".

He thanked Mr Trump "for making this meeting happen".

'He loves his country'

Donald Trump says it's been a "terrific day".

"We've learned a lot about each other and about our countries."

About Kim Jong-un he said: "He's a very talented man and he loves his country very much."

Updated: 12.06.2018 10:30
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