13 Jun 2018
AP – It was the greatest show on earth — at least for today and according to its main protagonists, President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
That a global audience from Washington to Pyongyang and beyond was agape at such a once inconceivable tete-a-tete in the wake of threats of thermonuclear war and scathing personal insults, is not in doubt.
But what substance actually emerged beyond the spectacle? And what other moments were seared into this segment of 21st century history?
Here’s a look at what happened on Singapore’s Sentosa Island on Tuesday:
— After their aides joined for the working session following the first Trump-Kim one-on-one, Trump signaled that things had gone “better than anybody could have expected” and something would be signed soon. That something turned out be a document, with no details provided at the ceremony, which was the first concrete development in what had been a substance-free day until then.
— The contents of the document surfaced in advance of Trump’s news conference before he departed for home. It was thin on detail: Trump promising “security guarantees” to Pyongyang and Kim recommitting to the “complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.”
— What was new in that news conference: Trump said Washington would stop war games with Seoul. That’s of huge significance — the military drills infuriate Pyongyang who see them as rehearsals to topple the Kim dynasty. Trump said he ultimately wants to bring U.S. soldiers home from South Korea. There are nearly 30,000 stationed there. Trump also said Kim agreed to destroy a ‘major’ missile testing site, but offered no specifics.
— Trump said the denuclearization process would be starting “very quickly;” the two developed “a very special bond;” and he “absolutely” would invite Kim to the White House. Kim ignored reporters’ shouted questions whether he would make that momentous journey, but Trump later said Kim had accepted the invitation.
— Kim declared the “world will see a major change” and he and Trump “decided to leave the past behind.”
— Trump and Kim shook hands and exchanged farewells without interpreters as the summit ended.
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