US-N.Korea joint statement a crucial first move: PM Lee
Prime Minister congratulates US President, N. Korean leader on summit success
The joint statement signed by United States President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un yesterday is a dramatic move forward and a crucial first step towards permanent peace in the Korean Peninsula, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.
In letters to both leaders, congratulating them on the "successful conclusion of a historic summit", Mr Lee said of the declaration inked: "It is a crucial first move in the long journey towards lasting peace and stability on a denuclearised Korean Peninsula."
Mr Lee said Singapore is honoured to have hosted the summit.
"We join the international community in celebrating this outcome, and in wishing both the DPRK (Democratic People's Republic of Korea) and the US success in implementing this agreement," he wrote.
The Prime Minister said he looked forward to welcoming Mr Trump again in November for his state visit, which will be in conjunction with the 6th Asean-US Summit and 13th East Asia Summit.
In his letter to Mr Kim, he said he hoped the North Korean leader had enjoyed his stay in Singapore, including his walk at Marina Bay on Monday evening, and that he looked forward to meeting him again in the near future.
Mr Lee also thanked all public officers and national servicemen who worked on the summit. "You did an outstanding job," he wrote in a Facebook post. "Thanks also to Singaporeans for showing the world what we can do."
In separate posts yesterday, Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean, Home Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam and Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen also thanked public servants for the part they played.
We join the international community in celebrating this outcome, and in wishing... success in implementing this agreementPM Lee Hsien Loong on the joint statement signed by Mr Donald Trump and Mr Kim Jong Un
In an interview with CNN journalist Christiane Amanpour that aired yesterday, Mr Lee called Mr Kim, 34, "a confident, young leader".
Mr Lee also held a working lunch with Mr Trump. He said: "He speaks his mind, he has his take - he has his very firmly held views on trade, on the way America is being taken advantage of, and the way he wants to make America great again."
On whether the US is indeed being taken advantage of, Mr Lee gave his perspective on the evolving dynamics that have given rise to such sentiment.
In the past, the US had been generous in helping other countries so that it could benefit from a stable and prosperous world, he noted.
But today, it has a much smaller share of the world economy. "So some Americans are asking themselves: Do I still have to carry this burden for the world? Why can't I just calculate for myself?"
These are legitimate questions, he said.
I think (Mr Kim) wants to do things. You would be surprised. Very smart. Very good negotiator. Wants to do the right thing.Mr Donald Trump on North Korean leader Mr Kim Jong Un
"But to abandon the whole system, and say... I want to win every single match but I really do not have the overall view of the global game... That is a very different kind of world which America will find themselves in, if it goes that way, over several terms of the presidency."
Trump praises Kim's 'unwavering commitment' on denuclearisation
Following a historic summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un yesterday, US President Donald Trump shared insights into his meeting with Mr Kim in a press conference.
Mr Trump said the joint statement signed at the summit was a reaffirmation of Mr Kim's "unwavering commitment" to complete denuclearisation. Both agreed to "vigorous negotiations" to implement the agreement as quickly as possible.
During the press conference, Mr Trump revealed that Mr Kim had promised to destroy a major missile engine testing site, which was negotiated after the agreement was signed.
He also brought up the Iran nuclear issue, which he hopes to strike a deal in future.
"I hope that, at the appropriate time, after the sanctions kick in - and they are brutal what we've put on Iran - I hope that they're going to come back and negotiate a real deal because I'd love to be able to do that, but right now, it's too soon to do that."
ON HUMAN RIGHTS
Mr Trump said the issue of human rights abuse in North Korea was discussed during his meeting with Mr Kim, but only briefly.
"I believe it is a rough situation over there (in North Korea). No question about it. We did discuss it today pretty strongly."
When asked about the death of American college student Otto Warmbier, who died last year after being held in North Korea since January 2016 for stealing a sign, Mr Trump said his death was a "terrible thing" and that Mr Warmbier was a "very special person".
"Otto did not die in vain. He had a lot to do with us being here today."
ON MILITARY EXERCISES WITH SOUTH KOREA
Mr Trump said the US will cease military exercises, or "war games", with South Korea.
He said: "They are tremendously expensive. The amount of money we spend on that is incredible."
Speaking about his desire to bring back the 32,000 American soldiers stationed there, he added: "That's not part of the equation right now. At some point I hope it will be."
ON LIFTING OF ECONOMIC SANCTIONS
"The sanctions will come off when we are sure that the nukes are no longer a factor.
"I hope it is soon... at a certain point, I look forward to taking them off."
ON KIM JONG UN AND NORTH KOREAN RELATIONS
Mr Trump praised Mr Kim for taking the "first bold step" towards a brighter future for North Korea.
"I think (Mr Kim) wants to do things. You would be surprised. Very smart. Very good negotiator. Wants to do the right thing.
"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."