N. Korea state media: Trump agrees to visit

SEOUL US President Donald Trump accepted an invitation from Kim Jong Un to visit North Korea during their historic summit, Pyongyang state media reported yesterday, as Mr Trump said the world had jumped back from the brink of "nuclear catastrophe".

Tuesday's encounter in Singapore saw him shake hands with Mr Kim as they stood as equals in front of their nations' flags.

Mr Trump tweeted that the first summit between sitting leaders of the two Cold War foes meant "the World has taken a big step back from potential Nuclear catastrophe".

"No more rocket launches, nuclear testing or research. The hostages are back home with their families. Thank you to Chairman Kim, our day together was historic."

In a joint statement following the talks, Mr Kim agreed to the "complete denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula" - a stock phrase favoured by Pyongyang that stopped short of long-standing US demands for North Korea to give up its atomic arsenal in a "verifiable" and "irreversible" way.

In its first report on the landmark summit, the official KCNA news agency ran a glowing dispatch on the talks, describing them as an "epoch-making meeting" that would help foster "a radical switchover in the most hostile (North Korea)-US relations".

The report said the two men each asked the other to visit their country.

"The two top leaders gladly accepted each other's invitation," KCNA said.

It said Mr Trump had "expressed his intention" to lift sanctions against the North - something he had said would happen "when we are sure that the nukes are no longer a factor".

"The sanctions right now remain," he added.

Pyongyang has reason to feel confident after the meeting, a major coup for an isolated regime that has long craved international legitimacy.

Mr Paul Haenle, director of the Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy in China said: "Mr Kim got what he wanted at the Singapore Summit: the international prestige and respect of a one-on-one meeting with the American president, the legitimacy of North Korean flags hanging next to American flags in the background."- AFP