The U.S. president lavished praise on Kim but did not secure a detailed path toward denuclearization.
President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Tuesday signed a joint agreement, after meeting in person for only a few hours, in which Kim promises to work toward ridding the Korean Peninsula of nuclear weapons.
But the text of the agreement contained few concrete steps to achieve that goal other than a commitment “to hold follow-on negotiations … at the earliest possible date,” according to a photo of the document.
Still, Trump called the document “pretty comprehensive” and Kim “a worthy negotiator,” pledging to invite the North Korean leader to the White House in the future.
“Today, we had a historic meeting and have agreed to leave the past behind,” Kim added. “The world will see a major change.”
Meanwhile, Trump told reporters that he learned during their visit Kim is a “very talented man. I also learned that he loves his country very much.”
Trump and Kim met for several hours on Tuesday at a luxury hotel in Singapore for the historic summit, which was meant to broker a greater relationship between the two countries. It was the first time a sitting U.S. president had met with a North Korean leader.
Before TV cameras and their one-on-one meeting, Trump treated the North Korean totalitarian leader as a peer. He flattered Kim by telling him it was an “honor” to meet him and predicted the two would have a “fantastic relationship.” This came just days after Trump openly fought with traditional U.S. allies including Canada, Germany, and France over trade policy at the G-7 meeting in Canada.
Politically, Trump’s meeting with Kim gave him the opportunity to play the role of statesman and dealmaker ahead of the crucial 2018 midterm elections — even if critics worried the summit was more of a photo-op than any substantive discussion to delay a potential military conflict.