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Trump: Meeting With North Korea Proves Real Change Is Possible

SINGAPORE (CBSNewYork) -- President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un wrapped up their historic summit Tuesday, signing a document that includes a commitment by Kim "to work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula."

Late Tuesday, Trump took to Twitter to say there was "no limit" to what North Korea could achieve "when it gives up its nuclear weapons and embraces commerce" and engagement with the world.

"Chairman Kim has before him the opportunity to be remembered as the leader who ushered in a glorious new era of security & prosperity for his citizens," Trump tweeted.

Earlier in the day the president took questions from reporters for more than an hour. 

While the signed document doesn't give many specifics, Trump committed to security guarantees for the North. He said he's confident it will work and is considering the summit a success.

"My meeting with Chairman Kim was direct, honest and productive," the president said, calling Kim a "very smart negotiator."

"We're prepared to start a new history and we're ready to write a new chapter between our nations," Trump said.

After speaking together for more than four hours, the pair emerged to sign the declaration believed to establish conditions of a relationship between the United States and North Korea.

"We signed a very, very comprehensive document today," Trump told reporters. "And I believe he [Kim Jong Un] is going to live up to that document."

According to CBS News, the four components of the document include:

  • The United States and the DPRK commit to establish new U.S.-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 toward complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.
  • The United States and the DPRK commit to recovering POW/MIA remains, including the immediate repatriation of those already identified.

MORE: Read The Full Document Here

The high-stakes meeting between Trump and Kim was the first time a sitting U.S. president has ever met face-to-face with a North Korean leader.

At one point, the two spoke one-on-one with only their translators in the room. Shortly after, Trump and Kim had an expanded discussion with top-level staff.

Earlier Tuesday, the president said the summit went "better than anybody could have expected."

Speaking through a translator, Kim said they "had a historic meeting and decided to leave the past behind."

It was an about-face for the two leaders, who just months ago were trading nuclear threats with Trump previously referring to Kim as "little rocket man."

On Tuesday, the two were smiling and shaking hands for the cameras. The president event showed Kim the United States presidential limousine.

"We're very proud of what took place today," Trump said. "I think our whole relationship with North Korea and the whole Korean peninsula will be a very much different situation than it has been in the past."

But the declaration stopped short of the conditions the Trump administration had previously said were necessary for a deal -- assuring the international community that North Korea will verifiably and irreversibly disarm.

Reporters pressed the president on the issue during the news conference.

"It's gonna be achieved by having a lot of people there," Trump said. "Chairman Kim is on his way back to North Korea and I know that when he gets back, he is going to start a process that is going to make people very happy and very safe."

Trump said North Korea has already begun to destroy some of its test sites.

"Kim has told me that North Korea is already destroying a major missile engine testing site," the president told reporters. "That's not in your signed document. We agreed to that after the agreement was signed."

In the meantime, the president said current sanctions against the North will remain in effect.

"The sanctions will come off when we are sure that the nukes are no longer a facto," he said. "Sanctions played a big role, but they'll come off at that point."

Trump also said the U.S. would be ending its "war games" consisting of joint military exercises with South Korea, CBS News reported.

"Under the circumstances that we're negotiating a very comprehensive, complete deal, I think it's inappropriate to be having war games," he said.

The president also took time during his news conference to credit Otto Warmbier for the unprecedented meeting.

Warmbier was an American college student who was arrested in North Korea, came back to the U.S. with brain damage last year and later died.

"Without Otto, this would not have happened," Trump said. "It was terrible. It was brutal but a lot of people started to focus on what was going on."

The Warmbier family released a statement, saying, "We appreciate President Trump's recent comments about our family. We are proud of Otto and miss him. Hopefully something positive can come from this."

In an interview with Fox News before leaving Singapore, the president was asked what made his approach to brokering a deal more successful than previous administrations.

"They had a policy of silence," he said. "That's not the answer. That's not what you have to do. So I think the rhetoric -- I hated to do it, but we had no choice."

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