White House says Trump plans early summit departure

Voters stand in line at a polling station in Chuncheon Gangwon Province to cast their ballots in South Korea's local government elections

The Australian government has cast doubt over whether Donald Trump has suspended military exercises with South Korea, noting that was not part of the joint declaration between the United States and North Korea.

Just hours after Mr Kim Jong Un wrapped up a surprise sightseeing tour of Singapore on Monday, North Korean newspaper Rodong Sinmun crammed its front page with photos of the reclusive leader.

For good measure, Trump again called Xi a close friend and thanked him for China's role in strengthening sanctions against North Korea.

In Wednesday's KCNA report, Kim Jong Un said that if the USA side took "genuine measures for building trust", North Korea would continue to take "additional good-will measures of next stage commensurate with them". Pyongyang has since pulled out of the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, built a complete nuclear fuel cycle, assembled an arsenal of nuclear weapons and developed the missiles to fire them.

In return for the United States commitments, Kim Jong-un signed a joint statement committing to denuclearisation, but analysts say it was vaguely worded and included commitments Pyongyang had made several times.

"For North Korea, they got exactly what they wanted". It committed North Korea to accept global inspections and stay in the non-proliferation treaty, under which its pursuit of a nuclear bomb was illegal. The neighbors, which fought together during the Korean War, had grown apart a year ago after China backed United Nations sanctions crimping North Korea's energy imports and sources of foreign cash to pressure it to halt its nuclear and missile tests. "There will be many more meetings, much more dialogue, a lot of diplomatic work to be done".

It included commitments by North Korea to "abandoning all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programs, " as well as to readmit global inspectors. Tuesday's statement made no mention of inspectors.

"Well, you have a different administration, you have a different president, you have a different secretary of state, " Trump said Tuesday, when asked why he thought this attempt on North Korea would turn out differently.

White House officials also arranged for the video to be played for reporters at Mr Trump's post-summit news conference.

The US stations around 30,000 troops in security ally South Korea to protect it from its neighbor, which invaded in 1950 in an attempt to reunify the peninsula by force. "It's a win for Kim Jong Un", Moon said.

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Trump had been scheduled to fly back to Washington tomorrow morning after spending today with Kim in Singapore, but on the eve of the summit, he altered his schedule, opting to return at about 8pm today after a full day of meetings with Kim - nearly 15 hours earlier than previously anticipated.

Yet Kimball is anxious by the hard history of negotiations with North Korea, combined with the lack of any timetable or road map for further steps in the latest agreement.

"At best this is a tentative beginning down a road that will take many years, " he said by phone.

Trump said Tuesday the summit has helped bring the world back from "nuclear catastrophe". Details of the document are not yet clear.

"Sanctions are a means, not an end", Geng said.

"They weren't too excited about the summit".

"The two top leaders gladly accepted each other's invitation", KCNA said. "If the U.S.is prepared to make this promise to a brutal dictator, then how trustworthy is he going to be in maintaining a security commitment to his allies?"

The defense chief added that Japan would continue its own joint exercises with the USA and would stick to plans to boost its defense against the ballistic missile threat from the North.

Trump said he had formed a "special bond" with Kim, whom he described as "very talented".

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