Trump, Kim claim big summit success, but details are scant

Merkley Trump Kim summit a'colossal disappointment

Media captionTrump Kim summit: Win-win, or a Kim win?

Trump admitted North Korea's rights record is a "rough situation", but then shifted the focus to bringing home the remains of USA soldiers from the Korean War.

U.S. President Donald Trump holds up a document he and North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un signed following a signing ceremony during the historic summit, at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa island in Singapore on Tuesday.

In the lead-up to the summit, the USA and South Korea had moved forward with war games.

The cancellation is seen as a significant concession to North Korea. The gathering of the two unpredictable leaders marked a striking gamble by the American president to grant Kim long-sought recognition on the world stage in hopes of ending the North's nuclear program.

"I got so many death threats", Rodman said regarding his visits to North Korea and friendship with Kim Jong-un. "We pay for the majority of them", the president said.

The previous day US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis told reporters he did not believe that troop levels were on the agenda. "Maybe in a year you'll be interviewing and I'll say I made a mistake".

In a statement sent to the BBC, she said: "Our alliances remain ironclad, and ensure peace and stability in the region". "Our forces in South Korea are stabilizing for Asia".

As the president explained it, the video was an elevator pitch - the sort of glitzy production that Trump might have once used to persuade an investor to finance a hotel and that he now hopes will persuade the leader of one of the most repressive regimes in the world to end almost 70 years of worldwide isolation and militant hostility to the United States. "The new element is that we [the United States] agreed to stop our annual exercise cycle with our South Korean allies".

It also demands less than the Bush administration's six-party talks, the 2003 negotiations involving the United States, North Korea, South Korea, China, Japan and Russian Federation. Even U.S. sanctions, which the government significantly strengthened last September, require active application against North Korean and third-country entities, and that appears to be off the table.

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The summit began with a handshake, unimaginable just months ago.

China shares a border with North Korea and is the country's largest trading partner. Kim has pledged to continue working for the "total de-nuclearization of the Korean peninsula" - a welcome goal, but one still shrouded in mystery.

The freshly-inked agreement does lack detail, said Tina Park, a North Korea expert. "That is exactly the formation that the Chinese have asked for over the course of the past year, and we said absolutely not", Bremmer said. If Kim ever feared that Trump might order a preemptive military strike, those worries have subsided. "But the President said he expected immediate action as a result of the talks".

"Two men. Two leaders".

"This hollow, nonbinding joint statement allows Trump to walk away from it, because there's nothing to walk away from", said Lee.

Republicans in Congress have been more measured.

Kim and Trump are presented as the central figures in the trailer, with the chance to remake the world and change history.

"We will be stopping the war games, which will save us a tremendous amount of money", Trump said during a post-summit news conference.

"Needless to say, we would've wrecked Obama for doing this", tweeted conservative blogger Allahpundit. "Let's just hope that in the future meetings we can have more concrete steps toward that".

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