Following the meeting between the President and Kim Jong-un in Singapore on Tuesday, the state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) was quick to highlight successes.
Dubbing it the start of a new relationship between their countries, which are still technically at war, Pyongyang’s first reports stressed to the North Korean people that Trump agreed to Kim’s demand to halt joint military exercises with South Korea, as long as talks towards easing tensions continue, and suggested that the President also said he would lift sanctions as negotiations progressed.
The agency stated: ‘President Trump appreciated that an atmosphere of peace and stability was created on the Korean peninsula and in the region, although distressed with the extreme danger of armed clash only a few months ago, thanks to the proactive peace-loving measures taken by the respected Supreme Leader from the outset of this year.’
KCNA said Trump expressed his intention to lift sanctions ‘over a period of good-will dialogue’ between the two countries.
However, the White House has so far not commented on the claims made by North Korea and Trump himself did not guarantee sanctions would be lifted when asked by reporters.
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He said: ‘The sanctions will come off when we are sure that the nukes are no longer a factor.
‘Sanctions played a big role, but they’ll come off at that point. I hope it’s going to be soon, but they’ll come off.
‘As you know, and as I’ve said, the sanctions right now remain. But at a certain point, I actually look forward to taking them off.’
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The President also made no mention of sanctions in a series of tweets following the summit.
He wrote: ‘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.’
Trump added in another tweet: ‘A year ago the pundits & talking heads, people that couldn’t do the job before, were begging for conciliation and peace – “please meet, don’t go to war.” Now that we meet and have a great relationship with Kim Jong Un, the same haters shout out, “you shouldn’t meet, do not meet!”’
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KCNA said that Pyongyang would respond to the easing of what it sees as the hostile US policy with commensurate but gradual moves toward ‘the complete denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula’.
It reported: ‘Kim Jong-un and Trump had the shared recognition to the effect that it is important to abide by the principle of step-by-step and simultaneous action in achieving peace, stability and denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula.’
Both sides promised to push the process forward quickly, and the pair exchanged invitations to visit their nations’ capitals.