Trump Kim summit: Rhetoric versus reality

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In addressing an issue closer to home, Mr Trump said that USA college student Otto Warmbier did not die in vain days after he was released from North Korean custody in 2017, as his death helped initiate a process that led to the historic summit in Singapore.

The video doesn't explicitly state what that alternative will be, but it does show a sequence of war and flames, reminiscent of the "fire and fury" Trump once promised to rain down upon Kim. Kim, despite his goofy smile and amusing haircut, is a monstrous figure at the helm of one of the world's most repressive nations, where thousands of citizens have been murdered, tortured, imprisoned or raped, and where roughly 18 million people don't get enough food, according to the United Nations. Kim is widely believed to have ordered the execution of his own uncle and half-brother.

"Featuring President Donald Trump and Chairman Kim Jong Un, in a meeting to remake history, to shine in the sun", the narrator says. While Donald Trump said that the denuclearisation process of North Korea is expected to start "very quickly", Kim Jong added, "world will see a major change".

He also called a unilateral halt to "very provocative" USA military exercises with South Korea, claiming they were "very expensive" and the USA pays for "a big majority of them".

"Do you now see Kim Jong-un as an equal?" asked a Time magazine correspondent.

"I am willing to do a lot of things to get [Kim] to give up their nuclear weapons and end their missile program".

Uncertainty on the issue loomed especially large Tuesday morning in Washington, where long-time North Korea watchers are all too aware that Mr. Kim's father Kim Jong-il explicitly committed back in 2005 to "abandoning all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programs", only to renege on the promise in the years that followed. The talks ultimately imploded over differences on a verification regime, and North Korea formally withdrew from the negotiations after it launched a long-range rocket, prompting worldwide outrage.

The two clasped hands for a long while Tuesday as they posed for photos in front of a row of USA and North Korean flags.

Mr. Trump's announcement that the joint exercises would end appeared to catch some USA defense officials off-guard.

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"I think he loved it", Trump said during his post-meeting news conference.

A confident leader strode into the Singapore summit and won. At his news conference, Trump said the war games were expensive, provocative, and inappropriate.

Former U.S. ambassador Bill Richardson told VOA he is concerned about no verification of what the North Koreans will do about missile technology in the DPRK, no detail of nuclear reduction, the peace treaty and human rights.

The president acknowledged that US intelligence into the North Korean nuclear stockpile is limited, "probably less there than any other country", he said.

Ahead of the meeting Trump had predicted the two men might strike a nuclear deal or forge a formal end to the Korean War in the course of a single meeting or over several days.

Few people could take over North Korea at the age of 26 and "run it tough", Trump mused.

Warren visited the region in March and has called on the Trump administration to keep Congress informed on its negotiations with North Korea.

Perhaps most importantly, Trump did not succeed in getting Kim to clarify his definition of "denuclearization".

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