I give Trump full credit for this one. This agreement was the best possible outcome.
Talks between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un produced few specific new commitments by Pyongyang to surrender its nuclear weapons, pushing any deal on timing and verification of disarmament to future negotiations.
Some of the biggest developments weren’t in the document signed by the two leaders. Speaking to reporters a few hours later, Mr. Trump said he would cease “tremendously expensive” joint military exercises with South Korea, a move he thought would be welcomed by Mr. Kim.
In addition, Mr. Trump said Mr. Kim had agreed to destroy a missile-engine testing site, in a concession that wasn’t part of the written agreement. Last week, 38 North, a website on North Korean affairs, published satellite imagery that showed North Korea had razed a missile test stand in the country’s northwest.
Perhaps the most important outcome was to open a channel between Mr. Trump and Mr. Kim and set the stage for more high-level negotiations over thorny issues like the pace of North Korea’s denuclearization and a verification process that the declaration says are slated to begin as soon as possible.
On Tuesday, Mr. Trump lauded Mr. Kim as “a very worthy, very smart negotiator.”
“We had a terrific day, and we learned a lot about each other and about our countries,” Mr. Trump said. “I learned he’s a very talented man. I also learned that he loves his country very much.”
Mr. Kim, for his part, expressed his gratitude to the U.S. leader for making the summit possible, and said he wanted to “leave the past behind.”
“The world will see a major change” as a result of their talks, he said.
Full Text of Agreement
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.
Having acknowledged that the U.S.-DPRK summit — the first in history — was an epochal event of great significance in overcoming decades of tensions and hostilities between the two countries and for the opening up of a new future, President Trump and Chairman Kim Jong Un commit to implement the stipulations in this joint statement fully and expeditiously. The United States and the DPRK commit to hold follow-up negotiations, led by the U.S. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, and a relevant high-level DPRK official, at the earliest possible date, to implement the outcomes of the U.S.-DPRK summit.
President Donald J. Trump of the United States of America and Chairman Kim Jong Un of the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea have committed to cooperate for the development of new U.S.-DPRK relations and for the promotion of peace, prosperity, and security of the Korean Peninsula and of the world.
Trump described the document as “very comprehensive,” but there were no particulars on how to make the denuclearization process quick, verifiable or irreversible—often stated U.S. goals.
However, the threat of immediate hostilities vanished and perhaps we can see the beginning of a diplomatic process that will end over 60 years of enmity.
I suspect many will think Trump caved in. I think this was Trump's finest moment as president.
MIke "Mish" Shedlock