PYONG YANG — North Korea has praised the outcome of Tuesday’s summit between US President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un, with state media declaring the meeting an “epoch-making” event of “great significance.”
In its first report on the summit, Wednesday, the official KCNA news agency attributed the apparent breakthrough in relations to Kim’s “proactive peace-loving measures” earlier in the year, and applauded Trump’s willingness to negotiate despite long standing hostility between the two countries.
The front page of the state newspaper, the Rodong Sinmun, meanwhile, splashed photos of the two leaders, under the headline: “A meeting of the century that opened a new era in history of North Korea-US relations.”
Trump and Kim met on the Singaporean resort island of Sentosa Tuesday — the first time a sitting US President has met with the leader of the reclusive state.
A joint statement signed by the two leaders committed to “establish new US-DPRK relations,” reaffirming Kim’s “firm and unwavering commitment to complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula,” and offering security guarantees to Pyongyang.
North Korean media, which usually refrains from reporting on Kim’s immediate diplomatic moves, provided a detailed blow-by-blow breakdown of the day’s events, lavishing praise on Trump’s “enthusiasm to resolve matters in a realistic way through dialogue and negotiations.”
The KCNA report stated that the two leaders shared their “opinions about the practical measures that are important to accomplish peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and finish the hostility between North Korea and the US.”
It was a far cry from September last year, when KCNA published a statement authored by Kim describing the US President as “mentally deranged.”
Wednesday’s report made special mention of Trump’s apparent readiness to halt US-South Korean military drills, a declaration that apparently took Seoul and Tokyo — as well as least some corners of the Pentagon — by surprise.
It also urged that the two countries “make decisions to cease the military actions that provoke each other” — an apparent reference to both Pyongyang’s missile and nuclear tests, as well as the US and South Korean joint military drills with South Korea — and that both sides create “a law or regulations … that affirm (that intention).”
The agency concluded its report by stating that Kim and Trump had “gladly accepted” invitations to visit their respective countries at a later date.
In a separate dispatch KCNA also reported that Kim received a letter from Singapore’s Prime minister Lee Hsien Loong, praising the “successful conclusion of the historic summit” between Kim and Trump.
“The joint statement signed by Chairman Kim Jong Un and President Donald Trump is a dramatic advance and the first step of very important significance in the long course toward permanent peace and stability on the denuclearized Korean Peninsula,” the letter said, according to KCNA.
The letter also stated that the Singaporean prime minister wishes to meet Kim again “in the near future.”
In a further sign of Pyongyang’s attempts to normalize its relations with the outside world, another KCNA article reported that ceremonial head of state Kim Yong Nam had departed Pyongyang for Moscow to attend the opening ceremony of the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
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