A summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un—the first meeting between leaders of the two countries—took place yesterday in Singapore, where the duo signed a joint communiqué with the aim of a denuclearized North Korea.
The communiqué, which also included a U.S. agreement to end joint military exercises with South Korea, was reached after more than a month of tumultuous pre-summit negotiations. Last month, after Trump experienced what he called “tremendous anger and open hostility” from Kim Jong Un, the summit was pre-emptively cancelled; however, the U.S. president then said the summit would resume as scheduled after a “very nice statement” he received from the North Korean leader.
Because the two countries have yet to reach a detailed agreement about North Korean denuclearization, including how the process will be verified, it’s unknown exactly when—if at all—there will be peace on the Korean peninsula.
Following yesterday’s historic summit, Trump said Kim Jong Un told him North Korea has already destroyed a “major” missile testing site.
TRUMP’S MAY 24 LETTER
Kim Jong Un
Chairman of the State Affairs Commission
of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
Dear Mr. Chairman:
We greatly appreciate your time, patience, and effort with respect to our recent negotiations and discussions relative to a summit long sought by both parties, which was scheduled to take place on June 12 in Singapore. We were informed that the meeting was requested by North Korea, but that to us is totally irrelevant. I was very much looking forward to being there with you. Sadly, based on the tremendous anger and open hostility displayed in your most recent statement, I feel it is inappropriate, at this time, to have this long-planned meeting. Therefore, please let this letter serve to represent that the Singapore summit, for the good of both parties, but to the detriment of the world, will not take place. You talk about nuclear capabilities, but ours are so massive and powerful that I pray to God they will never have to be used.
I felt a wonderful dialogue was building up between you and me, and ultimately, it is only that dialogue that matters. Some day, I look very much forward to meeting you. In the meantime, I want to thank you for the release of the hostages who are now home with their families. That was a beautiful gesture and was very much appreciated.
If you change your mind having to do with this most important summit, please do not hesitate to call me or write. The world, and North Korea in particular, has lost a great opportunity for lasting peace and great prosperity and wealth. This missed opportunity is a truly sad moment in history.
Donald J. Trump
President of the United States of America
U.S. CHALLENGE COIN
Prior to the summit, a red, white and gold challenge coin was produced by the White House Communications Agency, a government military agency; however, plans to issue a coin were quickly discontinued after widespread disapproval.
The coin depicted Trump and Kim Jong Un facing each other with both the U.S. and North Korean flags in the background. The words “peace talks” are inscribed between “United States of America” and “Democratic People’s Republic of Korea,” which is how North Korea self-identifies, and the coin also displays Kim Jong Un’s chosen title, “Supreme Leader.”
The fact that I am having a meeting is a major loss for the U.S., say the haters & losers. We have our hostages, testing, research and all missle launches have stoped, and these pundits, who have called me wrong from the beginning, have nothing else they can say! We will be fine!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 11, 2018
The coins commemorate the summit as a “momentous step to world peace” and highlight Singapore’s role “as a neutral host, and an economic and security gateway between the East and the West,” according to the mint.
One side of the coin depicts a handshake between the two leaders with their respective flags in the background, and the opposite side shows a dove with the slogan “World Peace” emblazoned above it. The design is available in nickel-plated zinc, Fine silver and Fine gold versions.