A Historic Meeting

June 13, 2018
Rebecca Mordechai with reporting from TIME and AP
A WARM WELCOME U.S. president Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un shake hands on June 12 during a summit in Singapore.
GETTY IMAGES

President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un had a meeting on June 12. The two met for a summit on Sentosa Island, in Singapore. It was the first time a sitting U.S. president has met face-to-face with a North Korean leader.

At the summit, Trump and Kim discussed ending North Korea’s nuclear program. The meeting closed with both leaders signing a document. It states that Trump and Kim agree to work “toward complete denuclearization” of North Korea. They also pledge “to build a lasting and stable peace.” The agreement does not include a timetable for achieving these goals.

What will Kim get in return for ending his nuclear program? Trump promised to lift sanctions against North Korea. These sanctions have prevented North Korea from trading goods with the U.S. They have led to economic troubles for North Korea.

Tensions have been high between the U.S and North Korea since 1953. That’s when the Korean War, between North and South Korea, ended with a cease-fire. At the time, the U.S. pledged to continue to defend South Korea against future attacks by the North. The U.S. and South Korea still conduct joint military drills. North Korea has long viewed these drills as aggressive. Hours after the June 12 summit, Trump said the U.S. would end such military exercises.

“We’re very proud of what took place today,” Trump said of the summit. Kim also seemed pleased. “Today we had a historic meeting and decided to leave the past behind,” he said through a translator. “The world will see a major change.”