tv NEWS LIVE - 30 Al Jazeera June 12, 2018 8:00am-8:33am +03
history in the making donald trump and kim jong un hold the first ever meeting between a sitting u.s. president and north korean leader. a really you know a lot of progress. really very positively better than anybody could expect. amazing that many thought would never happen is addressing pyongyang's nuclear ambitions. i'm sam is a dan this is al jazeera live from doha also coming up stranded at sea hundreds of migrants who were rescued off the libyan coast find themselves with nowhere to go. and we meet the afghans walking
a seven hundred kilometers for the message for their government. after eighteen months of trading insults and threats of nuclear annihilation donald trump and kim jong un have held face to face talks in singapore in the last few moments trump said the meeting went better than anybody could have expected but it's the first time a sitting u.s. president has met a north korean leader. really great to really take you to a lot of progress really very fatherly better than anybody expected comparable to. well i dream brown reports on
a historic day that many people thought would never come up in this diplomatic drama here was act one for. getting to know you the handshake to could change the course of history president donald trump it said he'd know within a minute of meeting kim jong un if he'd get on with him so this was the moment he began sizing him up from. the start perhaps of an improbable relationship. in improbable times. two nuclear armed leaders one of former real estate developer and reality t.v. star the other an international pariah. we were. speaking through an interpreter kim jong un said the way here had not been easy. in the region it wasn't easy to get here and oprah did as in practice has worked as
obstacles in a way forward but we overcame all of them and we're here today. they met at nine am local time in singapore so prime time viewing in the united states experts around the world will be studying these images frame by frame looking for deeper meaning it is just a few months ago that kim and trump were hurling insults at one another threatening nuclear annihilation yet the north korean leader who's really stepped outside of his country for security reasons spent around forty five minutes in a room with president from with just their translators present few diplomatic encounters have been so eagerly anticipated the question now is whether this will prove to be more than just a photo opportunity adrian brown al jazeera singapore. is going to have diplomatic editor james bays in singapore and james we ran pictures there you could see here once again the u.s. president emerging with very positive statements talking about things going better
than anyone could have expected what does that mean for where this summit stands right now. well it means that it's passed the trunk test the touch and the feel and getting to know the man does it mean they've got a breakthrough does it mean they've got a deal no but they were never going to get a deal on this first meeting this was a meeting to get to know each other and see if they could. do business start a process and get to a deal there was a little bit of confusion moments ago and we're now a little bit clearer what happened first we had the handshake look rather awkward to begin with both men very stiff and then along a hunch of about twelve seconds then they went to alone to a room for some thirty eight minutes with just translators to discuss on their own and then that was followed by a meeting with their delegations they brought in the u.s.
secretary of state north korea's foreign minister and other key officials on both sides followed then by a working lunch and then what we've seen in the last few minutes which was both men leaving the working lunch interestingly you saw trump and kim walking together talking together it seemed with no interpreter we've always speculated that perhaps kim speaks a bit of english obviously enough to make small talk with the u.s. president they walked past the photographers they were asked a few questions it was only trump who answered because i think the questions were in english and that's where he made the comment about better progress than anyone could have expected then they walked back around to the hotel and we got some shots of them chatting there for some time and that's where we thought having already signed or not it's clear they haven't the signing is still to come and then we thought that perhaps was kim was leaving because we saw trump walk him to a car what we know though that was and it shows how the two met
a bonding it was trump showing kim because perhaps he doest the inside of the u.s. presidential limousine look this is my car this is where i sit extraordinary moment for these two countries that have been enemies for so many years that they are sharing details like that they then went back inside the capella hotel we understand that a signing could be imminent by the two men this is not a deal it's a declaration it's a statement of. how they want things to proceed it is though historic. it's historic what do we expect that statement to say when it comes to denuclearize asian when it comes to security guarantees from north korea. what we know what the two sides wants and we think there are still substantial gaps so how are they going to peek over those gaps on north korea's nuclear program kim
was asked by reporters during one of the brief photo opportunities is he going to give up his nuclear weapons he was asked that question three times he didn't reply the question was in english maybe didn't feel comfortable replying or didn't understand the question but it is the question and it's the question everyone's asking and i feel it's likely that the question will not be fully answered in the statement we're going to get having said that from this first meeting both sides can declare there is progress both sides can say this was historic and is the start of something both sides have something politically they can sell back at home. as you pointed out there james we're looking at two leaders have gone from the sort of discourse of i will totally annihilated your country to come have a look at my presidential limousine this is been quite a remarkable journey in diplomacy hasn't there.
absolutely this is a diplomatic roller coaster veteran diplomats have never seen anything like this before let me remind you of where we were a year ago in fact let me remind you where we were three hundred sixty four days ago almost a year ago because i think it's a very significant landmark and a very solemn landmark three hundred sixty four days ago is when auto warm beer that u.s. student who was arrested in north korea while he was there on holiday allegedly for taking a north korean propaganda poster off a wall the u.s. say that he was tortured in north korea he came back to the u.s. three hundred sixty four days ago in a coma and then died one of the really blackest moments in a very black year for relations between north korea and the united states in september president trump at the u.n. general assembly threatening to totally destroy north korea addressing kim as rocket man in the distinguished settings of the u.n.
general assembly i can tell you because i was there that ambassadors foreign ministers and presidents from around the world were appalled by this bellicose language this is in the way someone speaks at the united nations and yet that may well have been a factor in what has got us here today to singapore to sentosa island and to the cupola hotel where there may well be we think in the coming minutes a signing of a declaration now let's not go too far here north korea and the u.s. have signed agreements before and they've fallen apart and both say there was bad faith on the other side so we're not going anywhere we haven't been before in terms of signing an agreement what we do have is a personal relationship now between these two countries which are still in a state of war there was never a peace treaty just an armistice at the end of the korean war in one nine hundred fifty three we see pictures i don't know if you're seeing them sammy. now of inside
the hotel people are being pushed around by a north korean official i think because i can see the flag on his lapel the press corps there's a white house official as well there and you can see in the background i think john kelly the white house chief of staff is already in the room and an array of north korean and u.s. flags i suspect very strongly that those pictures are pictures of where very soon we are going to see a signing in fact there's a podium there is there just no table there. and john kerry with his arm on a chair chatting to other officials there the press being told very firmly where they can go and where they can't go but we will i think in the next few minutes see a signing then are we going to see more words interesting if we get words from both sides from both leaders and obviously we're going to know that very soon. one of
the questions will this statement touch upon a standing kind of mechanism for talks contacts to continue going forward james. we know that in some of the proprietary meetings and there be meetings going on in singapore here for weeks meetings going on in the demilitarized zone between north and south korea between the u.s. and north korea there have been the meetings that happened in new york and washington d.c. and they've been the visits by secretary of state pompei over to pyongyang so a lot of different engagements among those engagements we understand they have discussed down the line whether they would have diplomatic relations going forward because at the moment there is no embassy in each other's country most countries have diplomatic relations with other countries and have an embassy but there is no north korean embassy in washington d.c. there is no. u.s.
embassy in pyongyang in fact a year ago i told you about a warm beer well the work there the consular work protecting u.s. citizens is actually done by the swedish which other protecting power they have an embassy there and they look after u.s. citizens in north korea so it would be a big step i don't think it's a step that's likely to come straight away because already the north koreans are getting quite a a big deal by getting a meeting with the u.s. president but it's certainly something that's being discussed but it doesn't mean i don't think the fact you don't have diplomatic relations you don't have embassies that you can't continue a process all you have to do is set up a series of meetings what will be interesting is whether the north koreans insist on maybe president trump for that matter knowing how unconventionally is insists that these meetings and this process should actually be at the leader level because i think many seasons that diplomats believe it's very unusual for the leaders to
start a process it would be even more unusual for the leaders to continue to each phase of the process i think it's more likely if you look at conventional diplomacy that the next meeting would be at the foreign minister level between who is the north korean foreign minister and his counterpart mike pompei o who is the credit very relatively new secretary of state of the united states interesting that he has been the key figure for the u.s. with regard to this because he was the cia director and when the initial contacts came through the initial contacts my understanding started with two things with the south koreans talking to the north koreans a visit also by a senior u.n. official who spoke to the north koreans also a back channel which was going on for some time between the swedish we just mentioned them as having the protecting power for the u.s. they have been talking to the north koreans i can tell you very regularly so those contacts lead i think to context. between the north koreans and the cia and it was
then director of the cia not cia mike pompei o who made that secret visit over the easter weekend to pyongyang which really i think was the start of the full scale u.s. engagement with north korea worth all of that also reminding you sammy that it hasn't been a straight road it's been a bumpy road and it could well be a bumpy road going forward because this summit nearly didn't happen it was called off and only after then fresh meetings between the two sides in various locations did they decide to put it on again now there are those who watch this closely who believe that actually it was put back on again after the u.s. blinks because some of the things the u.s. insisted on to have this meeting on not in place initially the u.s. was saying they wanted the north koreans to make a complete commitment to denuclearization to the u.s. definition of this before this meeting took place they haven't done that the
meeting is here it's taking place without the north koreans making any public commitment in advance. james stay with us for a second just want to bring viewers up to speed with the pictures we're looking at that's the pen we believe is going to be used momentarily by the leaders to sign this joint statement donald trump the u.s. president and kim jong un the north korean leader have finished their working lunch we saw them emerge we saw them chata little bit on the steps of the capella hotel monsanto's island the way i understand they're getting ready now to sign a statement we did hear donald trump mention something about getting ready for a signing james let's talk about the elephant that not in the room that you could say chinese officials are not present at this summit and no doubt though the success of the process of talks that you were referring to james might depend to a large degree on china's and. fluence.
yes china is a very important player although it is worth saying that china has not had very good relations with north korea in recent years yes so their main trading partner yes they are the closest country to north korea but north korea really didn't like the fact that china repeatedly in the u.n. security council voted for tougher and tougher sanctions and so chinese north korean relations until this year really weren't that good so there's been a little bit of rebuilding of those relations with kim visiting president xi of china the chinese i think will want to get into this process they will be a bit wary of the north koreans and the u.s. signing things with no chinese involvement remember during the period of the george but w. bush administration there was what was known as the six party talks which started in beijing with
a whole group of regional countries involved with negotiating with north korea i think china really preferred that format where they had a seat at the table this is what we call a bilateral negotiation with just two countries north korea and the u.s. and yes china can speak to the north koreans but they're nowhere to be seen here there are only two seats at the table effectively and we did hear earlier from mike compare the u.s. secretary of state who was very adamant that he wasn't going to be drawn into this stating whether or not the issue of u.s. troops will be negotiated or how it might be negotiated a tour in this summit but it is important to point out that the those sorts of issues when we talk about security guarantees. those are issues that relate not only to north korean interest but to the balance of power between the u.s. and china and to broader regional interests and stability right.
these are two countries that are at war the korean war ran from one thousand nine hundred fifty to one nine hundred fifty three no side won in that war and ever since there have been u.s. troops in south korea the other side of the demilitarized zone which is a bit of a misnomer because there is certainly a lot of military presence in that area between north korea and south korea a very heavily mined area as well there are currently twenty eight thousand five hundred troops we believe u.s. troops in south korea north korea does not like having them there and they consider that part of the nuclearization of the korean peninsula in that those u.s. troops are representing a nuclear power and so if there was a conflict at some stage between the u.s. and north korea involving those troops and their troops that could call in a nuclear response so the north korean version of denuclearization of the korean
peninsula is if we give up our nukes you pull out your troops i think that's certainly something that the u.s. to be very reticent to do certainly at an early stage it's interesting that the question was asked to secretary of state pompei o when he gave a news conference here on monday and he refused to answer it he could have said as the defense secretary james mattis said just a few days earlier that he is not on the table we are not discussing those troops they're not going anywhere but the secretary of state refused to answer the question and then added he said don't read anything into the fight i'm not answering the question but then he added this he said we are going to offer security guarantees to north korea that are unique that have never been there before what are those could they eventually involve the. moving of those troops very interesting how would south korea respond it's certainly with its current government likes this process how could the other key ally which is much more wary
about all of this how could japan respond to that of course and how will any statement that we hope we're going to witness any moment now being signed impact the whole question of a formal end to the korean war james. well that is something that's been floated in the declaration that took place in between between the north koreans and the south koreans that historic meeting at the d.m.z. that perhaps the armistice the truce that was put in place at the end of the korean war could be converted into a permanent peace treaty that will be something that although south korea is pushing the idea south korea can actually do that is something that needs to be signed by the united states because it was the united states that signed the armistice with north korea not south korea it's actually interesting historical fact that the united states was then running something called united nations
command because the u.s. presence with a few of its allies in the korean war was under the banner of the united nations you might say the united nations does peacekeeping not bytes war but at that point the russians were not actively engaging in the united nations and so the other countries managed to get a united nations flag on their operations during that three year long korean war so if there is to be a peace treaty which i think south korea favors the idea of forgetting about the armistice and having a proper treaty ending the war then you have to get buy in from the u.s. that's another potential carrot that the u.s. can offer if it gets what it wants in return for north korea talking about carrots and parties getting what they want how much common ground is there on the issue of a timetable for sanctions relief james. well i think there are two issues here sami there is not
a common ground on sanctions relief because the u.s. has made it clear all the sanctions stay in place until the very end. and the north koreans i think would want to be rewarded at various stages as they did various things through the timeline but the other issue that's important on sanctions is it's going very well today their body language is perfect the chemistry is perfect the two men are saying all the right things but we're not going to see a final agreement today we're just going to see them signing a we got on well and we're going to work going forward on this type declaration when it comes to the final deal there are so many things to be sorted out and there could be a problem they could be a breakdown of this if there's a breakdown what did the u.s. then do because the previous policy was maximum pressure on north korea if they think north korea is not abiding by by by the process that they agree here today as they go forward then are they going to go back to sanctions it's going to be very
hard to get more sanctions in place china won't want to put more sanctions in place south korea won't want to put more sanctions in place if you go to the u.n. security council it was very easy to get sanction not very easy but it was that they were able to create this the message to the other countries that you really need to do this to put this pressure on the rogue regime well if this is no longer seen as a rogue regime but a leader who is engaging in diplomacy and certainly the narrative of north korea has changed very much it might be much harder to get agreement around the u.n. security council table for fresh sanctions that of course is the scenario if things go badly right now at this very first meeting things seem to have gone well at least with the body language of the two leaders who we expect to come out from that door which is firm. closed at the moments come out through the pass those flags of
the north korean flags and the stars and stripes of the united states you have to choose chairs there you have the pen on the table ready for them to sign. there is a bit of a commotion i'm being told between us and north korean reporters from those that are there in the room a little just selling for position going on right now i'm told that john kelly the white house chief of staff is there or has been seen there as has the national security adviser john bolton the pool is waiting we're actually seeing the pictures that some of them are taking of the room waiting for this which could happen at any moment remember that and some of the timings have already slipped but if you go by the original timings released by the north korean side then they were there delegation that was supposed to leave for the airport and be flying in thirty five
minutes time so i do think you may well see an important moment is signing in the next few moments these are historic moments of course james and several north korean leaders wanted this moment to be able to sit with the u.s. president how important what does this mean for kim jong un to be able to go back to north korea having sat down with the u.s. president and presumably signed a statement which will see him in a few moments we think. yeah i think his grandfather wanted to do this i think his father wanted to do this we know his father wanted to do this and in fact president bill clinton was pretty close to a moment like this near the very end of his term and i think one of the complications was a domestic political compass complication at the time because at the time of that there was all this discussion will bill clinton go to pyongyang will there be a meeting what could happen that was the time that the disputed us election was
going on between george w. bush and al gore so that had the limelight at the time that was one of the reasons and the other reason is they couldn't quite get the concessions through from the north koreans that they felt that they needed in order to give them the reward of a meeting of course he's been given the reward of the meeting without making any concessions at this stage so he will see that as a victory the fact that he is being treated equally is being treated with respect he's no longer being called rocket man he's being treated as the leader of a sovereign independent country he's being treated as a fellow nuclear power all of those are going to plead as the north korean leadership i have to say. the leadership will understand that there is a little bit of an effort to try and get the north korean people to understand it because on your t.v.'s in north korea and i was there just a couple of months ago all you get is one channel most of the time occasionally
they have a second channel but they're both pretty much the same they are state propaganda from north korean television and they give the party line all of the time the same with the newspapers they're giving one line which is the official position of north korea and for almost seventy years the official position is that the united states is the mortal enemy of north korea they are someone that you can do business with you can't talk to. and i think it'll be difficult to change that narrative was also interesting when i was in north korea quite hard to speak to ordinary people because you are at all times surrounded by media minders who control your movements but we were able to few times to speak to people and i think on some occasions those people were not planted people they were real people you speak to them and they were so friendly even though we represent the international community as the international media but when you switch on the camera and you ask them about
president trump they got very angry indeed in fact repeatedly kept calling him and nearly every single person i spoke to called him an animal that is what the north koreans think because that's what they've been led to believe so now rather difficult charge a problem for the north korean state controlled media and one of the key figures in this is is kim sr who is one of the key officials in terms of the propaganda department is how to change that narrative and say actually we got a great and he is he is someone we going to do business with and we're going to start negotiations with i suspect that the north korean media is only going to tell a partial story of this some of the pictures i'm sure will appear in north korea where the smiling pictures will appear and that's not clear. all right james veins there are diplomatic editor is talking us through these pictures we're looking at
what looks like to asses well and them to wrong yet full of historical importance who are expecting momentarily to see the u.s. president donald trump emerge along with north korean leader kim jong un. to sign a statement concluding their summit in singapore we've seen them emerge after a meeting and after a working lunch very friendly scenes on the steps of the capella hotel and santo's island in singapore and now we're expecting that friendliness to be capped off with a statement to be signed by both leaders while the eyes of the world are on singapore the effects of this summit will be most keenly felt of course on the korean peninsula north and south korea were created in the aftermath of the second world war the korean war began in one nine hundred fifty s. never technically ended its turn now to weigh in hey he's following the situation
for us from seoul no doubt all eyes in seoul to all be on what is about to be signed what it was saying what it means for south korea amongst others. yes indeed and we know for one that the south korean president in who undoubtedly has played a major role in getting this summit across the line having mit's with the north korean leader kim jong un twice that he was watching the live feeds when the two leaders in singapore first minutes there were t.v. screens in his regular cabinet meeting on tuesday morning and he could be seen in there along with his cabinet members watching that live feed coming from singapore seeing donald trump and kim jong un shake each other's hands and you could see that he clearly had a big smile on his face because as i say he's played a role in getting this organize he's acted as a bit of a mediator between kim jong un and donald trump when things went off track when
donald trump canceled the summit only to put it back on again soon after and it's also something in has wanted for a very long time his parents fled north korea during the korean war so he has an interesting background when it comes to north korea his life has been dominated by it to a certain extent his political life as well he served under a former president was involved in negotiations with north korea he was involved in organizing that into korean meeting and as a presidential candidate before he was elected to the south korean presidency last year he campaigned very heavily on engagement with north korea better relations with north korea and now we are starting to see perhaps some of the fruits of those policies that he has wanted to do implement and certainly last year he didn't get much of a chance to do that because there was so many provocations from north korea in the
form of a missile to send a nuclear test and so many comments aggressive rhetoric coming from donald trump through his twitter account. all stars south korea or ideally what would it like to see emerge from the summit. well they see this as a significant step in the right direction of course but there has been an attempt within the last day or so by president moon to dampen down expectations remembering there was some talk that he himself was going to go to singapore for a trilateral summit perhaps to be held on wednesday the day after the meeting between donald trump and kim jong un and that fueled speculation that perhaps they would declare an end to the korean war because president moon was going to go there clearly that has not happened so he made an attempt on monday and some comments today down expectations echoing what donald trump has said saying that this is the
start of a process that nothing significant can be agreed to or announced after the first meeting between these two and really it may take one two years maybe longer he said to resolve some of the differences resolve the issues between the two koreas and between north korea and the united states so they want to see a broad statement made today that paves the way for these negotiations to continue in a peaceful fashion and therefore that also enables the working level meetings to continue we've already seen those begin and there's a sort of significant one coming up on thursday this week in fact with high level military talks being held between north and south korea so while all the attention is very much being on.