tonight, the historic summit. president trump and kim jong un signing what they call a comprehensive agreement. >> we're going to fake care of a very big and very dangerous problem for the world. >> the north korean dictator vowing to leave the past behind. proclaiming the world will see a major change. david muir and our team live in singmore. with adversaries shaking off decades of hostility, fear, and frustration, embarking on a new beginning of possibility of peace. >> will you be meeting again, sir? >> we'll meet many times. thank you very much, everybody. >> this special edition of "nightline," "trump and kim: the historic summit," will be right back.
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get started with xfinity internet, with three times the speed of at&t and directv, and tv for $35 each a month for a year when you buy both. and ask how you can save with xfinity mobile. click, call or visit us today. (sound of footsteps) (sound of car door opening) (car door closes) (sound of engine starting) >> announcer: this special edition of "nightline," "trump & kim: the historic summit," continues live from singapore. now reporting, david muir. good evening and thank you for joining us on this special edition of "nightline." we are live in singapore where just hours ago we witnessed history made here. president trump and north korean leader kim jong un meet k face to face. we watched the walkout, handshake, entering closed-door
negotiations, first one on one and then with their national security advisers. hours later signing an agreement before the world at which kim jong un committed to complete denuclearization of the korean peninsula. my colleague george stephanopoulos speaking with the president just minutes ago about this unpresented summit, about the letter they both signed, and george, we watched your interview as it came in. this was really something to witness. you ask so often about trust. the president indicating to you that he does trust kim jong un, at least for now. >> at least for now. he said maybe come back in a year i'll say i made a mistake. but for now he says he trusts kim jong un. this is the room where it happened, david. look right behind me. there's the table where they signed that joint communique. there are the flags of north korea and the united states. and the president came in saying it has been a very, very intense 24 hours. said he's gone 24 hours straight no sleep at all and really was charged up. talking about this meeting with kim jong un, believing it's a
historic moment. but as you said, there are a lot of questions over whether kim jong un can actually keep this commitment to complete denuclearization. the president has been very critical of the iran nuclear deal, said it's the worst deal ever made. so one of the questions is will this north korean deal be tougher than the iran nuclear deal? the president says it can't be %-ps committed to complete denuclearization. he says it may take time, we're going to have to watch the steps. he says we are going to have to verify it but he believes that commitment coming from kim jong un. he also said that kim jong un is prepared to take steps toward that goal that go beyond what was in this communeky and says those are going to be announced very, very soon. in fact, he said he they could be announced by kim jong un as he returns to his country he's already on his way right now, including the destruction of more nuclear sites. of course we're going to have wait and see if that's going to happen. and the big question on the table as you said that i asked the president is can you trust kim jong un, can you trust a
dictator like this? here's one of the exchanges. >> just a few months ago you accused him of starving his people. and listen, here'ses the rub. he runs the police state, forced starvation, labor camps. he's assassinated members of his own family. how do you trust a killer like that? >> george, i'm given what i'm given. this is what we have and this is where we are and i can only tell you from my experience i've met him, i've spoken with him, and i've met him and this, as you know, started very early and it's been very intense. i think that he really wants to do a great job for north korea. i think he wants to denuke. it's very important. without that there's nothing to discuss. that was on the table at the beginning. and you see it. total denuclearization of north korea. so important. and he wants to do the right thing. now, with all of that being said, i can't talk about -- it doesn't matter. we're starting from scratch. we're starting right now. and we have to get rid of those
nuclear weapons. >> little piece of news -- >> george, i heard you ask him about -- >> the president confirming -- >> yeah. go ahead. >> i was just going to say he confirmed in that talk that actually he had spoken to kim jong un before this meeting today, spoken over the phone, something the president hadn't confirmed in the past. i did ask him about that famous phrase from ronald reagan, trust but verify. the president did say that any agreement he reaches with north korea, any agreement he reaches with kim jong un will be verified. of course the devil's going to be in the details there, david. is that really something kim jong un will accept? will he accept inspectors inside his country to verify the destruction of nuclear weapons? we're a long way from there right now, but the president is convinced that they made a start ge t cdrl down on how inspector would verify. i think we're going to have to wait and hear how that plays out. in the meantime the president also told you that the country
loves kim jong un, that his country loves him, that there's a fevor there for him. but as you know, in the days and weeks to come the president's going to be asked about human rights inside that country and the fact there's so much propaganda the people of north korea are forced essentially into loving their leader. >> that's a turnaround from what the president had said in the past. he said in his own state of the union where he talked about kim starving his own people. that's what we were getting at right there. those are going to be the kind of questions the president faces coming out of this. is kim someone you really can trust? is he really committed to changing his country and to treating his people better beyond the nuclear program? that's an open question right now. but it is clear at least right now that the president believes that he started something new with kim. you heard him say people will look at that and say boy, that's not possible, that's hard to believe. it's hard to believe that someone like kim jong un is going to change his ways from being the kind of dictator he's
been. we'll have to see what happens in the coming days and th sd thy of state mike pompeo's going to take the lead in these negotiations going forward. he said that based ont happens going forward he would really like to see kim jong un at the white house at some point. we're far away from that kind of a summit follow-up right now, but the president believes he got things started. he is also open to the possibility that maybe it won't work out. he believes that kim jong un is different from his father-s different from his grandfather-s committed to making a real change, a real agreement with the united states that he's not going to back away from. i think most of the rest of the world is going to wait and see, can he take concrete steps to put meat on those bones, to put meat on the bones of the statement today and convince the world that he's really changed and really willing to give up he those weapons. >> and george, one more question
for you before you go. this was an extraordinary interview george did with the president moments ago. you also asked about potential changes for u.s. military in the region. and the president talked about war games in the region and how we could see things evolve over time, his part of this agreement. >> yeah, that was a big concession the president said he's willing to make right now. he said he's willing to stop these joint military exercises with south korea that have antagonized the north, and he went on in some detail about that. he said he's not talking now about talking united states troops out of south korea or doing away with a nuclear umbrella, the nuclear guarantees we give to protect south korea but he is willing to cut back on those military exercises, at least for now, and to see what kim does in return. that's something the president has never been a real fan of coming into this meeting. but it is a concession he made. he wouldn't go into great detail about the other kinds of security guarantees he's willing
give tohe sayst's a start he's willing to make right now in a concession he's willing to make now. >> george stephanopoulos, having just interviewed president trump on this day of history here in singapore. george, i know you've have the complete interview later this morning on "good morning america." jon karl, our chief correspondent, martha raddatz, the wole team standing by to talk about what we heard from the president on this truf but verify, something we heard from ronald reagan years ago. "nightline" continues in a moment. >> announcer: this special edition of "nightline," "trump & kim:spt historic summit," will continue. tender maine lobster and shrimp, cedar roasted to perfection. or new caribbean lobster and shrimp. sweet pineapple salsa on grilled rock lobster, paired with jumbo coconut shrimp. and wait. there's lobster & shrimp overboard!it a s.
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>> announcer: tonight, a special edition of "nightline," "trump & kim: the historic summit." i'm david muir live from singapore. we continue our special edition of "nightline." and i wanted to bring in our chief white house correspondent jonathan karl. jon, this historic agreement, this letter signed by both president trump and kim jong un just a short time ago, and we heard the president tell george stephanopoulos right in the first paragraph, now we've seen it, that they have both committed to guarantees, security guarantees to north korea but that chairman kim jong un reaffirmed his firm and unwavering commitment to complete denuclearization of the korean peninsula. >> reporter: david, i have to say reading that agreement and hearing what the president told george, it is becoming increasingly clear that kim jong un got a lot out of this summit. there were significant concessions made by president trump in this process. you mentioned the security guarantees. also what he told george about
suspending joint military exercises with the south koreans. that's a major issue for the north koreans. and the president said that he's willing to do away with those joint military exercises. even on that commitment from chairman kim, from kim jong un, to complete denuclearization of the korean peninsula, that's the phrase. words are really important here. complete denuclearization of the korean peninsula. it doesn't include what has been a mantra for the united states for years under multiple administrations that what we needed to be complete verifiable irreversible denuclearization. each one of those words is important. in that joint communique you only see the word "complete." how's is going to be verified? will there be steps made to make sure it is irreversible, that the north couldn't simply reconstitute their nuclear program after getting whatever rewards they would get? so i see significant concessions here by president trump. and it's not exactly clear what
the united states has gotten in return. >> all right. jon karl right there at capella hotel on sentosa island. you can see the podium behind you. the president is going to take questions from the international press corps here, and when he does we will break back in with that live as well. but in the meantime i want to get to our chief global affairs anchor martha raddatz because martha, you heard george press the president on this. how do you verify complete denuclearization? and that is going to be the challenge here. >> and president trump made clear that they will have to have that happen. they will have to have denuclearization. but as john pointed out, irreversible, verifiable. they can try to verify. they can get data from the very beginning. but this is going to be a very long process. whatever happened today, whatever concessions were made, they're going to have to follow up with that and verify. >> all right, martha, thank you. and as you heard the president tell george there in that interview, that he did in fact trust kim jong un during his several hours with him today, that face to face, and then that
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david muir reporting from singapore live on this special edition of "nightline." we're watching history made here in singapore. the historic summit, the first time ever a sitting u.s. president has met with north korea's leader, in this case dictator kim jong un. they have signed a letter just a short time ago here in singapore. i've been talking to martha raddatz. i want to bring in tom bossert as well, former homeland security adviser for the trump administration. and tom, i took note that in this agreement they both signed, this letter, there's no mention of sanctions. yet in the last 24 hours secretary of state pompeo was pressed repeatedly, will you ease economic sanctions, give any sort of economic relief
before there is total and complete denuclearization? he indicated there would be no easing of the sanctions. and yet no mention in the letter. but that doesn't surprise you? >> no, it doesn't surprise me and here's why. those sanctions are extant conditions. they're in place now and we won't remove them. it's kind of a compelling step for to us take but it's an incentive. at this point denuclearization and here's how i believe we present td to the north koreans as a number of steps, starts with disarming. then it moves to dismantling and disabling. those are different steps, has to do with fuel sickle development and things that get more complicated, tack a bit longer. what the president and secretary pompeo have said is we won't remove sanctions until you've taken those first three steps. the fourth being long-term ri efits tion. before, that before 15 years i would imagine. >> but do you recognize that some look at this letter and say it allows for at least a little bit of wiggle room here, that perhaps there will be faces here as far as the economic sanctions.
>> to be honest, no. i actually think that is a historic document and it's a literal blueprint for peace. this document, if both sides honor it, is the first ever blueprint for peace in this region that involves concessions on both sides that are real. the north koreans are going to view what president trump did today as a real set of conditions. he honored and reblthed some of their deep, deep security concerns. and in return see if they trust him and do the right thing. >> and the president did give up some on the u.s. side as well. jon karl talked about the concessions about the war games and ieshz the president will have to answer questions about once he gets back home sxwlp you may have seen the end of the domino theory here today. >> colonel ganyard, i'm curious what you heard george telling me earlier about what the president said involving u.s. military presence in and around the korean peninsula, the war games. the president essentially saying that he's asked himself who pays for these war games, are they really necessary.
>> i think we can do without them for a while, david. but to me the most important words that we heard was the u.s. will provide security guarantees. this whole summit revolves around those words. if you're kim jong un, you're not going to give up your nukes unless the u.s. says we won't attack you. this is the whole key. and i think the breathtaking irony here, david, is that just a few months ago you had this president saying we're about to use military force and now he's saying we're going to guarantee your security. >> and in fact, president trump will take credit for that rhetoric and for making this happen by using that rhetoric, ratcheting up the stakes to make kim jong un realize what the stakes actually were and bringing him to the table. colonel ganyard, our thanks to you. we've talked so many times during what appeared to be the nuclear escalation, and now we talk as history is made here in singapore. we're going to take a break so that the entire network can join us for a special report. the president about to address the world, taking questions from
international reporters gathered here in singapore. stay tuned. >> announcer: this is an abc news special report. trump and kim, the historic summit. now reporting from singapore, david muir. hello again, everyone, from singapore. it's been an extraordinary day here in singapore. middle of the night back home in the united states. history made. the first sitting u.s. president to sit down face to face with the leader of north korea, in this case dictator kim jong un. the president a short time ago telling our george stephanopoulos that he does trust kim jong un. how he will verify complete denuclearization and the president said that will be worked out but he will find ways to verify looking back to ronald reagan's words, saying trust but verify. the president echoing those words just a short time ago
here. i want to take you to the room. you can see it right now. capella hotel sentosa island where the president met with kim jong un for several hours this morning, first face to face and then a larger meeting with their national security advisers. our jon karl is in the room, our chief white house correspondent, and jon, so many questions still unanswered. but no question that this is truly historic in nature. and jon, in that room he can't hear us, the president is expected to talk shortly, but martha raddatz, our chief global affairs anchor who's been watching thun fold with me in these overnight hours for those watching back in the u.s., the key hurdle here is going to be what the president said, which is we must verify, we will verify complete denuclearization. but how do you do that? >> you check, you recheck, you have a full program here where you get rid of the weapons first
of all in a phased basis. but i think what you also have to look out for, david, is exactly what the president said. you really can't trust. the president may trust kim jong un but you can't trust, you have to verify. and the united states has said that again and again. not just verify but irreversible denuclearization. what you also had in that statement is the president and kim jong un saying that the president committed to provide security guarantees to north korea. that's key here. that's exactly what kim jong un wanted. he felt threatened. that's why he got those nuclear weapons to begin with, so he could negotiate to a day like today. >> but martha, you bring up a good point because this is something the president will likely be asked about just moments from now. how do we provide that security, and what does that security look like? does that keep kim jong un in power for years, decades to come? >> he certainly didn't mention him by name.
he talked about security for the dprk. he talked about security for north korea. how do they do that? mike pompeo said it's a unique kind of security agreement. we frankly don't know exactly what that means and how they will provide that security. a couple of months ago we were threatening to annihilate north korea if they dared launch any sort of nuclear weapon or threatened the united states. remember the incident with guam. he was promising missiles would be shot towards guam. and that was probably the most intense period for fears there would be some sort of conflict. >> and martha, we've covered this for years. we know there have been agreements in the past with north korea back during president bill clinton's time. there was an agreement reached in principle. it fell apart not long after when kim jong un's father died a short time after that agreement was signed. in this case when you see those words, and in fact it's in the first paragraph of this letter signed jointly by these two leaders a short time ago here in