this is "nightline." >> tonight, the art of the deal. >> they're going to get rid of their nuclear weapons, george. i think they want to do it relatively quickly. now we're going to see. >> president trump celebrating the unprecedented meeting in singapore. telling our george stephanopoulos how he plans to hold north korean leader kim jong-un to his word. but were the concessions made by the president too high a price to pay? plus, the brutal tru behind kim jong-un's smiles and promises of peace. an atrocious record of human rights abuses. bob woodruff inside the hermit kingdom where the government sets the scene. across the dmz, north korean defectors describe the labor camps and starvation that made them risk their lives to escape.
complete denuclearization from kim jong-un. what exactly does that mean and what good is the promise of a brutal dictator? in his first interview after saying good-bye to the north korean leader, president trump tells abc's george stephanopoulos how he plans to make him keep his word. >> this has been a very big day in terms of the world. i think it's been -- maybe -- a lot of people are saying it's historic. >> we're all calling it historic. >> even my enemies are calling it historic. >> reporter: history made with a handshake. for the first time ever, a sitting u.s. president coming face-to-face with a north korean leader. >> nice to meet you, mr. president. >> reporter: president trump and chairman kim jong-un. a man who's been accused of crimes against humanity. >> how do you trust him, though? is he willing to change? do you believe he's changed? >> well, you know, over my lifetime i've done a lot of deals with a lot of people. sometimes the people that you most distrust turn out to be the most honorable ones and the people that you do trust, they are not the honorable ones. >> reporter: abc's george stephanopoulos sitting down with the president just hours after the summit.
>> thank you very much, that's fantastic. >> reporter: gaining insights into a day many thought would never happen. kim jong-un, known for being a movie buff, saying it was like a scene from a science fiction movie. >> we will have a terrific relationship, i have no doubt. >> reporter: the morning began with smiles and pleasantries. it's easy to forget these two nations just months ago appeared to be on the brink of nuclear war. >> i feel really great. we're going to have a great discussion. and i think tremendous success. >> reporter: the old prejudices and practices worked as obstacles on our way forward, he said, but we overcame them all. president trump the self-proclaimed dealmaker, meeting one on one with kim jong-un and two translators. >> mr. president, how's it going so far, sir? >> very good. >> what do you think? >> very, very good. >> reporter: the former reality tv star with a flair for theatrics showing kim a video outlining the stakes of the summit. >> 7 billion people inhabit planet earth. >> reporter: the style even reminiscent of a movie trailer.
>> only a small number -- >> reporter: after a working lunch of beef shortkibs, braised cod, and haagen dazs for dessert, president trump showed the northern dic ator known as the beast. when they emerged the carefully choreographed show continues. >> did he agree to denuclearlize, sir? >> we're starting in that process very quickly. very, very quickly, absolutely. >> reporter: the two leaders signing an agreement aimed, they say, towards peace and denuclearization of the korean peninsula. >> we saw you sign the agreement right in this room. you also said you developed a special bond. describe that bond. >> well, it's been a very intense day. and as you know, we discussed things over the last few months. >> you did, you've spoken -- >> i have spoken, yes. i've spoken to him, i've spoken to a lot of his people. as you know, his i would say very top person was at the white house last week. we've developed a pretty good relationship in terms of getting something done. it got done.
i think it's a terrific document. it's a starter but it's a terrific document. think far more -- and there are things that we negotiated after that document that are also very important. >> like what? >> we're going to get rid of certain ballistic missile sites and various other things, we're going to put that out later. but we have the framework of getting ready to denuclearlize north korea. >> and the freeze in the grumt, complete denuclearization of the korean peninsula, does that mean that the nuclear umbrella that we have over south korea is on the table for negotiation? >> no. that means that they're going to get rid of their nuclear weapons. we never discussed the other. >> reporter: president trump boasting that this agreement, though scant on details, is better than the iran deal he walked away from. >> terrible deal. >> does that mean any deal with north korea has to be tougher than the iran deal? >> i don't think a deal could be softer. >> they have to get rid of all their nuclear weapons? >> they will. i think they will. i really believe that he will. i've gotten to know him well in a short period of time.
denuking. he's denuking the whole place and he's going to start very quickly. i think he's going to start now. they'll be announcing things over the next few days, talking about other missile sites. because there were, as you know, they were sending out a lot of missiles. >> is he going to stop testing? >> he's going to stop testing. well, he already has. how many months has it been, george, seven? where there's been no missiles going up? >> and he's committed to not starting that up again? >> he's committed to not do that, that won't be happening. that won't be happening. he means it. he really wants to do something i think terrific for their country. and it's the only way it can be. it's the only way it can be terrific. >> reporter: but actually setting up inspections and verification protocol will be extremely complicated. >> as the two country got through this process, they're going to look at each of the elements of the kim nuclear program. so that includes rockets, that includes missiles. they're going to look at plutonium generation. what kind of nuclear plants are in operation. to make sure they can't build or create the materials to create
these bombs. >> did you talk about pulling troops out, u.s. troops out -- >> we didn't discuss that, but we're not going to play the war games. you know, i wanted to stop the war games. i thought they were very provocative. i also think they're very expensive. >> reporter: halting war games came as a surprise to the south koreans. even more unexpected, an american offer of security. what critics say is too big a gift. >> this is the only reason that kim would have come to the table. and it's the real key to whatever progress was made today and whatever progress happens in the future. >> what other kinds of security guarantees did you offer, put on the table? >> we've given him -- i don't want to talk about it specifically but we've given him -- he's going to be happy. his country does love him. his people, you see the fervor, they have a great fervor. they're going to put it togethering. and i think they're going to end up with a very strong country. and a country which has people that they're so hard-working, so industrious. if you look at south korea, someday, maybe in the not too distant future, it will be
something like that. >> you say his people love him. a few months ago you accused him of starving his people. here's the rub. kim is a brutal dictator. he runs a 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, this is where we are. i can only tell you from my experience. i've met him, i've spoken with him, i've met him. this 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. >> how would you score the summit? >> i think we're safer today than we were three months ago. but i also believe that president trump is deluding himself when he says north korea is going to give up its nuclear weapons. and deluding himself when he seems to think that he got the
better end of the negotiations. >> reporter: the reactions today, wide ranging. praise for president trump's statesmanship. touting this as a monumental achievement. south korean president moon jae-in congratulated him in a statement. yet others calling the summit nothing more than a photo op. former vice president joe biden saying, talking to dictators is one thing, embracing them is another. so far, this is not a deal that advantages the united states or makes us safer. >> i think one lesson from the past is that imperfect peace processes are better than war mongering. and so even if president trump fails at denuclearlizing north korea, if he can get back to where we were in some of these past peace processes, then that would be worthwhile. >> reporter: today the president remained confident, firing off a series of self-congratulatory tweets. got along great with kim jong-un, who wants to see wonderful things for his country. as i said earlier today, anyone
can make war, but only the most courageous can make peace. but the brutality of the regime even affecting an american college student. university of virginia student otto warmbier was detained for nearly a year and a half for stealing a poster. >> please, i have made the worst mistake of my life. >> reporter: he was released only to return to the united states in a coma, and would die days later. the president addressed the controversy in a press conference after his meetings. >> kim jong-un, as you know, has killed family members, has starved his own people, is responsible for the death of otto warmbier. why are you so comfortable calling him very talented? >> well, he is very talented. anybody that takes over a situation like he did at 26 years of age and is able to run it and run it tough. i don't say it was nice or i don't say anything about it. i think without otto, this would not have happened.
something happened from that day. it was a terrible thing. it was brutal. but a lot of people started to focus on what was going on. including north korea. >> reporter: but can the same man responsible for so many human rights abuses really be trusted as a partner in peace? >> you trust him? >> i do trust him, yeah. now, will i come back to you in a year and you'll be interviewing and i'll say, gee, i made a mistake? that's always possible. we're dealing at a very high level. a lot of things can change, a lot of things are possible. he trusts me, i believe. i really do. i mean, he said openly and he said to it a couple of reporters that were with him that he knows that no other president ever could have done this. i mean, no other -- he knows the presidents. he knows who we had in front of me. he said no other president could have done this. i think he trusts me, and i trust him. >> ronald reagan said, trust but verify. >> yeah. >> final question, when is kim coming to the white house?
>> well, i want to get it along. i want the process to start. i want to see some real work going on, which i believe i will. and i would love to have him at the white house. whatever it takes. i would love to have him at the white house. and i think he'd love to be there. >> reporter: you can watch that full video president trump showed to kim jong-un right now. just click on our "nightline" facebook page. up next, kim jong-un welcomed with cheers on the streets of singapore. but what really goes on behind barbed wire fences of his hermit kingdom? if your moderate to severe ulcerative colitis or crohn's symptoms are holding you back, and your current treatment hasn't worked well enough, it may be time for a change. ask your doctor about entyvio, the only biologic developed and approved just for uc and crohn's. entyvio works at the site of inflammation in the gi tract and is clinically proven to help many patients achieve both
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>> president trump and north korean leader kim jong-un emerge from their historic summit pety.rating autef t t triumphant overtones, experts say, mask the realities of life in a country long known for brutal human rights abuses. a country that has only recently allowed carefully staged glimpses. abc's bob woodruff takes us inside the hermit kingdom. >> tremendously successful -- >> reporter: despite triumphant overtones out of singapore yesterday -- >> great personality and very smart, good combination. >> reporter: millions of north koreans largely left unspoken for, so far. a country known as the hermit kingdom. its people closed off from the outside world, long ruled by a dictators. a history barely acknowledged between the photo ops. >> it was painful for us not to mention human rights in the country that may violate them more than any other country in
the world. >> reporter: i first began reporting on north korea in 2005 when kim jong-un's father was in charge. >> we expect to show you a country that the world knows very little about. >> reporter: on my first trip, the capital was nearly deserted. the urban workers that week ordered to work in the fields. from our visit with young north koreans -- ♪ to this farm outside the capital, i met with those deeply skeptical of the united states. their animosity in part stemming from extreme isolation. >> what do you think about americans? >> reporter: back then that 18-year-old told us he thought americans were the sworn enemy of the korean people. >> have you ever met an american before? >> reporter: no, he said, he hadn't. >> i'm an american. >> reporter: forbidden to communicate with the outside world, their only information available, government propaganda. carefully choreographed scenes like this have been a constant in my visits here. now it's completely silent.
right up there, kim jong-il and his song, kim jong-un, going to come out and watch. >> reporter: more recently, displays of the country's progress. like their subway system. >> you can see that this design is an old 30-year-old design -- >> reporter: this tour of a gleaming pyongyang. >> it was seen this entire city before. >> reporter: this satellite photo taken in 2014 gives a fuller picture of what life in north korea is really like. the capital, pyongyang, lit. everything around it is shrouded in darkness. hunger and malnutrition are widespread. the u.n. estimates that more than 40% of the population don't have enough to eat. food shortages are not new here, but many say it's been exacerbated by tough international sanctions that made it harder to buy food. and there's what's always hidden from view. the country's notorious labor camps. these human rights violations critics say glossed over in the
summit. >> i can imagine north koreans who have family members in labor camp listening illegally to a shortwave radio, which if they were caught could get their whole family sent to a labor camp, and hearing an american president say that their leader is doing his best for their country, that he loves the country. i would feel incredibly let down. >> reporter: hundreds of thousands of north koreans have defected. many fleeing to the south. risking their lives like this north korean soldier whose escape was captured by surveillance cameras in the heavily armed demilitarized zone, dmz, stunning the world. as he survived a hail of bullets in order to cross the border. dr. lee cook jon ie rgeon who saved the soldier's life. >> transported here from the dmz area. >> he probably would have died if he was not rescued instantly?
>> that's right. >> reporter: after finding safe havens in south korea, some defectors have been waging campaigns against their former government. with what they say is the most powerful ammunition, the truth. this woman, who goes by the alias miss han, anchors a nightly radio news show transmitted to the north. every broadcast a love letter to the ones she left behind. >> translator: i like to think my parents and brothers back home are listening to my voice, and they are actually listening to it now. when they hear another defector came and is living here in a free country, how they talk truthfully about democracy, it's a huge shock to them. >> reporter: after her father was tortured, she fled across the border to china but was captured by north korean guards. >> translator: i thought i was dead. i'm dead now. >> reporter: after her release she paid smugglers to help her try again. she says she became a victim of human trafficking, sold three
times as a would-be bride in china. another high-profile defector, former deputy ambassador to the united kingdom, described just how cruel the regime can be. >> they cannot understand that a north korean system, it is itself a kind of slavery system. i think one day when north korean system, you know, collapses, i think the whole world will be shocked. >> reporter: now there is hope that this historic summit could be a first step, bringing light to the millions of north koreans living in darkness. for "nightline," i'm bob woodruff in seoul. >> a final thought when we come back. touch shows how we really feel. but does psoriasis ever get in the way? embrace the chance of 100% clear skin with taltz.
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