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tv   U.S. North Korea Nuclear Summit  MSNBC  June 11, 2018 9:00pm-1:00am PDT

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at fidelity, our online u.s. equity trades are just $4.95. so no matter what you trade, or where you trade, you'll only pay $4.95. fidelity. open an account today. good evening, i'm chris mathews up in new york. it's midnight here on the east coast, but 9:00 p.m. on the west coast and 12:00 noon in singapore where president trump and the u.s. delegation are holding a working lunch with kim jong-un and the representatives of north korea. well, tonight president trump became the first sitting u.s. president to meet face to face with the leader of the north korean regime. and during that greeting which was staged before a row of alternating u.s. and north korean flags, president trump
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could be heard exchanging a few brief words with the young dictator before posing for photographs. most striking through all the pageantry and show man ship was their body language. at first each leader appeared stoic, even stone faced, game faced as they made their dramatic entrance to the resort with the historic talks are now this moment taking place. that gave way to smiles by the time their private meeting began. and here's where president trump said when asked simply, how it felt to be there. >> i feel really great. we're going to have a great discussion. i think tremendous success, tremendously successful. it's my honor and we will have a terrific relationship. i have no doubt. >> after that initial 38-minute meeting concluded, trump who earlier said he could size up kim jong-un within the first minute, declared that they had, quote, an excellent relationship. let's watch.
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>> mr. president, how is it going so far? >> very good. very, very good. excellent relationship. thank you. >> excellent relationship. well, from there the meetings expanded to each country's representatives with secretary of state mike pompeo, national security advisor john bowl don and chief of staff john kelly joining their side of the table. here's how the president addressed kim in that meeting. >> mr. kim, it's a great honor to be with you. and we'll solve a big problem, a big dilemma that until this point has been unable to be solved and working together we'll get it -- >> in turn, kim jong-un told the president that they had overcome skepticism and speculation to hold this summit. and said it would be good for peace. well, right now both delegations are still in their working lunch
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right now. we are awaiting another possible statement which we'll bring to you as it happens. we are covering a live luncheon and we expect they'll be opening up for the cameras at some point. joining me now is richard engel, chief correspondent for nbc news in seoul south korea. and peter alexander, nbc news national correspondent joining us from singapore. richard, as always, i count on you for the big picture. is this an inflection point? are we going to see kim jong-un as one of president trump's friends in the months ahead? friends, public friends. >> reporter: well, that's a very hard question to answer. the government here of south korea certainly hope so. a statement from president moon came out just a short while ago and he said that he was watching these talks with great hope and excitement and hope that it's going to bring peace and prosperity. that he was so excited he couldn't sleep yesterday. however, there are other south
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koreans who are a lot more skeptical. they say this is all about show, that this is a photo op, that the two leaders, kim jong-un and president trump each want to get something out of this and that it is really more about optics than real diplomacy. that president trump wants to distract from his problems at home and show that he's a great diplomat, and that kim jong-un wants what he has always wanted, recognition and some sanctions relief. so, who is right? is this really the start of groundbreaking diplomacy which the south korean government hopes that it is, which is why the south korean government has been pushing for this from the very start? or is this a very dramatic flash in the pan that allows these two leaders to go back to their home audience and say they walked away with something important? >> is it clear to you that there would be an advantage in kim jong-un to meet with the president in a friendly basis with all these smiles and then
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return to the truculant face he put on all these years? in other words, does he win if he goes back to the old way of dealing with us? >> probably not. it seems like he could now go back to his people, go back to his generals, go back to his pilot bureau and say that he won. that under his leadership and his leadership was questioned. he was a very young person when he took power from his father. that he accelerated the missile program, accelerated the nuclear program, and has now been welcomed onto the world stage and is engaging in normal or normal-like diplomatic activity. one of the first things that kim jong-un told his people when he came to power is that they would not have to tighten their belts again, that this would be a new era of focusing on the economy.
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if you remember under the last regime, the last dictator, kim jong-un's father, about 2 million people died in famine in that country. >> yes. >> and there was, there was serious unrest in the coury and they may have lost the tire system had there not been some food aid that came in. had the situation on the ground not changed and the famine got significantly better. so, i think kim jong-un does have to engage with the world to try and sew his people that he has some interest in their economic prosperity in mind, but he can tell his generals that the only way he got to this point in which the world takes him seriously and gives him some concession and recognitions was after he made this rush toward the missile program, the inter-continental ballistic missile program and militarizing
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his nuclear weapons. >> fascinating history. let's go to peter alexander. peter, we're watching the latest act we have watched is the opening of the luncheon. this is an amazingly choreographed. at each sort of moment they've shown enough of it so we get a sense of what's going on, but not much more. >> chris, i think that's right. this is the president, president trump, who has a history of real estate and reality tv and he is putting on a show for the world today alongside kim jong-un in that working lunch, taking place within the last ten or 15 minutes. he said to the cameras as they entered the room, making sure we both look thin and handsome, that we look perfect here. he's continuing that campaign of flattery alongside the north korean dictator who is a bit of a rotund man. i hope it looks thin trying to butter him up over the course of the day. what strikes me in this conversation we've been witnessing between the two men over the course of the day is how the president is really
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willing to erase all of north korea's history to try to reimagine this relationship after barely 40 minutes together, saying they already have an excellent relationship. realize that half of that 40 minutes would have been spent with the translators speaking. basically in 20 minutes' time he feels they have an excellent relationship, ignoring the fact that kim jong-un's family, kim jong-un himself is part of a regime that is regime that has assassinated his own loved ones, his own people. it comes a matter of days of kim jong-un being alongside the president with happy smiles, thumbs up, he sat beside the leader of canada, the prime minister justin trudeau and ignored the extension of his arm. did not shake his hand in that room. and i think if you compare those two image, it is remarkable that as he is turning his back, trump is, to canada and america's traditional allies, here he is embracing kim jong-un as best he can. >> is this -- i'm watching what
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you're watching, peter. i'm wondering, can you sense -- first of all, let's get something straight. can kim jong-un, can he understand conversational american english from having gone to school in -- boarding school in switzerland, taking an english language program? are they actually conversing here or not? >> well, we know that he speaks some english. it sounds like to the best of our understanding from what we've been seeing that their conversation from my colleagues, other reporters there in the room have been exclusively through the translator which raises what was another remarkable moment. one of the translators -- >> what was he doing in switzerland going to high school if he couldn't understand english? they didn't have korean language classes in geneva, did they? >> yeah, no, those are good questions to which honestly i don't know the answer about his english studies while he was in switzerland. i do know as he stood beside donald trump, at one point through his translator, he said what a moment.
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it's something most people in the world thought they would only see in a science fiction movie. it sounds like kim jong-un himself is even amazed by this moment he's being embraced by america's president. >> let's look ahead in the next few hours. 4:00 in the u.s., we're going to have a joint communique. is that still the schedule? >> we believe there will be some form of a statement. they haven't said for certain that it exists, but it was what they were suggesting, what we heard first from mike pompeo, secretary of state, the talks, ongoing talks between the delegations had been moving so quickly and so much faster than they expected that the president was, in fact, able to leave later today. you know donald trump is going to be leaving here just seven hours from now. i was in the oval office with him last week. i asked how long he was prebared to stay. he said one, two, three days depending how things go. i think this white house, this president certainly is trying to cast this as a victory even before he got there.
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he was trying to frame this as a success saying we already got our hostages back. they have stopped their missile testing and their research, not that there is any evidence they have stopped their research and their nuclear program. but the president was making that assertion earlier today. we will hear from him at a news conference to take place a few hours from now. he will also be doing some one on one interviews, one of them with his famous favorite landing patch sean hannity is here to talk with president trump before he heads home. >> thank you so much. thank you richard engel in seoul and peter alexander of course in singapore. joining me now is ben rhodes, deputy national advisor msnbc contributor. and the mission to the u.n. what are you thinking? >> he's going to walk away -- right, listen if he walks away from a dad deal, he looks strong because he walked away from a bad deal. if he gets any kind of deal,
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which i expect he will, then it will be seen as a positive step whether it's related to america's security, whether it's related to setting the stage for future months of negotiations. where i see the issues that i'm concerned with at least are regarding japan's and south korea's security. >> and what do you think you're going to get in the next several hours? will they mess around with the idea of ending the war officially since 1953? will they be talking about something that implies we're losing the justification for keeping our troops there, pulling the umbrella out? do you think they'll do any of those bad things, take our troops out, take the nuclear umbrella off? >> i would be surprised if they were able to get to that kind of agreement that goes into that kind of detail just booze the whole process has been short circuited. not to say i think it's great i think the leaders are meeting, it's momentous and trump deserves credit for that. >> expand on that. >> those of us who have been in washington a long time, in government a long time, we don't like it when protocols are broken, traditions are broken.
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it's not something we're used o to. >> you mean trump getting elected? his presence breaks the protocol. >> i don't like his twitter use. but i will say especially with regards to north korea, there have been a long history of negotiations and they have all failed. and any time there has been an agreement, it hasn't been properly enforced or it just hasn't been lived up to. so perhaps it's a good idea to try it a different way. >> in the past korea has been able -- north korea has been able to get time. that's what they've really used this for. vietnam days, they'd say fight and talk, talk and fight. they have talked to us while they built their nuclear -- now that they have a nuclear arsenal, will we get somewhere in terms of our negotiations? >> i think it just all depends on the military question that you mentioned. i think sanctions relief is going to be a big one. i think for kim jong-un it's not going to succeed without significant if not all sanctions relieved. when was a big point when i was in the treasury department. >> on the that point, doesn't
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trump own this? he has control of the sanctions. they have to give him something for him to justify back here in the states sanctions relief. they're the bad guys. >> look, i'm a limb more sattle sanguine about this. there are a couple things that worry me, chris. first of all, we don't know what he's defining success. he's declaring victory. >> you think we're heading in that direction? >> the fact of the matter is they have consolidated their nuclear program. they consolidated their ballistic missile program. they have a nuke lclear dee tet. they want the military exercises drawn down. they have a list of things they want and they're probably going to get commitments around this i think in exchange for some empty commitment to denuclearize. the proof will be what happens after this. this is the high water mark. this is the spectacle he's
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putting on for the world. we don't know yet whether this will succeed unless we know -- >> won't it kill trump politically if he doesn't get some hard nosed commitments on denuclearization? >> that or followed through on. >> the media will kill him. >> what the north koreans have done in the past is you bring some international journalists in, they blow up one building. meanwhile they have a whole nuclear -- >> the standard, kim has to tell us how many nuclear weapons he has and where they are. >> the estimates are they have up to 60 nuclear weapons. they have hidden pieces of -- >> do you think he'll tell us those answers, what he has and where her? >> i don't think so. chris, i'm much more concerned about something else here, too, right, which is i'm all for diplomacy. but how you pursue it matters. and if the world is watching this week, what they see is a u.s. president picking fights with our closest allies in canada and europe, and then embracing kim jong-un. that's shaking up the world order that we have built for decades. it's not perfect, but at the
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same time we want those allies with us if we're pursuing a tough diplomatic agreement like we're pursuing with north korea. we don't want to open the door to a country like china to start to say how credible is the u.s., how reliable is the u.s. and they start going to south korea and japan or even europe and say, hey, we should be your trading partner. we should be the big -- >> give me the pluses and minuses of what you've seen before. if they come out and issue a joint statement or communique in three or four hours that says, we really like each other, it was a nice meeting. we're going to begin the talks towards officially ending the korean war, blah, blah, blah, some other soft stuff. will that be a plus or minus? >> listen it's a positive step. it's hard to criticize the united states reaching out to an adversary to try and solve a decades-long problem. you could argue -- i don't want to compare. i know it's a very different situation. but president obama sent a letter to the ayatollah. i don't see the difference. my point is you're talking about
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two nations neither of which you can trust. both have different goals -- >> iran and north korea. >> yes. both pursue goals in deceptive manners. i'm not saying i expect north korea to hold up their end of the bargain, i don't. i expect they will sign a deal and have their cake and eat it, too, or they'll think they can continue development or nefarious behavior. >> what good is a short-term relationship with the united states that ends up being bad? that's what i don't get. doesn't kim have to he roo main friendly to get anything? we think he's a betrayer and he lets us down in a month or two, what good has it done? >> he's poked holes in the sanctions regime. what you see going forward, he was on his back foot with respect to sanctions, with respect to diplomatic isolation. what he can do with this meeting is pocket this, try to get holes in the sanctions regime. >> through who, which countries? >> basically china. >> i see. >> going to these countries, hey, i'm sitting down with donald trump.
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do you really want to be on in enforcing these sanctions or these other countries should have withdrawn diplomatic representation. i'm being perceived in front of the north korean and american flags. we should come in from the cold before the international community before giving up the nuclear weapons. what you'll see is a joint commitment to pursue denuclearization. >> nixon wouldn't have gone to china if it wouldn't lead to formalization at some point. >> or even the letter to the ayatollah which i remember well. that took six years to get to an iran nuclear agreement that had inspections and had the stockpile of nuclear materials being shipped out of the country which trump has now torn up. >> will the iranian deal be a marker for this president to deal with this situation? >> it should be. he said that that deal was a catastrophe. so, let's see. is he going to have a deal that has a better inspections regime, that has the stockpile shipped out of the country? i doubt it. >> i think it's fair for you
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guys who are experts to hold him to t. thank you, ben rhodes, very impressive. very helpful to us. thank you so much for staying up till the middle of the night. it's not the middle of the night in singapore right now. the special edition of hardline is covering -- it's lunch time. there they are having lunch. it's exactly right around the globe from here. the delegations are a working lunch. they are awaiting a possible statement in the next several hours. we all are. something may come out of the this lunch as well. stick with us. it's happening now. especially the west coast ought to be looking at this. this has been a dangerous country for the west coast particularly. when we come back, the diplomatic view of what happened tonight. did the north koreans get what they wanted equal status with america and what did trump walk away with? this is hardball where the action is. ♪ it can grow out of control, disrupting business and taking on a life of its own.
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welcome back to "hardball." president trump and kim jong-un got a dramatic moment with their historic handshake there. a sitting u.s. president meeting face to face with the leader of the north korean regime. there is much more at stake in today's meeting than optics and photos. to denuclearize the korean peninsula. both sides have different understanding of what that means. representatives of the two countries are currently right now in their working lunch. it's noon there in singapore and we are awaiting a possible statement at any moment. but will today's meeting put the two sides any close tore reaching a deal or will it be all style and no substance? for more, eugene robinson from the washington post and michael
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mcfaul, former.s. ambasdor to russia. there will be more developments here. gene, take some time. it's not post game analysis yet. >> no. >> this is halftime. >> so, what do you think? >> the first inning, chris, not halftime. >> okay. i meant today's show. gene, looking forward to the announcement coming out at 4:00 this morning, 4:00 their afternoon, what do you think is coming out of all this? >> you would assume from everything we've seen so far. the fact, the body language has been so positive, the fact that they're planning to leave early. they seem to be sort of happy about it. it's not -- doesn't look like anybody is planning to leave in a snit or anything like that. it seems they want to convey they are enjoying the meeting. they have expectations they'll get what they want out of it. so, one assumes there will be
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something that they're able to agree on and jointly say at the end, and there will be a result that they can both call a win. >> well, to use modern dating language, is this just lunch? i mean they're having lunch. two weeks from now, will they still be together? will they still be looking forward to -- not alliance, that's the wrong word. a warmer relationship, if you will? >> they don't have an agreement for the complete denuclearization of the korean peninsula or the verifiable end to north korea's arsenal. that's not happened. why would it happen? >> how many times have we seen someone running for office i'm going to balance the budget as long as it's in the term. do you think trump can get away with politically saying we can get this done in five six years, i'll be reelected and get the credit for a promised some day?
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>> i don't know if trump is capable of putting this on a trajectory that leads to a denuclearization we would be really happy with. i do think that he has changed the atmosphere here. he has changed the nature of the relationship in a way that could be positive, in a way that could make it less likely that a miscalculation or blunder or just, you know, sort of ramping up of tension we saw earlier a few months ago when we were talking fire and fury and everything like that could lead to some sort of tragic inter-continental ballistic missile miscalculation that ended up killing untold horrific numbers of people. this is a country that has an armageddon nal of nuclear weapons. it's a modest arsenal. there is no such thing as a modest arsenal, a hydrogen bomb
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including ballistic missiles. you know, whether you like it or not, a country that has achieved that is treated in a different way. and this is treating that country in a different way. >> mr. mcfaul, ambassador henry kissinger spent years, it seems, with negotiating with lee doc to. the first korean american negotiations started in '51 and ended two years later in july. they like long talks. they like long process. is this going to be like that? >> if it's successful, of course it's going to be long. it's going to take years to get a successful completed agreement. that's why i joke this is the first inning. maybe the first batter because it's going to be a long process. and i think we need to judge it by the results each time, you know. it's easy for the white house to come out and say it was a successful summit. i worked for the obama administration. we said that for every summit. that's what they're trained to
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do and it's obvious from the body language already they're going to try to convince us it's been a great success. to me what is a success is a joint statement that leads to a road map that ends in denuclearization. and that's not the goal that i set. that's the gold that the trump administration set at the outset for this meeting. meetings are easy to have. they are means to objectives. they are means to national security outcomes, and that's what we should judge the successor failure of this summit to be. >> but you're begging the question, do you think it's reasonable for them to get rid of their nuclear missiles period? do you think it's reasonable? >> i'm skeptical. i'm skeptical. and by the way, there's been many other photo ops of americans with north koreans before. remind everybody that. this is not the first time we've met. i posted on my twitter feed madelein albright toasting champe pain with the north koreans. this is not a movie we've seen
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the first time. >> you said you don't think it will happen. would you, if you were negotiating for us in this situation down the road, would you give up our troops on the border, our 30 some thousand at the 38th parallel, would you give a nuclear umbrella over south korea and japanfhey agreed to get rid of their nuclear weapons leaving them with this tremendous fire power at the border, would you do that as a deal? >> as a negotiator, no. >> nuclear for nuclear. >> no, you mentioned the conventional troops as well. that's a game changer in terms of the balance of power on the peninsula. and here's my real fear, chris. you started to talk about it earlier. here's my real fear. let's say they get an agreement and the word denuclearization is in there. that would be an achievement and i would celebrate it. i would say that's progress. but along the way, years down the road, the north koreans are going to pump the brakes. they're going to say, wait a minute, you have nuclear weapons, we have nuclear weapons. what about if we take down some
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of them. what if we give you inspections and we keep some of them. and then are we going to have our allies on our side saying, that's not sufficient? are we going to have the chinese and the russians saying, that's not sufficient? that's what i worry down the road. we've been -- we've negotiated with the north koreans many times before without success and so far i think it's just too early to think that this moment, which is a great moment, it's better to be talking than going to war, but it's way too early to judge whether we're going to get there. >> we decide we need nuclear power to prevent war. even if they got an offer of nothing on their side in terms of nuclear weapons, nothing on our side in terms of the nuclear umbrella, that if we got rid of both sides, we would be -- the south koreans would be at the disadvantage strategically because they would be facing this massive bunching, if you will, of artillery power. >> correct, i think the conventional balance is against us on that.
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>> we couldn't defend europe with our conventional forces. >> right. now, i think there is, you know, negotiating space in between which is when we say nuclear umbrella, we can provide a nuclear umbrella without having any nuclear weapons in the theater. remember we have icbms. >> they're in nebraska. >> well, montana, north dakota to be precise, and we also have them on submarines. that would be a great problem to get to. i think that's literally years away. >> okay. last thought, gene? >> joe, the nuclear expert, true experts in the field in the last hour said something important and interesting. which is that now, thanks to donald trump, the american right wing, political right wing is on board and cheering the negotiation with north korea as opposed to -- >> because simon says. >> because simon says. so, i guess, you know, i'm -- i
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believe trump's motives may be base, his knowledge of the issues, maybe mostly ignorance. you know, i get all that. but what's the net impact of this? and the net impact of this could be positive in terms of i think our -- >> you're a just man. >> could be, could be. >> could be. >> that's the operative word. >> hope springs eternal, michael. >> hopefully you fellas know what you're talking about, always conditional. thank you, gene robinson and ambassador michael mcfaul. our special edition of "hardball" continues as we watch the working lunch over in singapore. up next president trump's alternating or alienating our friends while making nice with a long-time adversary. how is this going to shake up after this whole thing is over? what's the world thinking of this now that we find the time to hang out with our enemies, but to jilt our friends? this is "hardball" where the action is.
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welcome back to "hardball." great, they've come out of a luncheon apparently which was closed to the press. now we are watching to see. there is i think kim jong-un right there talking, and there is president trump. he's just come out in front of the flags. we've been waiting for sort of a communique of some sort. maybe not a formal one at the
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end of this day, like at 4:00 our time here in the morning 4:00 there in the afternoon. they are chatting, but they're doing in plain sight on purpose, i would guess, because they had been behind closed doors. now they have come out where they know the cameras are on them. they want this to be seen. now they are chatting i guess with their interpreters. and now they're walking out onto the platform. apparently to say something here. this is interesting. this wasn't necessarily planned. now, they have been through three or four settings already. their private meeting, then the public meeting, then a luncheon. at each point allowing the cameras in, but only to do what we call a spray, not to have any back and forth of any kind. but the faces are going from game faces, if you will in a sports sense earlier today to a jovial kind of companionship to this. this seems -- now they are
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talking again in english obviously. and the president seems to have a way of getting a reaction from kim jong-un here. and i guess they're coming out to where they're supposed to come to. let's listen to this. >> how is it going? >> it's great. we had a really fantastic meeting. a lot of progress, really very positive. i think better than anybody could have expected. top of the line, really good. >> has he agreed to give up any nuclear weapons, sir? >> we'll tell you in a couple of minutes. >> they're going to put their signatures to some document, and no one has said ahead, as far as i know, what that document is going to be. but we'll find out in a moment whether there are cameras set up inside the room where they are going for the signing. let's watch.
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bobby, i don't know if you have a better shot at knowing what they're going to sign than we do. >> it seems a little early for the communique. that should be later in the day. >> howard, your view, looking at this how it's going to sell at home, the way the sides are divided in our country, those for trump will say it's the greatest thing since nixon went to china. what do you think of it? >> there is obvious political help here, gravy for trump. what substance will come from it. what fascinates me is one of them is this is diplomacy as practiced in the new age of authoritarianism that we're headed into. we've had 75 years after world war ii of what they called it, the g-7 summit, rules-based diplomacy. donald trump doesn't like groups. he doesn't like being part of a group because he doesn't get all the credit. he wants to do it singly and
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alone with somebody else across the table. and apparently kim jong-un likes it, too. and i think donald trump sensed before he got into this that kim would be a willing partner. one of donald trump's gifts is his ability to sense weakness in the positions of others. and despite the fact that kim got his nuclear weapons and some of his inter-continental ballistic missiles, he's in desperate shape. his economy is nowhere. there is no electricity grid. there was famine in the past. there's chaos right on his doorstep. and donald trump, i think, sensed a guy who wanted a deal, who was desperate for status. donald trump knows he has a ferel sense of people desperate for status. he saw that in kim and this is low hanging political fruit he could get at least initially. and i think donald trump is going to get that. the question, of course -- this isn't g-7. this isn't rules based. this is donald trump-based. that's the way donald trump wants it and that's the way, frankly, other authoritarian
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leaders in the world want it. that's why he's more comfortable dealing with kim, why he's more comfortable talking to putin when he isn't threatening. why he says he has such a great relationship with xi jinping. that's what we're seeing here. it's a whole new world diplomatically and politically and donald trump is creating it on the fly. whether it will work, you know, the chinese may get a little nervous here, but what actually are they going to agree to? i think you're going to see the united states offering economic help and we'll see what kim is willing to give in return. >> well, we are watching kim jong-un and the president, what looks to be a very choreographed day until now. they were leaving from lunch to head over there, bobby. they seem like they're stopped at this door. i can't figure out what's going on here. all the cameras -- there is john bolton. the president's security advisor chiming in there. >> these guys are making it up as they go along. >> i'm looking at this doorway situation. it's really an interesting sort
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of moment where they are both sort of chatting away on the situation. we see a couple people, representatives on both sides with the president and the interpreter there on the president's right there. >> i don't think every moment of this has been walked through a million times before they took these walks themselves. you remember a moment earlier on the videotape where they kind of turned -- >> the door is open. >> they turned the wrong way. >> i saw that, howard. here the door is opening. they're shaking hands and going in different directions. >> there we go. >> they're both going into the same room apparently through different doors. no. this is strange. they're both heading off to take a break maybe. this could be anything. bobby, howard, this could be bathroom breaks, it could be anything. but what we're told is they're -- according to the president, there they go. he's walking down the portico. this looks like the west wing over here. >> it strikes me, chris, they spent rather more time together
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than maybe -- maybe they're lying in the weeds on this the whole time. it strikes me they spent a little more time together, if not a lot more time together than they thought they might. and i think they're both retreating to their respective camps to figure out what they just did. >> let's talk about this, howard. let's talk about some hard facts here. >> right. >> everybody on the skeptical side of this is when are we actually going to get something done in terms of denuclearization, or is this going to be a let's make friends, hands across the border occasion. i guess with john bolton standing there next to the president who is a super hawk, i expect very demanding in terms of something hard here. bobby, you first. will they get -- will bolton's presence suggest they're going to get something done on the nuclear side, not just on let's have an end to the official war between north and south korea? >> i honestly think pompeo was in the immediateings as well. i honestly think this was coming down to trump and kim. those two, the chemistry between
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them, what they agree, whether pompeo likes it or not, whether bolton likes it or not, they're going to have to sign off on this. this is going to have to come down to the two leaders. i think it's interesting that pompeo is there, but i think his presence is balanced off -- sorry, that bolton was there, but his presence is balanced off by pompeo who is not a super hawk. so, i think those are, you know, we'll try to read the tea leaves there. but i think what it comes down to is basically what these two men are going to decide. >> this scene is amazing, the two guys talking to the two women, chatting out there. having a social time almost. now here we go. >> he's happy to let trump lead him. >> yeah. howard? >> well, i think the one sort of technical problem here is that the president and kim spent about 45 minutes together alone at the beginning with only the interpreters. and now i think they've all -- >> what do you make of that, why do you think trump wanted to be alone with him with no record
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kept? >> for the reasons that i said before, which is this is all about his individual perform -- in his mind and in his lifelong strategy of negotiation and branding and salesmanship, it's all about him and him being alone in the arena with the one person he's negotiating with. whether he's trying to sell them a condo or borrow money or something. >> doesn't a businessman take notes? >> not donald trump. i mean, i've been in donald trump's office. i didn't see him taking any notes. he does it by what he says -- >> let's watch this again. howard, hold on a second. >> top of the line, really good. we're going now for a signing. >> has he agreed to give up any nuclear weapons, sir? >> bobby, i don't think it is a moment that's passed the cameras and press somebody hasn't yelled out, are you going to deal with this nuclear thing or not, buddy? i think the answer has been silence in every moment. >> he has not directly addressed that. he's only spoken in generalities
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and expressions we are familiar with. top of the line is a sort of classic real estate language there. but you're right, he has not directly spoken about the nukes. to the journalist. but as you say, we are expecting some sort of statement in about three hours from now. by then we'll hopefully have pretty clear idea. >> howard, somebody did some really good correspond yhoreogr location planning. this is an evocative place, like summer set mawn would be hanging out. these old shutter buildings, built at the time when heat was there, there wasn't much air conditioning. >> right. >> the beautiful porch we're looking at here. everything is about it is so evocative of the old days of colonialism. >> whoever -- i'm not sure who picked singapore. i wish i knew that. i don't. but it's the perfect place for this. i've been in singapore and spent some time there. it's a mix of british
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colonialism and the far east. >> yeah. >> and it has an authoritarian but gently authoritarian leadership there that's open -- it's a capitalist hive, but yet run in an authoritarian political fashion in many respects. it's not just you can't throw the gum on the sidewalk, you know. there are limits in singapore and it's a pretty tightly controlled society. so it ends up being a perfect place for this meeting in the sense that kim who has not traveled outside of his own country as leader of the country, it's a place he seemed willing to go. again, i stress the status thing. the singaporeans agreed to pay for kim's hotel. he gets to drive up in the mercedes as was mentioned earlier. he's treated on the national stage as a great leader. now, some people will view that as a tremendous violation of everything the world order has supposedly stood for since the universal declaration of human rights.
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>> right. >> at the end of world war ii. what i'm stressing here is we're seeing the end of that era. that 75-year period is ending and this is one episode in the ending of that -- >> place your bet, howard. he's shooting the moon. he's breaking all the rules. he's going against the market. he's doing everything nobody else wants to do. he's collecting hearts and the queen of spades, unlike everybody else playing the game. >> right. >> is he going to win? >> knowing his history, having covered him, having watched him, having seen what he does, he's more -- he's a great salesman, but his buildings, when he built them, were gold-tone aluminum, not gold. when he was on the campaign trail and bragging about his industries, the stakes that he showed on the campaign trail weren't trump steaks. they went and bought them at a super market. he has this tendency over his career to make a great sale to build a plausible building, to brand himself for his own good,
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but without the results always to show for it. which is why the banks wouldn't lend to him. which is why he had to go elsewhere. >> is this a win or loss? >> politically it's a win for him. we'll see the details, but it's already a win for him and for kim. you knew that was going to happen. these are pretty shrewd branders, these guys. they newcombing in thknew comin going to have to win. they both will. >> bobby, same question for you, win or loss for trump? >> it's a political win for him. i think he will spin it as a win no matter what the outcome, no matter what the communique comes out of this discussion today. so, yeah, he comes away claiming victory and kim jong-un has already won a bunch -- >> bobby, howard, the strangest thing in the world, donald trump has finally found a friend in north korea. anyway, that's bizarre. >> they need a friend. he knew that. >> this is the lonely hearts
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club that finally had a match up. anyway, thank you, bobby. thank you, howard. >> thank you. >> thanks for coming on tonight. we'll be right back with more of the live coverage right now. the lunch is over, but, boy, they're heading towards a signature of some kind. the president just told us this is what's coming. he did our tease for us. he's coming up, the signing from singapore. the first survivor of alzheimer's disease is out there. and the alzheimer's association is going to make it happen. but we won't get there without you.
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doing great. a really fantastic meeting. a lot of progress. really very positive. i think better than anybody could have expected. top of the line, really good. >> mr. president -- >> we're going right now for a signing. >> what are you signing, sir? >> we're going to be announcing that in a couple minutes. >> that was president trump and kim jong-un emerging from their lunch today. this is in real time. this is lunch time. trump says they're going to do some sort of signing. it's so nonchalant the way these
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guys are wandering around together like a camp. that brings an end to "hardball." joe is president of the plow shares fund. susan is a republican strategist. all of them are msnbc analysts. so, have you guys been watching? i think it's real-time. it's some kind of date they're on. it seems to be positive. we had to fill in the blanks because they came out, peekaboo once in a while. do the camera sprays. they head back. we don't know any concrete reality of this thing except the atmospherics. >> so much of the way the president views foreign policy and how he views the united states's relationships with other nations. it's all about chemistry, that personal rapport. he clearly went in there trying to send a message of being somewhat warm, somewhat open. not going to give ground to kim jong-un in these first -- >> you mean this kind of thing? >> there was prernt of the handshakes and the grasping, the body language. he's clearly showing his self to
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be approachable, to being open and listening to whatever kim jong-un is saying. >> did he have an advance that would work with this guy or he's -- >> that's how he operates. >> that's so political and american. people grabbing your arm, all this stuff. >> kim is doing the same thing. even that firsthand shake. he said in english to trump, good to meet you, mr. president. so he's done his homework, too. he's also the way to disarm, relax, he understands what trump is looking for. he gives it to him. now the hard bargaining. >> right. and that's where i think some of the not danger, but some of the potential minds are. donald trump believes in having, as was said, relationships with individuals. but he doesn't have the knowledge of the history of each country to understand that this is not about dald trump and kim. this is about the united states of america and north korea and those implications for 10, 20, 30 years. he just thinks oh, if i get a deal, i'm good.
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>> this guy next to him can enforce a deal, can't he? he can deliver. you're saying he can't deliver, kim jong-un, if he wants to deliver? if he wants to. he's a tyrant. >> some sort of deal is certainly there. we'll see -- i don't think anyone expects to be some sort of major breakthrough today. this is the first step. >> good or bad news today so far? >> it would have to say first step towards good news. too early to judge. >> joe, can you answer the question? >> good news for america, good news for korea, good news for the region. >> agree. make it simple. >> i have two yes's and associated press. thank you. it's been an amazing night. that does it for our live midnight, not midnight over there. daytime high noon edition of "hardball." join me again tomorrow at 7:00 p.m. eastern back here. my colleague lawrence o'donnell picks up msnbc special coverage of the nuclear summit. i never thought i'd say this, but i found bladder leak
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this is our continuing live coverage of the summit between president donald trump and north korea's dictator kim jong-un. that continues now. 20 minutes ago, they ended a lunch meeting and president trump said this. >> very great. a really fantastic meeting. a lot of progress. really very positive. i think better than anybody could have expected. top of the line, really good. we're going right now for a signing.
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>> what are you signing, sir? >> we're going to be announcing that in a couple minutes. >> they then walked a few more feet and stood together for a little bit, and then did not sign anything and separated and so we do not yet know what that signing comment refers to. the summit began with president trump giving kim jong-un something the north korean regime has wanted for decades. the first-ever handshake between an american president and a north korean dictator. president trump said he was certain that the meeting was going to be a tremendous success. that's before the meeting started. and he was certain that meeting the world's most brutal dictator is an honor. >> i feel really great, we're going to have a great discussion. and i think tremendous success, it will be tremendously successful. and it's my honor and we will have a terrific relationship. i have no doubt.
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>> that's true. >> president trump and kim jong-un then began their first meeting. they spoke one on one behind closed doors for about 40 minutes with only their translators in the room. that was followed by an expanded meeting that included north korea's vice chairman, foreign minister and former foreign minister as well as secretary of state mike pompeo. white house chief of staff john kelly and national security advisor john bolton. and once again, president trump
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told the most murderous dictator on earth that it is a great honor to be with him. >> mr. kim, it's a great honor to be with you. i hope we'll have tremendous success today and we'll solve a problem, a big problem that until this point has been unable to be solved. working together, we will get it taken care of. >> a bit later when posing for photographs, the president said this. >> getting a good picture of everybody so we look nice and handsome and thin. >> beautiful. young. >> nice and handsome and thin. that sounds about as honest as president trump's description of the summit will probably turnout to be. joining us now from singapore is nbc's kelly o'donnell. kelly, what do we know about this reference the president
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made to signing something? >> reporter: w ell,wrence, one of the things that makes this unusual is typically we have some advance guidance from the white house about the next steps for a president. this president likes to do the surprise game now and again and so that was what prompted the questions from the reporters who are following this so closely, the pool that is near the president and is reporting on behalf of all of us. and they asked the question because it was not known as a part of the day's plan. now, what are they signing? there have been some possible hints. our colleague andrea mitchell reported that there is an agreement based on the conversations at the working group level about next steps. that could be something that they could be signing. there's also been discussion about a formal end to the korean war. that's something the president has talked about. but those are just educated guesses based on the atmosphere. the specifics we don't yet know.
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what we have seen over these hours is several installations, like different scenes in a long play where first it was the handshake, then it was the seated conversation, then it was the larger meeting with other officials from each delegation, the working lunch, then the walk out, including a walk past what's known as the beast, the president's limousine. kim jong-un got a little bit of a tour of that, or at least a show-and-tell at a distance. and then of course we will later in the day have the president do a news conference. so, this drama in singapore is broken up into a number of on-camera events. this president likes that kind of ability to tease the next thing coming and he did that with reporters by saying, we're going to sign something. not typical diplomatic language, but it is quite typical for president trump. waiting to hear what that will be. he has talked in superlatives, lawrence, about this new relationship and what it could mean for the united states. we get a sense from kim jong-un
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that he referenced the obstacles to getting to this point, and then in the larger context it will be interesting to see in the days ahead how allies of the united states, especially in the region, south korea, japan are looking at this. the impact of china. you know, secretary of state pompeo is going to visit with those other countries after this singapore summit to relay what happened behind closed doors and perhaps to answer questis, ease concerns, whatever it may be. so, for president trump he is continuing to say this was worth doing because hostilities have turned down between the united states and north korea. there are all the questions that we've been discussing through the night about the stature this has given kim jong-un whether he merits that or does not. he certainly has gotten the kind of attention he was seeking. president trump has been in some ways the less interesting figure when you consider the mysterious life of kim jong-un. he's been exposed to cameras and
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to world leaders and all of the attention in a way that he certainly can go back to north korea with some very tangible, at least perception changes. for president trump there will be questions to answer about did the united states go too far? did they give too much respect to north korea given its place in the world. lawrence? >> kelly o'donnell joining us live from singapore. kelly, thank you very much. really appreciate it. thank you. we are now joined by michael mcfaul, former u.s. ambassador to russia. also joining us chris hill, former ambassador to south korea and the chief u.s. negotiator on the north korean nuclear issue under president george w. bush. both are msnbc contributors. and first to you, ambassador hill. on that moment when president trump said we're going to be doing a signing in a few minutes, that was 27 minutes ago. we then saw them on camera move to a doorway where they seemed to be waiting for a few minutes,
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maybe four or five minutes, and then they seemed to separate. and it looks like a possibility was that the president expected to sign something at that point and someone on one side or the other might have requested more time to consider what they're signing. is that possibly what we saw there? >> i don't know if -- >> okay, i guess we don't have ambassador hill's audio set up. michael mcfaul -- >> i can try to answer that. >> go ahead, michael. >> i just heard your great question. that's what it seemed like to me for sure. at other summits, when you're doing a signing, the press is present when you're signing to see what you agreed to. it sounds like maybe they do have an agreement, maybe they're trying to adjustment language. for me the keyword in that agreement, and i think it should be the keyword for everyone,
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judging the summit, is is it going to include the word denuclearization, and a process to get there. to me, that success or failure with regard to all the rest of the pomp and circumstance we've been watching the last several hours. >> hasn't president trump and the trump administration defined successor failure with the terms of the iran deal? by ripping up the iran deal from the american side, doesn't it mean that this deal has to be better than the iran deal with stronger verification provisions? >> well, i would think so. i mean, i would settle for the iran deal, by the way. i think the iran deal was a fantastic deal and it still exists, remember. just because we pulled out doesn't mean it doesn't exist. i do think there is a real hypocrisy here, that when it comes to the iran deal, we were told, well, obama didn't deal with all these nonnuclear issues. that's the reason we had to pull out. when president trump says he's just going to talk about nuclear issues in his summit in singapore, we're calling that
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practicing ma advertise ma pragmatism. they're moving the bar between the iran deal and the very distant future i think we're going to be measuring this by years, not months, possible deal with the north koreans. >> ambassador mcfaul, i did not see a single republican in that room today with the north koreans, including president trump, who would not be criticizing a democratic president for having exactly this same meeting on this date under these same terms. >> i heard you say that earlier today, lawrence. and i turned to my kids and said, yes, that's exactly right. i actually worked on the campaign with candidate obama. and when he suggested abstractly that he might meet with leaders like this, it was as if the world was going to end. so, it has been a remarkable reversal in terms of what people used to think just in the span
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of a few months. >> and we do have our audio connection to him, former south korean ambassador chris hill connected. ambassador hill, what do you think you're seeing tonight? because so far the door has not been opened. there has been no real revelatio revelations at all about what's transpired. what do you think you're seeing, especially with the video sound of president trump saying we were going to -- we're having a signing, he said in a few minutes. that was 30 minutes ago. >> well, certainly. i mean, we're seeing a political show like i've never seen one before. this is huge for north korea. they will use this footage forever. and i think the president is trying to make it huge for himself as well. as for what they're signing, who knows. it could be some ancillary agreement having to do with things we might do, maybe a schedule of things that might go down. what's clear is they don't have a schedule for denuclearization. they have some kind of commitment to do so heeeventual
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but no schedule to do it. by way, as to whether president obama could have done this, i as a career foreign service officer negotiated under president bush and he got the same kind of criticism from the hard right in the republin party, including the gentleman sitting just on the -- at the table with president trump, that is john bolton. he would have been horrified to see this kind of cozying up to the north koreans. those of us who did that were skorned by john bolton and here he is sitting there apparently part of the show. i saw him talking with kim jong-un. so, it just -- sometimes it's hard to take. on the other hand, i suppose it's better than the alternative. >> ambassador hill, with your experience in south korea, what does it mean in both north korea and south korea for the president of the united states to say that it is an honor to simply be in the room with the north korean dictator? >> you know, the south korean
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president has been in favor of this process. he would probably understand what he's trying to do. but to understand south korea is to understand a very complex place. many people have their lives destroyed by the korean war, in particular by the north koreans. so, this is kind of hard to take for a lot of south koreans. and i think it will be very interesting as we go forward to seeing whether there is something there or not because for many south koreans, they will not understand the fact that our president or our flag is interspersed with north korean flags. >> ambassador mcfaul, there's an awful lot of language you can use that is neutral in a situation like that. there's even -- >> exactly. >> -- positive language you can use in a situation like that, optimistic language you can use that does not include the concept that it is an honor to be shaking hands with a murderous dictator. >> i agree. and to say we have an excellent
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relationship after a 45-minute meeting, that makes no sense to me. nobody does anything for anybody in diplomacy just because of happy talk. they're going to sign an agreement. if they think it's in their national interest, and i just think these words can come back to haunt you. remember what george w. bush said in his first meeting with putin. he said he looked into his soul and he saw somebody who could cooperate. i know for a fact he regrets having said that and i fear that president trump, in his eagerness to have a good summit this time because he had such a horrible one with our democratic allies just 48 hours ago, is using language that is just not appropriate for, as you rightly say, lawrence, he is the north korean dictator. that is a noun you keep using tonight i noticed, but a lot of other people are not and i think it's a mistake. >> archipelago himbassador hill ask something on a personal level about kim.
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to start with the donald trump side of this, we know that insults mean nothing to donald trump. he can attack anyone and then be shaking hands with them at some point down the road, whether it be days or weeks. ted cruz being an astonishing example of attacking ted cruz's wife, attacking ted cruz's father in the most horrendous possible way, and then ted cruz eventually becomes a best friend of the president. when president trump calls kim jong-un rocketman and little rocketman and throws those insults at him, how easy is for m to get over that? >> you know, the north koreans surprisingly do have thick skins. they've called john bolton human scum and there was the president of north korea shaking hands with a person they called human scum. i feel they felt they were being reasonable calling him human. so, you know, these things
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surprisingly people get over them and they're seen as something that's a little abstract. i mean, the real question is is there a there there? is there really an agreement that is going to go beyond sort of generalized notion that, yes, we'd like to see the world rid of nuclear weapons? is there a schedule going forward? hard to say at this point. we really haven't seen much. >> and there we see a shot of the room where apparently there will be some kind of signing. there are some pens or a pen, two pens set up there, two chairs and of course there are the two flags. the american flag which donald trump invokes constantly as an object of -- to be revered as if sa sanctified especially when touching it. and there is the flag of the north korean dictator who at will can murder and has murdered anyone who gets in his way in north korea. ambassador hill, just a quick
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last word here on this segment. it seems as though this signing is imminent. what do you expect is taking place now behind the closed door at the staff level? >> i suspect that the u.s. side is desperately trying to get a time frame for denuclearization. the north koreans have really steered clear of that. i understand that during the negotiations they absolutely didn't want to do it and the administration is looking for 20/20 time frame. i suspect there is a lot of scurrying around. if the north koreans still don't want to do it, they'll probably try to think of something that will look like they've agreed to a time frame. just talking about denuclearization without a time frame, we had more than that in the 2005 agreement. there was more than that in the 1990s. and so it would really, i think for people who know this subject, amount to kind of a hollow summit. >> we are going to try to squeeze in a break as long as that door is closed.
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as you see on that set, but as soon as that door opens, we will break back in. we will be right back. gonna make it rain "tre tres". he's saying he's gonna score a bunch of three-pointers on you. yeah, we ball til we fall. there are multiples on the table: one is cash, three are fha, one is va. so what can you do? she's saying a whole lotta people want to buy this house. but you got this! rocket mortgage by quicken loans makes the complex simple. understand the details and get approved in as few as eight minutes. by america's largest mortgage lender. atnow introducing aleve back and muscle pain. only aleve targets tough pain for up to 12 hours with just one pill. aleve back & muscle. all day strong. all day long.
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we are back, and that is the summit in singapore. president trump surprised the media by saying about 40 minutes ago that there would be a signing. they were going for a signing. we're not sure of what. there are two pens set up in that room, two chairs. obviously that's where the signing will take place. we are waiting for that door to open. we are joined now by mike hy, republica strategist
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who has advised both mt romney and senator mccain and johnson. instead, we gave them everything they want and now we're probably get a statement of bromide saying lunch was delicious and i hate to be a sin i ccynic, but media will call this a big win. the tone of the thing will be friendly. they'll say we've gone from the brink of war on the korean peninsula which isn't true to an era of peace. talk is cheap, particularly in
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geo politics. we'll see what happens here. i think this thing was more about politics politics where the president wanted the pageantry of the summit for his bad polling numbers at home and kim wants to show the regime he can get the sanctions lightened up and get legitimacy. so, so far the art of the deal here is by kim jong-un. >> jason johnson, your reaction to what we've seen tonight. >> you've got two pathological liars with very few opportunities to determine if anything gets accomplished. you can't trust anything out of kim jong-un. i mean, they have state sponsored media. we don't know what's actually been discussed. we can very seldom trust anything that comes out of donald trump's mouth. so, you know, my only hope going forward is this. there are two different things that can happen here. hopefully if denuclearization occurs, i think that's highly unlikely. that will be an amazing accomplishment by the president. or some move towards cessation of hostilities towards north korea. that will be aomplisd as a great accomplishment.
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i don't see any reason to believe why any of those things will actlly occur. we have a president who studied on crib notes and piece of toy lit paper while he was flying out there before discussing anything with kim jong-un and june h jong-un has gotten what he wants. whatever it is they're going to sign, i suspect something that says hey, we had a good conversation, we'll discuss again later. for koreans in general and americans, i think that's still going to be lacking. >> mike murphy, kim jong-un actually is at the same level as the president of the united states right now and has been for the last couple of hours. with the president of the united states saying to him very plaintiffly, that it is an honor, simply an honor to be in the same room with him. >> yeah, that's unbelievable rhetoric from an american president. they have to be doing cart wheels inside the north korean
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suite. i guess kim must have to move to canada and get democratically elected to get the ire of this president. it's a bizarre situation. i kind of agree with the professor, if the north koreans had decided to put us on some path to peace and normalization, it will be a big accomplishment. they've got a 30, 40-year history of the same strategy, which is act up and get money to stop acting up for a while. this reminds me very much of the deal that clinton tried in the '90s that didn't work either. so, what the geopolitical gain is here, i'm having real trouble seeing. and we're sure giving up a lot of american overall principles about dealing with a thug regime here where so far absolutely no gain. >> jason johnson, it seems the north/south tension has been greatly diminished by president moon of south korea in his own one on one dealings with kim jong-un. >> right. because they recognize hostility is beneficial for the entire
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peninsula. again, if the president's role was to engage, hey, i want to help bring you guys together, i want to say whatever support you may lose from china if you work out a deal with south korea, we'll be there to sort of fill in the gaps. if that was his motivation, that would be great. there is no reason to believe our president is thinking that way or thinking that strategically. and also this. i think it is an important part of what's happening here. donald trump probably understands kim jong-un better than he does trudeau, better than he does merkel. he understands what it's like to have aspirations to be powerful but you don't unless you control the masses. he might be in a position to get yu indonesian positions. he may want to talk to someone else who understands his plight that will be better for people in the region and the world. >> i want to bring into our discussion former ambassador christopher hill, former ambassador to south korea. i want to get, mr. ambassador, i
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want to get your reaction to something secretary of state mike pompeo said earlier today. let's listen to this. >> i'm not going to get into any of the details of the discussions we've had to date. i can only say this. we are prepared to take what will be secured assurances than has been provided necessary. we think this is necessary and appropriate. >> security a urns shoulds that are unique that have been provided that america has been willing to provide previously. ambassador hill, what does that mean to you? >> it strikes me, i hope i'm wrong, but it strikes me that there may be some idea that we will change our security position in south korea. so, it worries me. now, what we've offered them in the past is we've given assurances we will not attack or invade them. we will not use nuclear on
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conventional weapons against them. we are prepared to establish relations with them and we're prepared to have a peace treaty with them. beyond that, we have not been prepared to scale down exercises or in any way reduce the number of u.s. forces there. the north koreans talked to me about that and i consistently told them that my only regret about u.s. forces is we didn't have enough of them there in the spring of 1950, and that the u.s. forces we have there are not a threat to north korea unless north korea tries to invade south korea again. so, i'm not really sure what secretary pompeo is saying. i appreciate the need to kind of be careful about what you say publicly, but at some point, you know, we're a democracy and we have a right to know a little about what our goverent doing with a government like north korea, and certainly the south koreans and the others need to know. pompeo will be going to those countries. the japanese in particular are
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probably very concerned that we may be cutting deals with longer range missiles and not cutting deals with missile that's could actually affect japan. so, there's going to have to be a lot of discussion with these partners and allies and i just got back from china sunday night and i can tell you the chinese are very interested and frankly very concerned about this kind of sort of winging at diplomacy we're seeing. >> ambassador hill, the president seems to think that economic development is something that kim wants desperately and he's actually talked about making him rich and making north korea rich. first of all, would that be possible? secondly, how much is kim concerned with that? >> i think kim has a notion that he would like his country to become a sort of modern beautiful place. he's certainly gotten a load of singapore in the last 24 hours. but i think it's going to be a lot tougher to make north korea
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rich than for north korea to give up its nuclear weapons. obviously this goes to the heart of the whole system there and there are no indications whatsoever that apart from sort of 1970s style russian or soviet-type reforms that they are prepared to go much further at this time. that is a big step when you open up an economy. you start letting people travel, things like that. i don't think they're quite ready for anything like the china model so i think the expectations really have to be kept in check with that sort of thing. >> as long as that door is still closed we are going to try to squeeze in another break here. if that door opens while we are in the break, we will come right back. we'll be right back. i'm still giving it my best even though i live with a higher risk of stroke due to afib not caused by a heart valve problem. so if there's a better treatment than warfarin, i'm up for that. eliquis. eliquis is proven to reduce stroke risk better than warfarin.
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we have had a camera on that door the last 15 minutes, and the reason we have had a camera on that door for the last 15 minutes is that about 50 minutes ago, the president of the united states said this. >> doing great, a really fantastic meeting. a lot of progress. really very positive. i think better than anybody could have expected. top of the line, really good. >> mr. president -- >> we're going right now for a signing. >> what are you signing, sir? >> we'll be announcing that in a couple of minutes. >> the signing was not on the
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public schedule of this event at this time. we are joined now by ambassador michael mcfaul. he's an msnbc national security analyst. ambassador mcfaul, there's been a certain amount of discussion that whatever was going to come out of this meeting had already been agreed to before the parties arrived in singapore. is that a possibility? >> of course that's a possibility. that would be good staff work. and maybe the agreement that we are about to see signed was negotiated by lower-level officials and, again, the content as we've been saying now several times is what matters. it's easy to sign an agreement that's abstract about we all are committed to getting along. that would mean nothing as far as i'm concerned. but if there is an agreement that sets out a path towards denuclearization signed by the two presidents, that would be a major achievement. >> and, mike murphy, the
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president said just before the meeting began that he believed it was going to be an excellent meeting, it was going to be a great meeting. so, i have a feeling that will be his review of the meeting. >> i think so. you know, we've never heard him describe anything as anything but an amazing victory. so, i think he'll, he'll immediately telegram the nobel committee here and declare this is the greatest meeting ever. my guess is the communique will talk about more discussion, more negotiation, you know, some sort of forward path. but as the ambassador says, it will be all words. >> and, jason johnson, we are getting an indication that this signing might occur within the next couple of minutes. and again, this was not on the schedule for this point in the meeting, but these are both people who like to have surprises like this. >> right. well, because this makes -- this keeps the interest on them, right? this is their version of the royal wedding. everyone is going to pay
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attention and identify everything about their body language and trump will sit there and do his famous thing where he takes a piece of paper and kind of moves it back and forth on his desk. but again, if it doesn't move the needle, if it doesn't improve the lives of millions of koreans, if it doesn't improve the safety of people across the globe, it doesn't really matter. i think this is important to understand sort of domestically. look, kim jong-un is going to go home and say look what i managed to do. everybody else in the world, i got this guy to come over here. his victory works. he can sign this in crayon and he's already accomplished what he wanted from a political capital standpoint. the president has a tougher job. if this doesn't amount to a car rental, he's going to come back saying this trip wasn't worth it. given how his own administration was back and forth on this issue, we expect something to be accomplished here. if he doesn't have anything to show for it, it's going to ding him in the polls. >> ambassador chris hill, set the stage for us on what the normal procedure would be on a
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signing like this. these men presumably will come into this room. they will sign something. what would be the normal procedure about revealing publicly what it is they're signing and exactly what's in it? >> well, first of all, you would announce it as part of the schedule. if for some reason you weren't sure was going to get done, you might have space in the schedule for some event and people would know that it's about something to be signed, but they haven't agreed yet what it is going to be signed. so, it's probably something that they were hoping to get signed but weren't sure. so, they apparently have something. and i suspect it's some sort of schedule going forward as to next steps in this process so that the president can show that this is an ongoing process that will lead to success in, say, 2020. >> we just saw the north korean delegation and the u.s. delegation enter the room.
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there is secretary of state mike pompeo. obviously waiting for the president and kim jong-un to come through that door, which could be at any moment now. with all of the president's staff, including white house chief of staff, also national security advisor john bolton already in that room, and here is the president of the united states and kim jong-un. >> so, we're signing a very important document, pretty comprehensive document. and we've had a really great term together, a great relationship. i'll be giving a news conference at 2:30, which is in a little bit less than two hours.
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and we'll discuss this at great length. in the meantime, i believe that they'll be handing it out on behalf of chairman kim and myself, and we're both very honored to sign the document. thank you. [ speaking foreign langu] >> would you like to say something? >> translator: today we have a historic meeting and decided to leave the past behind and we are
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about to sign a historic document. the world will see a major change. i would like to express my gratitude to president trump to make this meeting happen. thank you. >> thank you very much. okay. >> mr. president, did you agree to denuclearize? >> we're starting that process very quickly, very, very
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quickly. absolutely. >> mr. president, is it 100% denuclearization? >> did you talk about otto warmbier, sir? >> mr. kim, did you agree to give up nuclear arms? >> you'll be seeing everything in just a little while. the letter that we're signing is very comprehensive and i think both sides are going to be impressed with the result. a lot of good will went into this, a lot of work, a lot of preparation. i want to thank everybody on both sides, secretary pompeo and all of his counterparts. they were absolutely fantastic.
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[ speaking foreign language ] >> thank you very much. it's fantastic. [ applause ] >> thank you very much, everybody. we'll see you a little bit later and we're very proud of what took place today. i think our whole relationship with north korea and the korean peninsula is going to be a very much different situation than it has in the past. we both want to do something. we both are going to do something, and we have developed
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a very special bond. so, people are going to be very impressed. people are going to be very happy. and we're going to take care of a very big and very dangerous problem for the world. and i want to thank chairman kim. we spent a lot of time together today, very intensive time. and i would actually say that it worked out for both of us far better than anybody could have expected. i think far better -- i watched the various news reports. i would say far better than anybody even predicted. this is going to lead to more and more and more, and it's an honor to be with you. very great honor. thank you to all of your representatives very much. [ speaking foreign language ]
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>> thank you very much, everybody. absolutely i will. >> mr. kim, would you like to come to washington? [ applause ] >> thank you, everybody. >> and that is the signing that the president promised about one hour ago. we still have no idea what has just been signed by both the president and the north korean dictator. i want to go to former ambassador to south korea, former ambassador christopher hill. ambassador hill, what do you think has to be in that document, which the president called a comprehensive document?
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kim called it -- kim called it a historic document. and what is -- what constitutes a comprehensive document in this situation? i want to go to former ambassador michael mcfaul on that. >> well, lawrence, we don't know what's in the document, like you said. you know, president obama, when he first met with president medvedev in moscow in 2009, they signed a joint understanding for the parameters for how to negotiate the new start treaty. and in that document were very concrete goals that both sides agreed to that later became a treaty that was then ratified by both governments. so, i hope we'll see something similar in this document that's been signed. obviously we have to wait and see it once they release it. >> mike murphy, we heard the president refer to it as a start, so surely that sounds like something that's going to have a lot of promises attached to it, both by the dictator of
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north korea and by the president of the united states. >> yeah, i think it will be an agreement to talk about more talking. that said, the thing i'll be looking for, unless there is some huge home run here which i'm very dubious of because i don't think the regime will ever give up their nukes, but will it mention sanction relief. because what i'm worried about is that we make the mistake of trading away sanctions against north korean promises of the future, which would fit the north korean regime strategy of the long game and the president's need for immediate acclamation. so, if we giveaway concrete things like lightning up sanctions in exchange for their promise to go on forever to talk about getting to some golden solution, that would be a huge strategic defeat, i believe, for us. the problem with outlaw regimes, when you negotiate with them, you're negotiating in good faith. that's how we operate. they don't. so, these agreements are very tricky and you just can't give
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them any good faith for long-term promises, particularly if you give them anything which they want sanction relief. we paid at the door. let's see what we get. >> on sanction relief, this is the administration that wants to reimpose sanctions on iran with no evidence whatsoever that iran was in any way violating the iran deal. >> yeah, this administration wants to reimpose sanctions on iran after tearing up a deal that other countries are involved with. this is a country that wants to put high tariffs on our allies and yet the president can sit there and say, you know, he's honored and had this great time with kim jong-un. my real concern about this and other people have mentioned it is, we have no idea what comprehensive means. when it comes out of the mouth of this president, it could have been a big piece -- could have been a high school note, do you like me, check yes, who knows, because we're dealing with donald trump here. if this ends up having time lines saying, look, we're going to meet or representatives from
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our nations will meet every 18 months and this will be accomplished at this point, if there are benchmarks and checkmarks and everything else like that, that would be fantastic, but there is nothing about this administration that would lead one to believe that this will be a comprehensive message. and the president will continue to sort of wing it whenever it is he feels like it. and again, i'll also say this. even if we wanted to lift sanctions or do something about sanctions, the president's horrible relationship with the rest of the world right now would make it difficult to get other western nations to participate in lifting these sanctions. so, i don't even know what he's saying now could be enforced by alliances that we had less than 48 hours ago. >> ambassador mcfaul, here we are on what is now june 12th in 2018. is it conceivable that there could be a deadline in this agreement that is -- that precedes november of this year, precedes november of 2018, which is to say, precedes the congressional elections? is it possible there could be
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anything that -- we're going to go to the president now. he's speaking again. >> a terrific day and we learned a lot about each other and about our countries. >> what did you learn about him? what did you learn about him, sn sir? >> i learned he's a talented man. i also learned he loves his country very much. i'll see you again. >> [ inaudible ]. >> thank you. >> will you be meeting again, sir? when will you see each other again? >> we'll meet many times. thank you very much, everybody.
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>> that was the president in another handshake with kim jong-un. this time the president saying in answer to a question, what did he learn about kim today? he said, and this is the highest compliment you can get from donald trump, he said, i learned he's a very talented man. and, jason johnson, that is the president's favorite word when it comes to a high compliment. he sees everything in terms of that word that rules show business, talent. >> oh, yes, talent, performing. a lot of people don't know this. i was waiting for him to say, i lot of people don't know this, kim plays the piano, something like that. again, this is what i was saying before about this may be a president uniquely suited to speak to kim jong-un because they both understand the power of flattery, they're both grotesquely insecure men despite having a lot of control domestically. he sort of told on himself here
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in the second set of questions, the awkward hand shakes in the hallway. he said they're going to meet many times. that's probably the deal. they're going to have future meetings. if those meetings accomplish anything, i don't know. is dennis rodman going to be there, is pompeo going to be there? they'll probably have future meetings. he'll say kim is talented. kim will say things about him at home, they'll feel like they accomplished something when nothing has really changed. >> ambassador michael mcfaul, on this notion that they're going to meet many times, the next thing that will be in the air, the next question that will be in the air, will there be a white house meeting, should there be some threshold for that? >> well, lawrence, i want to see the document. i want to see the word denuclearization in the document as a goal that has been agreed to. without that, the process doesn't matter. let's just be clear about that. if we haven't agreed to what is the objective that has been agreed to by both sides, then
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the other meetings are just process and i think we should say it's a failure. but if it is there and kim jong-un has just signed a piece of paper saying he is signing up for a process to get rid of all of his nuclear weapons, that would be an achievement. >> we are joined now live from singapore by nbc news global correspondent bill neely. bill, are there any indication about what the two leaders have just signed? >> reporter: no, none whatsoever. they've signed the document. president trump calls it very important and pretty comprehensive. you know, the easy part is over. the photo op and signing this document. now the hard part begins. whatever is in it, and we'll be listening very closely and watching very closely as your previous contributor said for words like denuclearization or verifiable or irreversible. but, you know, the hard part will take place over the next
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months and years. lots of fine words here. you know, kim said the world will see a major change. it's an historic meeting. we're determined to leave the past behind. but we've heard fine words from the north koreans before. i mean, they've signed agreements before. 1994 chiefly, but also in the 2000s. agreements to shutdown a nuclear reactor, agreements to freeze work on nuclear weapons and tests. even signing the nuclear nonproliferation treaty. 1994, big agreement, and then we discovered in 2002 that they had been cheating all along. kim is playing the long game here. here's a guy who wants to be in power for 20, 30, 40 years. he knows president trump will only be in power for three years or seven years. the kaskeptics would say he's jt trying to wait the united states out. now, whether that's true or not,
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we are still going back to what he said, we don't know what's in this agreement. yes, the optics are great, and this will go down very, very well in north korea because here is the leader of the u.s. and north korea on equal status. look at the flags behind the two leaders. six north korean flags, six american flags. the numbers of officials matching exactly on each side. in north korean terms, this is their leader, not just being treated as a normal leader, but being treated as an equal to the most powerful man on the planet. this will go down well in north korea, but going back to your first question, what's in it? we'll possibly find out when we hear from president trump at a news conference here in a few hours' time. lawrence? >> ambassador mcfaul, the president we've seen tonight is a president who is treating the dictator of north korea with more respect than we have seen
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him give any other head of state. >> yeah, i don't like the photo op just to be clear. i'm glad it plays well in north korea. it doesn't play well here in palo alto with me. there is no reason you have to use that language to sign that deal. again, we're waiting to see what it is, right. that will tell a lot of things. but you don't need to call him your best friend to sign a deal about nuclear weapons. >> i want to thank all of our guests, former ambassadors michael mcfaul and chris hill. bill neely, jason johnson, mike murphy, thank you all for joining us. that is tonight's last word. msnbc's live coverage continues right after this. making blades here at gillette for 20 years. i bet i'm the first blade maker you've ever met. there's a lot of innovation that goes into making our thinnest longest lasting blades on the market. precision machinery and high quality materials from around the world. nobody else even comes close. it's about delivering a more comfortable shave, every time.
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msnbc world headquarters, our coverage of the nuclear summit continues. just moments ago, the summit concluded with an unexpected ceremony. president donald trump and north korean leader kim jong-un both signing what they called an historic agreement. >> you'll be seeing everything in just a little while. the letter that we're signing is very comprehensive, and i think both sides are going to be very impressed with the result. a lot of good will went into this. a lot of work, a lot of preparation. i want to thank everybody on
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both sides. secretary pompeo and all of his counterparts. they were absolutely fantastic. >> that was just moments ago in singapore. we're looking now at the motorcade leaving that resort. i believe this is kim jong-un leaving the resort as he makes his way back to north korea, back to pyongyang. kelly o'donnell has been in singapore, watching that last act, taking place in the conference room. we were fixated on the two doors for the better part of the last hour. what do we know was in those folios they signed. there is a lot we don't know at this point. >> reporter: yes, it apoints to the art of the t's, david, because president trump has been dribbling out information through the day to suggest that there is big progress. he has spoken in surpearltives, really going to a level that
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even exceeded what a moment hike this required, referring to a special bond that he's just now developed with kim jong-un. that is startling when you consider what happened in canada with g7 leaders who have been long-time friends around allies of the united states. but here in this moment, the president says it's comprehensive document, that more will be learned shortly when they will distribute the document on behalf of himself and he said chairman kim. what we think it may include is sort of a road map of next steps. that's based on some of the conversations our colleague andrea mitchell had with her sources. it's probably the product of the working group more than the conversation between the two leaders here. again, that will be revealed when we know more and see the document. but the working group had been the subject manner experts had been negotiating, and they probably before the entity that crafted this document. significant because summits
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typically require an end note, and assigning ceremony is often just that -- a signing ceremony is just often that. so they both got a signing ceremony. what we don't know, is it a document that will change the course of the relationship of these two countries? will it make for a safer world? will it lead to actual denuclearization? big questions remain. we have seen a series of vignettes, through this singapore summit where there have been many hand shakes, opportunities for small talk. a lot of visual and image building experiences that are a part of the historic record. the serious work happens behind the scenes. the conversations they had privately, will we ever know what was said just between the two of them and their interpreters? that remains to be seen. it is a front stage and backstage experience with summits. that's true for big, long
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planned summits and true for this meeting between the leaders of two nations that have been at odds for decades, and now appear to be on friendly terms. as remarkable as that is, given the record of kim jong-un, the deception, the deceit, the record of murder, human rights violations. shocking things in any context. yet today he had parity with the president of the united states. the flags of the two countries interwoven. there were different options they could have shoesechosen. but there was a need to make this look like a statesman's day for both then. what comes next, we'll be looking for that joint statement and we'll all try to devour it to see what it's in it and does it reveal something with teeth?
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and the president indicated he would be willing to have kim jong-un to the white house. he had the number two top official at the white house recently. he also said they will be meeting many more times. stay tuned for that. that's what i mean by the art of the tease. the president often leaving something more that we'll be looking to find out. >> you mentioned those vignettes. i want to go back to that signing ceremony. it was one of the several moments during the day when we heard from the president as he made his way from the initial hand shake to the bilateral meeting he had with kim jong-un. we heard with him briefly. let's take a listen to a little more what he had to say as he signed that document. >> you'll be seeing everything in just a little while. the letter that we're signing is very comprehensive, and i think both sides are going to be very impressed with the result. a lot of good will went into this. a lot of work, a lot of preparation. i want to thank everybody on
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both sides, secretary pompeo and all of his counterparts. they were absolutely fantastic. >> absolutely fantastic in the estimation of the president of the united states. kelly, i know you've been covering all the back and forth surrounding this summit in washington before you went to singapore. what did the administration tell you and reporters about what we could expect from this summit? what would be a bar for success of this singapore summit? >> reporter: well, there have been really different voices on that. secretary pompeo has briefed reporters, he's met kim twice, he's been briefing the president for a long time as cia director and as secretary of state. he's talked about wanting to have verifiable, irreversible nuclear disarmament on the part north korea. he's talked about a willingss of the united states to have a differentosture in terms of security for the kim regime. one of the concerns certainly would be if any leader gives up
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really what is a shield, nuclear weapons, there's vulnerability there. we don't know how that will give some security for kim jong-un in office or for his government. there have been questions raised about would it mean a different troop setting in asia, which of course is where the u.s. has a lot of presence for south korea to protect japan. it is a regional interlocking set of decisions that would be made. so we don't know if it goes that far. president trump has been talking much more about relationship and a starting point. i thought it was interesting, through the interpreter, he smoke in a most measured way, saying we're turning away from the past, the obstacles have been overcome. president trump's team were much more upbeat, that it's a great friendship, a great relationship, splep dndid. so even that to me was striking,
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that the few words we heard from kim jong-un reflected that this is some turning point as he sees it. that the world will be different now according to the interpretation. also, as a part of the vignette, we are told by those who were close up that kim jong-un greeted donald trump in english, and he was educated in switzerland, so english is part of his repertoire. but that was interesting to say the least, to have a moment where he used the president's language instead of needing an interpreter in that first initial greeting. all of those things will be measured and judged. we'll see what stands the test of time. especially what substantively was resolved here, if anything, today. certainly the trump administration wants to see this as moving the ball forward. at a minimum, no longer under the threat of missile launches and tests and their weaponry that has the potential to reach mainland united states. so that part of the tense relationship appears to have
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been really put dormant now. what we can do and see with this new relationship will be demonstrated over time. david? >> kelly, thank you very much. kelly o'donnell there in singapore. i want to bring in chris hill, former u.s. ambassador, and author of "nuclear nightmares, securing the world before it's too lagtte" and michael mcfall. ambassador hill, your reaction to what we saw there? i don't think it's an exaggeration to something the likes we have never seen before. how extraordinary is it that we don't know of the papers that were in those foud elders?
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>> i think the whole presentation was very strange. i think kelly ice right. it's probably some kind of road map, some letter that catches the spirit of singapore, and what they're going to do next. and it probably does get at the question of actually implementing denuclearization. but it probably also gets at things on our side, which are to address north korean concerns, presumably a peace treaty. but from the point of view of diplomatic trade craft, when you have your president sign something and you have all these people standing around, and apparently no one knows what they're signing. do you applaud, do you cheer, do you boo? i'm not sure what you're supposed to do. normally you would expect the two leaders will sign something which will do this or that. it did absolutely nothing in that regard. also, when you have a president sign something, should. you be calling leaders of
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congress, saying just to let you know, the president will now sign this document with the leader of north korea, and should. you tell the chinese, the south koreans, the japanese what is about to happen. there does not appear to have been a list of things. presumably they're working on it right now, the talking points that they give out to the press and foreign diplomats. it's as if we have one leader, and our one leader is going to safeguard everything for us. in fact, you heard him say pointedly that i did the negotiating. terrific. so you just kind of worry -- we are a set of institutions. that's what a democracy is. it's not about one leader. and so to hear him explain this, essentially he cooked it up with his new-found buddy, new bff. so we don't know. if americans are concerned about it, imagine if you're shinzo
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abe, the prime minister of japan, what you're thinking. this is life and death stuff. >> i want to get your reaction, as well. i read the statement from democratic leadership today about what ambassador hill was talking about. there has to be congressional oversight. how do you react to what we've seen here? what are you looking for as those pieces of paper -- as we get a better sense of what they signed? >> if we have to wait until 4:00 to find out what's in that document, there's going to be a lot of ticked off people. it appears that's what is happening. it is astonishing, as chris just said, that the document hasn't been released. this is being played out like some tv show, and that the president is taking credit for it. it is an authoritarian style of diplomacy, unlike anything we've ever seen. i'm very sympathetic to all the comments i've heard over the
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last several hours about the criticism of the president. this is a very strange president, and it's not at all clear that he actually understands what's going on from one moment to the next. but let me take a little different tact than some of your guests. i find it hard to believe that secretary pompeo would be as forward leaning as he has been, even with his comments today, talking -- foreshadowing, that he thinks there was dramatic diplomatic moves prepared to make if they didn't have something more of substance. if that's all we get, the president is in big trouble. this will be a bust. >> it could have been they just nailed down the last few words of it. they've been probably negotiating up to the end. so that's another possibility. >> ambassador, i want to go back to something ambassador hill said, that you have this notion that you have one leader meeting
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with another leader hashing this out. mike pompeo couched it in those terms. he was asked by reporters at a news conference to reveal something about what was on the table going into these negotiations, and he said he wouldn't because this was the providence of these two leaders themselves. what does that say to you about foreign policy direction of this administration? that you have the secretary of state creeding th inseeding tha president of the united states, looking at diplomacy this way? >> i'm not too concerned about that. when you travel with the president of the united states, the president does the deliverables and signs the documents. it would be out of place for other people to do that. i traveled with president obama on similar occasions. that's appropriate. to go back to ambassador hill's point, we don't know the substance yet. that's what really matters, what is in the document. but the process is just a little weird, a little kooky.
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i travelled with president obama to sign a joint understanding about the parameters of the noer negotiations for the new s.t.a.r.t. treaty between the united states and russia. when we did the signing treatment, the two presidents sat there, they signed it just like we watched. but then they explained what was in the document. both of them talked about what was in the document, and then immediately, as they were talking, we sent out the document to the entire world. that's what you do. and then we did all those phone calls that ambassador hill talked about. that's the normal, at least in the obama administration, that would have been the normal way to do this. this is rather odd that -- like joe just said, people were applauding, and we don't even know what was signed. that is odd. >> we're going to come back in a moment. we'll continue talking about that, as we await that document with some indication of what is in it. my guests will stay with me.
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our coverage continues.
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[ speaking foreign language ] >> translator: today, we have a historic meeting and decided to leave the past behind, and we are about to sign a historic document. >> mr. president, will you invite chairman kim to the white house?
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>> absolutely i will. >> that happened just moments ago in singapore. president trump and kim jong-un concluding the summit they had all day in singapore. our coverage of that summit as we await president trump's conference. joining us is corey shockey, deputy director at the state leapt. thank you very much for joining us. let me get your reaction to what we've seen here tonight. we were talking just before the break about what this administration wanted to see, somewhat they hoped to get out of this. what is your reaction to what we've seen and learned, little that we have thus far? >> well, that's right. we don't yet know what the agreement that president trump and president kim signed entail. so what we do know is that the president of the united states just legitmated one of the
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world's worst dictators. and we don't know what we got for that. i hope it is what the president said he wanted to achieve, which is the complete and verifiable nuclear disarmament of north korea. but we don't know that yet. >> kori, i want to ask you about that last clause of north korea. there's been a lot of debate over these last couple of days about what that complete denuclearization looks like, but the difference between denuclearization and disarming north korea. i want to get your perspective on what has been on the table. as you heard secretary of state mike pompeo heard the same phrase, using that modifier at the end. what difference does that make? how worried are you that you could see that would lead to u.s. troops being removed from the korean peninsula? >> well, a peace treaty that
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ended the korean war would presumably end the presence of foreign troops in south korea. but we don't know that's happened. a denuclearization agreent that wld be fantastic, would start with multihat rlateral inspections of north korean facilities, because we don't know that much about what's going on. i'm reasonably reassured that secretary pompeo has been working the details of this. i'm also reasonably reassured that secretary mattis -- [ inaudible ] that u.s. troops on the korean peninsula were not going to be on the agenda. but of course, as president trump keeps reminding us, he's the only person making this deal. so i think it's an open question
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whether president trump, who was so eager and enthuse yas tick to see north korean and american flags hanging side by side, has gotten useful constraints on the north korean nuclear program in return. >> joe, as an expert on nuclear proliferation, cvid, we've heard these letters time and time again over the last few weeks. help me understand the importance of the distinctions, going into these conversations today, we don't know i north korea and the united states had the same definition of what denuclearization is. why is it so important that there is crystal clear agreement on what it is? >> because we're talking about nuclear weapons in the most heavily militarized area on earth. so you better be darn sure that you know what you're agreeing to and exact hi what's going to
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happen next. that's why it was so important that secretary pompeo used a different phrase when he discussed this over the last couple of days. he said the complete and verifiable denuclearization of the korean peninsula, not just of north korea. this is the north korean phrase, the south korean phrase, this is how it originated in the '90s. you're talking about mutual steps. we always focus on what north korea is going to do. there's a u.s. side of this, as well. so what that said to me was that they're prepared to, one, start a phased process, because there's no way you're going to do any of this all at once. we're going to talk about a time frame. then there's some things the u.s. is going to have to give. that's what i'm going to be looking for, parallel steps on politics, on security, and on economics. so we could see something like an establishment of interest sections in pyongyang and washington. why is that important?
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because that gives you some diplomatic security arrangements. we could see some agreement towards a peace declaration or peace treaty that koreans want. and finally in all of this, you're going to have to have the other actors involved. so at some point you'll have to bring in south korea, china, maybe even russia and japan. this is a regional security issue. so that's part of what this means. it has to be complete. it has to be verifiable. there has to be inspections in all of this. nobody trusts anybody here. and you have to take steps that are er rirreversible, that you t quickly or perhaps ever reverse. >> it was bill shakespeare who said past is prologue. take us back to when you were having these conversations, how different is the conversation now? if in fact the conversation is happening in a way that joe
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describes, is it different from when you were holed up in those conference rooms in china and pyongyang, trying to hash this out with the north koreans and some of the other countries? >> i'm not going to predict what donald trump is going to do next and it's tough to predict what kim jong-un will do next. first of all, the agreement that was reached in beijing on september 19th, 2005, spoke of denuclearization of the korean peninsula. and within that agreement, it said north korea agrees to abandon its nuclear weapons, all its nuclear weapons, abandon all its nuclear programs and return to the nonproliferation treaty, in effect, as a nonnuclear power at an early date. so that was the only time marker we had in there. we also said, the u.s. affirms it has no nuclear weapons in south korea. the south koreans also affirmed they have no nuclear weapons and they will not allow any nuclear weapons to be brought in. so we captured the issue of south korea.
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and then it said the directly related parties shall begin work, shall work on a peace treaty at an appropriate, separate forum. so that means south korea, north korea, china and the u.s. three signatories of the armistice, plus south korea. so all of these elements have been talked about and they're all there. the question is, when we said to the north koreans, hey, we've got this -- we're prepared to move on the peace treaty, suddenly they just weren't that interested. by the way, the issue of -- the kind of things we h with chi in the '70s. e chinese suggested that to us. i took it back to washington and everyone said we don't want to do that. and condi rice said offer it to them. i said great news, we'll let you open an office in washington,
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and we'll open an office in pyongyang and mr. kim said no, we're not interested in that. it's possible kim jong-un would say yeah, we would love to have intersection. i'm not predicting it -- >> or president trump might give them full diplomatic recognition. >> we made it clear, everything is possible if you denuclearize, nothing is possible if you don't denuclearize. >> the dialogue, that confab your organization put on a couple of weeks back, i wonder what you heard from allies at that event? we're wondering how allies will react to what has been hammered out today before the conversations took place. president trump spoke to prime minister shinzo abe and president moon by phone assuring them he was in touch after all this. >> well, avoid a war with a
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nuclear korea would be the primary goal of allies. a second goal with allies would be getting a handle on north korea's nuclear program. and it sounds like from the communique language that i'm just now seeing that the north koreans have once again agreed to everything they agreed to in 2005. and whether they -- now that they have gotten legitimacy, that president trump put on big supply, america's allies are going to be nervous whether we're going to trade their security for this kind of showmanship. >> kori, thank you very much. my thanks to all my guests. our coverage of that summit in singapore continues as we await comments from the presidt of the united states. n program.
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♪ i want to thank chairman kim. we spent a lot of time together today, very intensive time. i would say that it worked out for both of us far better than anybody could have expected. i think far better. i watched the various news reports. i would say far better than anybody predicted. this isng to lead to more and more and more, and it's an
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honor to be with you. very great honor. thank you. thank you to all of your representatives very much. >> president trump just moments ago, sitting with kim jong-un at the capela resort in singapore after signing a document we have not yet seen, the president saying we are going to see the language within the next couple of hours. he's scheduled to speak to reporters around 4:00 eastern time, 4:00 p.m. in singapore. we're watching reaction around the world. let's go to my colleague. janice, what are you hearing? >> reporter: well, south koreans were watching this very intently, and probably no one more intently than south korean president moon jae-in. it was his april summit with kim jong-un that laid the ground work for this historic meeting with president trump. this is an issue in which president moon has invested
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personally and politically. he is navigating some tough territory. he's trying to balance these loyalties to the u.s. and to north korea. he's trying to build economic ties with the north, as well as answer to domestic pressures here in local elections. his party's credibility has been very much tied to this north korean issue. the south korean media seems to be feasting on the optics of this summit, in particular the size of the flags, the fact that the u.s. and north korean flags were beside each other. they showed parody and peer status. all of the things kim jong-un had been looking for out of this meeting with president trump. there is a sense of uneasiness, you could say among regional allies, david, especially with the rupture that happened at the g7 meeting. there are concerns, of course, to the extent president trump is going to look out for the interest of allies like south korea and japan.
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south korea wanting some sense of the future on u.s. troops in the region, whereas japan, of course, was counting on president trump to be their voice at the table in addressing the threat of short-range missiles. still for all of the skepticism, people here do realize that this is a remarkable moment in history. the question, of course, is what happens next? the secretary of state mike pompeo will be arriving in seoul tomorrow to brief south korean officials on the way forward. and then going on to beijing where, of course, china plays a very key role in this. what has been lacking in this summit over summits in the past is this lack of integration or coordination among regional allies ahead of the summit. this is something that ambassador hill could speak to more of the process of the weeks leading up to a summit of this magnitude, where there could be diplomatic teams in place like seoul, tokyo and beijing, trying to brief officials on what it is
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that could happen. so this sense of mystery, ambiguity, where we're still waiting to see what was in that document, all playing a very important back drop to this on what is still a very historic day. >> thank you very much for the updates. thank you for joining us from seoul. t how can you draw the contrast to the first summit we saw? it was so well choreographed. so much thought went into every minor detail of it. let's talk about what janice is saying there. customarily, a whole lot of prep would go into this. you heard the president nodding to the fact there had been a tremendous amount of preparations and things went well, et cetera, et cetera. it's different with how look at preparation has been done in the past. >> the koreans do their homework on friday afternoon.
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they don't wait until the last minute. it was brilliantly choreographed. it was also the first encounter with kim jong-un. so i mean, they really wanted it to go well. what they didn't have to do was get out messages to the japanese and the chinese and all the things that have been slow to be done. so i think there's a lot of anxiety among these allies as to what we're doing. and i think janice's point is well taken. coming after g7, you wonder how are they going to be treated by this administration. so i think it's very good news that pompeo is going to make the rounds. i assume he's also going to go to japan. this is going to raise a lot of concerns about how we operate in the region. >> we got some reaction from seoul. let's get some reaction from north korea. my colleague cal perry is looking at reaction. cal, as janice was saying, we saw the flags there side by
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side. we saw the myriad of photo opportunities that the north korean leader had. how is this playing in pyongyang? >> reporter: north korean state tv put out these outrageous claims, but they started doing something weird, which is telling the truth and telling things in semi real time. you see some of it there. this was the announcement that the summit was going to take place. the presenter there on the left, this is the very famous presenter now known around the world as the person they go to for these big events. saying to the people of north korea that the summit would focus on one of the issues being the denuclearization. the second clip i'll show you in the past 12 hours shows kim and around singapore. it shows him visiting the city, and it says that he learned a lot about the social and economic development of the republic of singapore. this is something that he's promised the people of north korea, that he would turn the economy around, that people would not have to go into their
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pockets. but reality check time, david. this is a network, the north korea state tv that is highly controlled by the dictator of north korea. one of the world's foremost mass murderers. this is a channel that claims that kim learned to drive a car at the aim of 3 and won a yacht race at the age of 9. so while we're going to be nonnorring it, we'll be monitoring to see what the tone is on the heels of this summit. is this something that will be continue to be highly controlled? it likely will. that is how the survival of this regime works. a very brief glimpse to read the tea leaves as we sort of dissect the recent images about the document just signed. >> a network run by kim jong-un before he was elevated to his current position. we'll be right back in just a moment. details of that communique signed by president trump and kim jong-un beginning to leak out. we await the official document
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welcome back. as our coverage of the nuclear summit continues, we're awaiting details of the white house of what was in what was described as an historic document. president trump and kim jong-un signed just a moment ago. we have some details now. we obtained them. what have we learned? i gather, cal, from a photograph of that document? >> reporter: add strange to a strange night. when you see president trump holds up what was signed very briefly for the cameras, and maybe he shouldn't be doing that, because we're now going to give you the four points signed before this press conference. point one, the united states and
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the dprk commit to establish new relation in accordance with the desires of the two countries for peace and prosper. point two, the u.s. and dprk will join in efforts to build a lasting regime. point three, reaffirming on april 27th, the declaration, the dprk commits to work towards the complete denuclearization of the korean peninsula. the final point, david, the united states and the dprk commit to recovering pow-mia rema remains. that relates to the decades long war on the korean peninsula. let's be clear about this. this is nothing new in these four points, unless there's something buried in that document, before or after those four points. this has been agreed upon. in fact, the north koreans agreed on that third point that they would reaffirm and commit to work toward a denuclearization. they agreed on that in april
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with the south koreans. again, that halanguage is very key, they reaffirm and commit to working towards a denuclearization. critics of president trump are going to say that this document never should have been signed. that the only thing that was taken out of this meeting was the meeting itself. that's something that is very important. but again, there is nothing new in those four points. i want to stress, though, one final time, we are waiting for the official white house word on this document. but those are the four points. that you just load them up, anybody will have that technology, those are the four pain points. >> cal, thank you very much. we see joe is doing that on his phone, just magnifying it. ambassador, you looked at this language, and it mirrors almost exactly language you've seen before. >> it's similar, but the hang wage from 2005 with respect to denuclearization is stronger. the current language is north korea commits to work towards complete denuclearization.
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the language in the 2005 document is north korea committed to abandoning all nuclear weapons, existing nuclear programs, returning at an earlier date to the treaty of nonproliferation and to iaea safeguards. again, we have to see the text of this, but certainly based on what we know, we've got a long way to go. >> ambassador, i just want you to react to what we've seen here. we're waiting for official document and the other language that we may see here in the next few minutes. when you look at those broad strokes, when you listen to the aspirational tone of what we just read, how do you react to it, ambassador? >> i think it's extremely disappointing. i'm sorry, let's call it for what it is. to reaffirm an existing
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declaration is not progress. that means our negotiators didn't advance the ball at all in the leadup to the summit. they just reaffirmed something that had been signed before. that's like -- we once signed documents with the russians saying we agree that a snoonucl free world is in everybody's interest. that is not a treaty. that didn't lead to the new s.t.a.r.t. treaty. i have to dell you, i expected a lot more given what the president said, and all that flowery lang want abouage about breakthrough. that is not progress. and remember, we gave up a lot to have this eting. this meeting put kim jong-un on the stage with the president of the united states. that is something you usually use to get something that advances american national security interests and the interests of our allies.
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i hope the actual documents will tell me more, but the initial four points look thin to me. >> joe, weigh in on this, as well. we have heard your guarded optimism throughout the day and leading up to it. as you look at this, is there enough there? you were saying earlier, you hope to see very specific detail about what this regime might be willing to give up. >> i am definitely in the glass half full camp. so i understand exact hi what michael and chris are saying. i get that. if there are not more documents details exactly what's going to go on, this is going to be a major problem for the president. the reaction is going to be just what you heard. having said that, the meeting itself, and the process that has been started is a positive thing. and for president moon jae-in of south korea, this accomplishes his main goal that he set out in
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november. >> joe, that's exactly the point. >> no, not kim, president moon jae-in of south korea. because in that point, he worried -- he saw two threats. he said the threat we face is a north korean miscalculation that could start a war, and a u.s. move to make a military strike on north korea that could result in the deaths of millions of south koreans. this process has now reduced, if not eliminated that threat. there's less risk of war. there's a process and pathways that are opened up. but as michael and chris said, they have yet to be fulfilled. so this is going to be a political problem for the president of the united states, even if it opens up the possibility of some diplomatic resolutions. >> stay with us, if you ul as this document continu to come into focus, as we await the official document from the white house.
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you'll be seeing everything in just a little while. the letter we're signing is very comprehensive, and i think both sides will be impressed with the results. a lot of good will went into this. a lot of work, a lot of preparation. i want to thank everybody on both sides. secretary pompeo and all of his counterparts. they were absolutely fantastic. >> president trump just moments ago characterizing a document that he signed with kim jong-un as very comprehensive. we're seeing details of that document come prehen sich not the word my panelists have used. there are 2,000 journalists in singapore covering this. phillip rucker is one of them, and joins us now by phone.
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he awaits the arrival of president trump who is scheduled to give a news conference in the next hour. phil, let me get your reaction to what happened at the end of this day. president trump coming out, signing that document, not revealing any details, saying we'll see it around the time of this news conference. your reaction to the finality of that statement? >> reporter: it was a dramatic moment. they were trying to build some suspense for what that document might actually say. it seems to be asking people to take his word that it is comprehensive. those are sort of the buzz words he wants the american people and those around the world to take away from this series of meetings today. but the devil is in the details. we don't know what those details are right now. we're hoping to get those answers here in advance of the
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news conference that president trump is going to be having. but there are a lot of other questio questions beyond just the details. does the president confront kim jong-un about his record of human rights abuses. if he didn't bring that up, that could be a problem. so he'll face a lot of those questions when he gets in front of journalists here. >> phil rucker, joining us from singapore. we'll have to leave it there. the staging for that event continues there. our coverage continues here in just a moment as we continue to pore over the details leaking out of that document, signed just moments ago by the president of the united states and the leader of north korea. more to come here on msnbc.
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thank you very much, everybody. we'll see you a little bit later. we're very proud of what took mace today. i think our whole relationship with north korea and the korean peninsula is going to be a very much different situation that it has in the past. we want to do something. we both are going to do something. and we have developed a very special bond. so people are going to be very
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impressed and people are going to be very happy. we're going to take care of a very big and dangerous problem to the world. >> that was president trump as he signed an agreement with north korean dictator kim jong-un. he promised details to come, and now we have some of those details. let's get right to kelly o'donnell, in singapore with the latest. and with a better sense of what was in those red and green folios. kelly? >> reporter: well, david, the art of uncovering this really comes to sharp eyes of those who took the photo of the president signing after he displayed his signed document. and then by sort of zooming in, being able to transcribe what was contained theren. so we'll have to find out if that matches up with what the white house produces. he did sign his name to it, so that seems to be a strong indication that these are the key points.
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it's outlined in four points it would make sense that this is the product of the working group negotiations that have been going on for a period of time. what really stands out is in the beginning of this document, they talk about what happened today. the dialogue, they talk about a robust peace regime on the korean peninsula. things that all sound good today in the context of their meeting, and what they were hoping to achieve. what is absent is a concrete plan for denuclearization. there is a commitment signed by kim jong-un to work toward that, and along with president trump. but how that will play out remains to be seen. another big piece will come when secretary pompeo meets with the leaders of japan, china, south korea who all have a stake in this, as well. so that will be important to find out how they interpret this, and does this mean what they were hoping to get out of it. we know that the japanese prime minister asked president trump
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to bring to the attention of kim jong-un the necessity from the japanese point of view of returning some of the hostages that have been taken, japanese citizens held in north korea. a very big issue for shinzo abe. certainly south korea's president moon, he has great concerns about the security posture for protection of his country, and of course, part of this document talks about denuclearization of the entire peninsula, what would that mean for u.s. assets that are in the region to provide for the safety and security of our allies. so it also includes discussion of returning the remains of prisoners of war, missing in action from the korean war. that is something that is a long standing goal, certainly for the united states. and that's included in this document. so it has a lot of the framing of diplomacy. it talks about the issues that are current in the day. what will really need to get
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some subject matter experts to dissect, where does it fall short of the real u.s. goal, which is complete, irreversible, and verifiable denuclearization. it doesn't ce anywhere near that. the president said he wants to meet with kim additional times. and when asked would he be open to having kim jong-un to the white house. so the president is going to claim this as progress, a victory. kim jong-un has his own interpretation, i'm sure, including how he was received in an international setting, so different from the life he's typically led since he took power. so the document is sort of a road map for what comes next. does it have teeth? that will be a big question. does it move the ball forward and turn a corner? the reason there are doubts about that, is the north koreans have entered into agreements in the past and not lived up to
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them. but president trump was able to get the meeting he was desired and stage it in a way to get to know kim jong-un, to have the two sides meet in a beautiful setting, and then to have a signing ceremony to cap it off. we'll still hear from the president today at a news conference. journalists are waiting to ask questions. lots of questions we hope the president will be interested in giving lots of answers. >> kelly o donnell, thank you very much. we're lucky to have some of the foremost thinkers on north korean policy here. ambassador hill, let's start by looking at the text here. as we said just a few moments
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ago, a lot of this is familiar to you. one of the points here is reaffirming a declaration committing to work towards complete denuclearization of the korean peninsula, period. no indication of date or timetable after that. what stands out to you about what the next steps are from what you've seen? this isn't the official test of the document. we're waiting for the white house release of the text of the letter. from what we have here, there are precious few dates in this document. >> look, i mean, the first thing you have to judge the document by, does it do any harm? does it commit the u.s., for example, to reduce forces in south korea? no, it does not. does it do any harm to other partners in the region? does not. does it kind of restate stuff that's been there before? yes. does it get kim jong-un on the record as doing things that have been done before? yes. so in that regard, we're not --
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it's not going backwards. now the question is, how far forward are we going? and i would say to be diplomatic, they need a lot of work here. there's no commitment on a date of denuclearization. that's not even a point that was in the 2005 document, which is, north korea would rejoin the treaty of nonproliferation, which is important. because when you rejoin that, you're joining as a nonnuclear power. so no mention of that. it just says they'll denuclearize. so in many respects, it has the appearance of sething done in haste. and we always knew there wasn't a t of time to prepare for this summit, and maybe this document is the proof of that. but i think it just indicates that there needs to be a lot of work. and they do have a concept here somewhere saying they've got to get moving on this fully and
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expeditiously. and i would suggest they do that in a hurry, because this stuff is just doesn't quite move things. >> joe, on that point, and i'll read the line that ambassador hill was alluding to there. the united states and north korea commit to hold follow on negotiations held by secretary of state mike pompeo at the earliest possible date to implement the outcomes of the u.s.-north korea summit. i look at this, and aside from a good deal of happy talk, getting north korea on the record, i don't know what those next steps are. >> you do not, and if the administration in the next few hours doesn't have more to back this up, doesn't have other documents that were agreed to or a timetable to lay out about when these talks were going to be, they're going to be in real trouble. all the criticism you've heard over the past few hours will have been proven true.
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the problem is, when the president agreed to this summit on march 8, i was on "hardball" with chris matthews, as the south koreans came out and said the president is going to meet with kim. he thought he was going to fly to the summit and return with kim jong-un's nuclear weapons in the cargo holder of air force one. this is a long way from that. even though the document says this was an epical event, it's so far short of what the president himself seems to be indicating, that this is going to be a real problem. now, i'm getting a lot of grief on this on twitter. one of the things about the modern age is we have subspace communication. so mike mcfall tweeted out he fr agreed this is better than war. somebody else say, better than nuclear war is not the highest
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of praise. this is a move away from war, the south koreans are breathing easier. but there's not a plan for peace or timetable that can lock this in. >> i thought we would see some reference to missiles. i thought we would see some references to broader issues affecting peace and security. and then this may have been naive, but you know, we're not the only country interested in northeast asian security. south korea, no mention of south korea, no mention of china new york mention of japan. >> no mention of human rights as you pointed out. >> i think what is going on here, we have a president who simply does not want to acknowledge that anything has been done in the past. everything for him is year one, second year of the administration is year two. there's no such thing as the 1990s or 2005 or frankly 2007
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when we went in and disabled things. there's nothing -- nothing comes close to the issue of implementing. so again, they're going to have to follow up on this. otherwise, this is not going to stand the test of history. >> ambassador, let me turn to you on that point. a lot was made going into this, the fact that we do not have a u.s. ambassador to south korea at this point. that position sits vacant. there is no assistant secretary of state for east asia at this point. are we seeing that in this document? you saw ambassador sun kim, your colleague, in the philippines, brought over to engage in the negotiations with north korea, leading up to this summit. it strikes me reading this that you have seen a lot cobbled together, perhaps you don't have the right apparatus in place. >> i think that's true.
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and by the way, joe, i agree with what i tweeted. this is better than war. and it is better than the threats of war. i think that is important to remember, that's where we were a few months ago. entirely created by president trump i might add, that the crisis we had three months ago was created out of thin air by the hyperbolic things he was saying. but this is better than that. >> he's helping to improve the crisis he created by backing off the things he was saying four months ago. >> it's an old north korean trick. >> yeah. let's hope it works, because in other negotiations that this president has done, he has not achieved a single agreement yet as far as i know using these tactics. but to your point, david, i think it's a good one. i know somebody that was part of the negotiating team with north
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korea. the truth is, it was rushed. they were sent in, this was no point person, you know, in other negotiations that i'm familiar with, we had a whole team led by an assistant secretary on our side. a deputy foreign minister on the russian side. none of that architecture is in place. let's just point out in the document they just released, which they called historic and transform ti transformative, we haven't even negotiated who secretary pompeo's interlockator is. we are affirming an treatment between the north and south koreans in april. that means we didn't advance the ball one inch. i hope it works out. i agree with ambassador hill,
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let's hope there is a process, but we're really, really in the very early stages of that process right now. >> ambassador hill, we focus on the deficits in the diplomatic core at this point, but there was an exchange between the secretary of state and "the new york times," there was a piece in "the new york times" asserting that when you look at the team that was laying the ground work for this, it lacked the technical expertise when it comes to nuclear weapons. and before the secretary of state fielded questions, he took the new york times to task and said, look at the folks in the department of energy we have, everybody dealing with the technical side of this. again, i look at this document. nothing shows that kind of expertise. what do you make of that? the fact that you have an administration saying, we're dealing with high level science,
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the likes of which the obama administration had to deal with in regards to iran. none of that seems to be in this document itself. >> when you send a daelegation out, i had people from all over different agencies, including scientists. so when we would sit down with the north koreans and talk about shutting down a reactor, make sure it's hard to put back together, so the north koreans would suggest something. i would turn to the department of energy and say do that work? he would say no, they could put that back together. okay, we're not going to do that one, next. you have to do that. let's hope these people realize that the next step has to involve some of that, and i agree with you, i don't see a lot of signs of this. and frankly it has a kind of dictated look to it. as if they kind of put it
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together literally while that -- those doors were closed and we were waiting for someone to come out. >> joe, very quickly here. there is no timetable in the document. when we talk about denuclearization, what is the time horizon for that, best case, how long would it take for north korea to get rid of its nuclear weapons. >> at stanford university, they've done a study on this and outline a process that could take 15 years to get all this done. maybe you could do it in ten, but that's about it. this is a vast nuclear complex and missile complex. a lot of it is radioactive. just think about that for a minute. and the people who came up with this are the people who trashed the iran agreement, you know, they threw away one of the most comprehensive nonproliferation agreements in history, and this is their version of what has to be done. there better be more to back this up. >> you better be careful about
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that 15 years. let's not have best be the enemy of the good. i wldn't want to tell president trump it was going to take 15 years. i would suggest by a couple of years you would be pretty clear if they're serious. are we getting iaea people in there, international inspectors. have we shut down the reactors? have we seen some of the other facilities? in a couple of years, you would be a long way toward a clear sign that -- it may take another 13 years. >> yes, that's right. and these scientists at stanford say near term, midterm, long-term, you freeze everything. there's no discussion about a freeze, about locking in the kind of commitments north korea has made. we hope there's more backup to come. >> i wouldn't want to tell the north koreans this will take 15 years, because they'll stay,
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we'll take it. >> we'll leave it there. our coverage continues as we are just minutes away from president trump delivering remarks, fielding questions from the press in singapore, just about an hour and a half after he signed a letter with the north korean leader, kim jong-un.
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welcome back. here with our special coverage of the nuclear summit in singapore. looking there at live pictures of the location which president trump is scheduled to speak in just a few moments. he'll be fielding questions from
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reporters there on the heels of signing what he characterized as an historic document with kim jong-un, the leader of north korea. we're beginning to make our way through that document. just about a page in length. we got an advanced peek at it, because an enterprising photographer took a picture of the president holding it up. joining me now by phone from singapore is chief washington correspondent from bloomberg news kevin sirili. kevin, want to get your reaction to how this wrapped up. i know you had a lot of conversation with folks in washington before you left for singapore. how does the way this ended square with a lot of folks thought or hoped it might end? >> reporter: it's interesting in the sense that it's ending on time. president trump expected within the hour to address the global press corps, more than 2500 journalists descending on
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singapore. president trump likely to take credit to getting north korea to commit to denuclearization. but how the u.s. is able to verify that is have this story is heading. i spoke to lawmakers on capitol hill, and many are skeptical about trying to sign anything with north korea without that verifiable system in place. beyond that, secretary of state mike pompeo is expected to now tour southeast asia after president trump returns to the united states to continue to lay out the u.s. policy for korea. and the korean peninsula for where this goes from here. but from a purely political stand pot, this is without question the most high profile summit that president trump's time in office, and it now elevates kim jong-un to the global stage. it was quite remarkable to see him literally taking a night out on the town 12 hours before his
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meeting with president trump. and equally remarkable to see a sitting u.s. president meet with a north korean dictator. and smiling and exchangining a warm welcome. now the story becomes president trump in the short term has to sell this to the u.s. and the world. and a young dictator now has the decision for how his time and power really shape the region. >> kevin, i want to ask you about the absence of the mention of human rights in the documents. i know that you were there at the white house when prime minister shinzo abe was there a few days ago, and the president said he would bring up the issue of abductees with kim jong-un during this summit. again, who knows if he did? he didn't have someone taking
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notes with him. you were there for the state of the union when otto warmbier's parts were in the gallery, and the president mentioned them. he called out otto warmbier as yet again as somebody he was thinking again just a few days ago. what do you make of it the lack of mentioning any of that in this document? >> reporter: it's such an important question, and president trump raising the issue of otto warmbier. we'll have to wait and see. but last weekend in the rose garden, president trump said, standing right next to prime minister shinzo abe of japan, he would raise the issue of abducted japanese families to kim jong-un. and according to the release of the photograph of the documents that we've seen, there's no
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mention of that. it also did not come up with several other preliminary meetings. and secretary of state mike pompeo walking a very tight political line and his public comments on this. so i think and note that president trump saying that he would even welcome kim jong-un to the white house. so arguably, you could make the case they're going to say they could raise these issues at a later time. but president trump, in his own recollection said he would raise the issue of abductees, as japan wanted. we'll have to wait and see what he says. >> president trump scheduled to take questions from reporters in a few minutes time. we'll carry those remarks for you as soon as they begin. our conversation will continue
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in just a few minutes with ambassador christopher hill here on msnbc.
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very much. we're awaiting the start of a news conference with president trump. there you see the ballroom in which that is going to take place. we expect it to start in about 30 minutes time, as we heard from reporters on the ground there. the president has been sticking tightly to the schedule of the white house. he's scheduled to fly home to washington, d.c. after the conclusion of that press conference. getting some news here from secretary of state mike pompeo, via his twitter account. that he just spoke with the foreign ministers of japan and south korea about the meeting that was held at the capela resort in singapore. no details of the conversations he had with those two foreign ministers. at the center of all this is this document that the president signed with kim jong-un at that resort before they parted ways. my kcolleague cal perry has bee looking at this document. we do not have the official white house text of it, but have we gotten a sense of the manlts
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poi -- sense of the main points of the document? >> if you just zoom in on your cell phone, you can get the four points. here they are. >> look, it was the grandfather of kim jong-un who came across that border, 30,000 u.s. troops died in combat.
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so that last point really reflected that. that third point is not a new one. in 2005, the north koreans committed to denuclearization and to joining the nonproliferation international treaty. so that language is actually even less strong than previous agreements. the other thing that was left out of this agreement, no mention of missiles as you made the point, no mention of south korea, japan, human rights, something we talked about a lot. the other thing that's worth mentioning, this document, we're waiting to hear from the president, that maybe he will talk about human rights at this press event, but this document is really reflective of a state department that has been gutted. when you talk about these summits, and anyone who has worked around these summit also tell you, there's an incredible amount of work done in the weeks and months and sometimes years leading up to these meetings. they're done by staffs on both sides, and they hash out these very complicated agreements.
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it was seven years of work on behalf of the u.s. state department that was done to reach an agreement with iran. and it was done through these staffing meetings. this document, as we zoom in on it, and again, everybody on the internet is doing that right now, is already reflective of a summit driven solely by these two leaders, david. >> cal perry there, describing what we can see in that photograph. again, the resolution is that good that you can see the text there, as president trump shows off his signature. on that two-page document. i want to get more perspective on this from richard engel, who is in seoul, south korea. richard, the president has been adamant since the beginning of this process that he wanted this to be a bilateral negotiation. he wanted to feet face-to-face with the leaders of north korea. you've seen other principals make their way to washington. moon jae-in, the president of south korea traveled to washington, d.c. before the summit was shelved, before it was back on. then you had the prime minister of japan making his way to
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washington, as well. i would love for you to put this into a global context for us. we have a changed relationship with many allies as a result of that g7 summit that took place in canada over the weekend. how do you think allies are viewing what we see here today, this document signed at the conclusion of that summit in singapore? >> reporter: i think a lot of our allies and adversaries are going to be looking at it and wondering if it means anything. what we have now, the text that i've seen, is a declaration of principles, that south korea -- excuse me, that north korea and the united states agree to establish a new kind of relationship that works towards peace on the korean peninsula, that they work toward denuclearization, that specifically north korea reaffirms its commitment towards denuclearization. but there are no specifics. there's no time line.
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no enforcement mechanism. there's no process or punishments that are spelled out of what would happen if this declaration of principles respect abided by. it's a very preliminary document, basically saying how -- what the two sides more or less want to accomplish over a process. so it's not enforceable. '9" is just a statement of intent after this meeting. so i think if you're china and china was very concerned about this meeting, china wants to make sure that this process doesn't get too far out of -- ahead of it, that beijing doesn't lose control of the situation. i think right now beijing can sit back and feel very comfortable that the situation did not advance beyond its control. you had the two leaders gather, president trump, kim jong-un, they made several photo-opes. they expressed a lot of mutual
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respect for each other. and they issued a vague, nice statement in principles, but not anything that is going to concern china in any way. japan, i think is going to feel pretty similar. japan was very concerned that the united states would commit to giving up troops, withdrawing a number of troops in this region. we didn't see any mention of troops. we didn't really see any mention of any specifics at all. so i think from a global perspective, people are going to look back and say, okay, it was a nice photo-op, they agreed to a few principles and agreed to meet again. but the moscow, japan, china, south korea, the states that look at this issue very closely, can walk away and say okay, it's the start of a process, but nothing tomorrow radically changes. >> richard, let me ask you
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lastly what this means for president moon jae-in of south korea. this is something that he has wanted relations to be better with north korea for a long time. he built his political platform, these in part on that. how much does the outcome of this summit matter to him? in the declaration that's alluded to in this cument, the one that he signed or agreed to with north korea, he talked about new infrastructure investments in the north. how much does his path forward change as a result of this? >> reporter: oh there are three winners here. and i would put them in this order. i would say that president trump is a winner in this. he came, he said he was going to have this meeting, and he came and he did have this meeting. doesn't have a whole lot to show for it, but he has this statement of principles. and that is a small win. i think he'll be attacked by many people because there are so
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few specifics in this document. moon jae-in, the president of south korea, he has a bigger win. he said -- and he's based his entire being, his whole political term here, on peace negotiations and he managed to make that happen. he brought these two adversaries together. and instead of lobbing insults at each other, now they are at a resort in asia talking about peace in principle. and that for him is a big promise that he made to the world. a promise he made to his party, to the south korean party, and a promise he can say clearly that he absolutely delivered on. of course, i would say the biggest winner would be kim jong-un himself. he not only developed his nuclear weapons, he got the
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summit. he got the recognition with the -- president of the united states on a world stage, and all he had to do was sign a piece of paper reaffirming something that he's already said in the past. north korea has said repeatedly that it's committed to a path of denuclearization. the south koreans said that for them after there were meetings between kim jong-un and the south korean leadership that north korea agreed to this denuclearization in principle. so all hi had to do was sign up on a piece of paper to what he had already said without any edge forcement mechanism. and in exchange, he got a lot of recognition on the world stage. >> richard, thank you very much. ambassador christopher hill with me here in new york. ambassador, i know you were recently in china. richard engel talking how china might react to this.
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i want you to respond to what he said there, that pantheon of winners he laid out. >> he's certainly right about kim jong-un. i don't think kim jong-un has xwimp up anything that hasn't been given up before. i wouldn't call this a statement, it's just a restatement. so he's right about kim jong-un as a winner out of this. i think he's right about president moon jae-in. i think it validates his diplomacy. where i agree is whether president trump is a winner. it's night all over the u.s. a lot of people haven't seen this. and when tydo, especially people that have been follow thing 20, 30years,y the way, this north korean issue has roots. it's gone way back. but i am concerned the president is going to be embarrassed by the reaction. if i were mike pompeo, i would
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put together an action plan. it wouldn't be the same because it won't be signed by kim jong-un. i would make sure it's drafted in english and make some sense. it does through the sequence of what needs to be done and through -- it looks like we are taking this document and putting it into an action plan and explain how we will get this thing done. i would be very sure, as he's going to go around the region, i would be very sure that the six parties, obviously they don't want to talk about the six parties, fine. but i would go to these other four parties, namely japan, china, south korea and russia, and start saying okay, we have them affirmed. this is stuff you've all seen before, let's go. let's make sure that when the russians have their meeting with the north koreans, they do more, and i would try to show that
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this has been turned into an action document and we're going forward. i don't think this president is going to be happy with the reaction of this thing. >> we're going to come back in a moment as we await comments from the president of the united states in singapore. he's scheduled to take questions in about 20 minutes time. we'll carry that for you right here on msnbc.
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welcome back to our continuing coverage of the nuclear summit in sing porapore. this is the ballroom which the president is scheduled to speak. he'll field questions about the summit he had today in singapore with the leader of north korea, and about the one-page long document the two leaders signed at the conclusion of the event. we've been poring over that, thanks to a high resolution
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photograph. we were able to zoom in on it. many parts of that, reminisce sent of that, taken from documents we have seen in the past when it comes to negotiations with north korea. joining me now live from singapore, elise, i want to get your sense first of all of what led to this summit, what made this possible? a lot has been said about the timing of it, whether or not north korea was put in a corner because of the sanctions levied on it. a lot of people said contrary to that, it's because of president trump's negotiating skills. what made this moment in time different? >> the conditions are certainly different because the players are certainly different, david. we're looking at north korea declaring after its fall nuclear tests, fall of 2017, they tested their longest range
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intercontinental ballistic missile yet. and after that point, north korea declared that its state nuclear force was complete. so kim jong-un and the regime was sort of driving this, saying we have completed this and feel that we are successful up to this point. so that we can pivot to other goals. and one other goal of the kim regime has been economic opening, economic improvements for the people of north korea. and so in january of this year, on january 1, kim jong-un signaled this pivot with his new year's day speech, where he extended an olive branch, and created an opening for moon jae-in, who is a progressive president, 13who has been waiti to pounce on any engagement opportunity. so that began this series of frenzied diplomacy we've seen in
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the first half of 2018, leading up to kim jong-un, changing his image from the leader of a pariah state, a despot, to really more of a statesman. he's now met with china's leader, xi jinping, twice. he's met with president trump today in person, in unprecedented meeting. but welcomeder d serge lavrov russia. so a huge pivot, and he really drove a lot of this himself. but it's conditions created by players like president trump, and moon jae-in of south korea. >> and we saw the selfies in singapore last night, the trip to the botanic gardens. we have been talking about this document thas codified in the letter we've been piecing together, this declaration signed by north and south korea. help us understand, elise, you having covered that summit intimately familiar with that
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document itself. how different it is in terms of level of detail versus what we have seen thus far today. >> well, this does flip on previous models of diplomacy on its head, as your guests have mentioned. you know, the traditional model is working level diplomats can work together and hammer out an agreement, for a year or more until heads of state come in and sign off on it. so there's a lot of quibbling and haggling over specific phrases. and specifics of what they're trying to agree to and what that means. this is the opposite. you have heads of state signing an agreement that's very broad. it doesn't commit to nearly the specificity that north korea has tined on to, so now we're starting from this new promise with different players, and hoping that it's a beginning of a shift for north korea and u.s.
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relations. >> elise, last question here. we've been haggling over the definition of denuclearization and what it means to north koreans and the u.s. what does it mean to folks in south korea? you live there. you cover the country. how do they define this? when they hear the modifiers placed on the end of it, denuclearization of the korean peninsula, what would they like to see here? how worried are they about the removal of u.s. troops? >> south korea wants to see the opposite of war and the opposite of hostility that brought thinks to the brink last fall. we were talking about a bloody nose strike. south korea isn't necessarily threatened by the int intercontinental ballistic missiles. south korea was threatened by any sort of hostility that might lead to artillery striking
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seoul. so we talk about denuclearization a lot. south korea wants an overall piece so that it's not under this constant threat of going through this constant whiplash, and so on. >> elise yu, great to speak with you. we talked to her from singapore. she's covering the summit that just concluded between president trump and kim jong-un. our coverage will continue here as we await comments from president trump. he's scheduled to field questions from reporters in about ten minutes' time.
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but i'm not standing still... and with godaddy, i've made my ideas real. ♪ i made my own way, now it's time to make yours. ♪ everything is working, just like it should ♪
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welcome back. just moments away here from a presidential press conference in singapore. the president's summit with north korean leader kim jong-un just concluded.
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we've seen the release of a document. the president is scheduled to field questions from reporters in just a few minutes. as we conclude here, or await that press conference, joe, let me ask you about the "vf" word, verification. what does that process look like? clearly it's one of great dispute and debate, or i assume it would be in the document we see here. >> we know what that process looked like, because we used to have a process that had verification. 25 years ago, almost to the day, june 11, 1993, the clinton administration signed an agreement with kim's grandfather, the original founder of the korean republic, that had verification built into the agreement. it was a stronger agreement. that was before north korea had nuclear weapons.
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we had u.s. inspectors there, documenting everything. there was some problems with that. since then we've gotten a lot better at verification. no mention of that in this agreement. so that's one of the things we'll be looking for at this press conference, are there backup documents? is there additional protocols that we haven't seen yet that will implement. john bolton killed the agreed framework when he was in the bush state department. he's on the hook for this one, though. let's see what he has to say for himself. >> ambassador hill, let me have you weigh in. why is this process so hotly debated and how easily would it be to apply in iran here. >> first of all, they talked about work towards complete
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denuclearization. they could have said verifiable denuclearization. a lot of issues like that. it's very clear that this document in and of itself really can't go forward. so there needs to be a sort of companion action man that i think can put this into some reasonable english and move forward. i think a fundamental question has to be how much are we going to work with china, japan, these other states. are we toing to do the toing ti to do these things are are they going to be partners? i would suggest they be partners. we need some partners in this. this should not be something that the u.s. alone takes care of. we need to work with others. and by the way, china has some real clout in the region, and they should be part of this. >> let me end on a personal
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note. you were so involved in these negotiations when george w. bush was the president of the united states. we have about a minute left here, but what is it like to look at this document, to read words that are verbatim, to see this not progressing any farther than what you had then, maybe even stepping back a little bit? >> it's worse than deja vu all over again, because we had a sense that we had all the elements we needed and we needed to go to a kind of, you know, start getting it implemented. people hated this process, including john bolton. so to see him sit this, and while this was announced, was a little strange. so you bet it's frustrating for any of us. i came at this issue from the point of view being ambassador in south korea, recalled to becoming the assistant secretary of asia and going forth. i know what has happened in this korean peninsula in the mid 20th
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century. it was an utder travesty to take these people and divide them, divide families, brothers and sisters. and in the meantime, one starts a nuclear program. we owe the korean people, we owe ourselves to do time. ambassador christopher hill joining me on set tonight. our coverage continues as we await the president of the united states in singapore. >> good morning, everyone, it's tuesday, june 12 and welcome to a special extended edition of "morning joe" first look. i'm joined on set by nbc news international correspondent cal perry. >> it's been an interesting 24 hours to say the least. any moment as you can see president trump set to take questions following his historic face-to-face summit with north korea's kim jong-un. we are monitoring that. we'll bring it to you as soon as it comes up. just a short time


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