He said he did discuss the topic with Kim, and referred to the current circumstances in North Korea as “a rough situation.”
“We did discuss it today, very strongly. It’s rough. It’s rough in a lot of places, by the way,” said Mr. Trump, adding, “I think it will change.”
Mr. Trump went on to say that the current detente between the nations, “probably would not have happened” if it weren’t for the case of U.S. student Otto Warmbier, who died shortly after being flown back to the United States after being held in North Korean detention.
“Otto did not die in vain,” Mr. Trump said.
Asked later what he would say to North Koreans, “I really believe he’s going to do things about it. “I really believe they’re going to be winners” he said of the North Korean population
“Story of opportunity”
Before the president stepped up to the podium on Tuesday, the gathered media were shown a promotional video, first in Korean and then in English, touting the rapidly unfurling diplomatic process between the Kim regime and South Korea and the U.S. The narration and images portrayed the tension which had manifested over the course of the last year, with missile launches and military maneuvers, but then shifted its focus to the future, saying “the light of hope can burn bright.”
It was “a story of opportunity,” the video narration said, presenting two possible outcomes for the dialogue, “one of moving back, and one of moving forward,” and putting the onus on Kim to “shake the hand of peace” and chose to take his country out of “isolation.” Mr. Trump said the video was also presented to Kim and his delegation during the summit.
Mr. Trump said earlier that North Korea would begin the denuclearization process“pretty quickly,” and that he would “absolutely” invite Kim to the White House soon.
Kim also expressed optimism during the signing, saying through a translator that he and Mr. Trump had an “historic meeting and decided to leave the past behind.”
“The world will see a major change,” the North Korean leader said.
The U.S. came to the summit seeking an agreement for the “complete and verifiable” denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, while the North was hoping to secure relief from crippling economic sanctions — what the U.S. refers to as “maximum pressure.” Kim also wanted guarantees of his regime’s security, and many analysts believe he was hoping for an agreement that would eventually see U.S. troops pulled out of the Korean Peninsula.
Mr. Trump boarded Air Force One at about 3 a.m. PST to make his way back to the U.S.