Transcript for President Trump meets with Kim Jong Un to commit to denuclearization
Ood evening, and thaou for joining us on this special edition of "Nightline." We're live iningapore where hours ago we witnessed history made here. President trump and Kim Jong un meeting face-to-face. We watched the walkout, the handshake, and then with their national security advisers. Hours later, signing an agreement before the world in which Kim Jong un committed to complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula. My colleague, George Stephanopoulos speaking with the president moments ago about the unprecedented agreement and the letter they sned. You asked so often about trt, the predent indicating to you that he does trust Kim Jun at least for now. T least for now, that's right. He said maybe come back R and I'll say I made a mistake. This ithe room it happened. Look right behind my. There's the tab where they signed the joint communique. And the president came in saying it has been a very, very intense 24 hours. Said he's gone 24 hours straight, no sleep at all and really was charged up, talking about this meeng with Kim Jong un, bievingt's a historic moment. But as you said, there are a lot of questions over whether Kim Jong un can keep this commitment the president has been very critical of the Iran nuclear deal, says it's the wor deal ever made. One of the questions is, will this north koreaneal be tougher than the iranuclear deal. The predent says it can't be any weaker. He says he believes that Kim has mmitted to complete denuclearization. Says it may take time. We're going have to wat the steps. We are going to have to verify, Bue believes that commitment cong from Kim Jong U he also said that Kim Jong un is prepared to take steps toward at goal that go beyond what S inhe communique and says those are going to be announced very, very soon. He said in fact they could be announced by Kim Jong un as he returns to his country, and he's already on his way, right now, including the destruction of more nuclear sites. Of course we're going to have to wa and see if that's going to happen. And the big questn on the table as you said, did I ask the president, can you trust Kim Jong un, can you trust a dictator like Thi here's one of the exchanges. Just a few months ago, you accused him of starving his people. Here's rub Kim is a brutal dictator. He runs a police state, forced starvation, labor camps, assassinated members of his own family. How do you trust a killer like that? George, I'm given what I'm given. This is what I have, and this is where we are. And I can only tell from you my experience. I've met him and spoken wit him. And this was, as you know, started very early and it's been very intense. I think that he really wants to do a great job for northorea. I think he wants to de-nuke. That's very important. Without that, there's nothing to discuss. That was on theable at the beginning.and you see a total denuclearization of northorea. So important. With all of that being said, I can't talk about -- it D't matter. We're starting from scratch. We're starting right now. And we have to get rid of those nuclear weapons. A little piece of news there. I heard you can him -- Go ahead. I was going to say he confirmed in that talk that he had spoken to Kim Jong before this meeting today, spoken over thephones, something the president hasn't confirmed in the past. I did ask him about that famous phrase from Ronald Reagan, trust but verify. The preside did say any agreement he reaes with north Korea, any agreement he reaches with Kim Jong un will be verified. Of course the devil will be in the details. Is that sething that he really will accept, will he accept inspectors to verify. But the predent is convinced they made a start towar THA goal today. George, you continued to drl down on how, how inspectors would verify. I think we're going to have to wait and hear how this plays out. In the meantime, the president also told you that the country loves Kim Jong un. That there's a fervor there for him. As you know, th president will be aed about human rights in at country, there's so much propaganda, the people a forced essentiallyo loving their leader. That's a turn around from what the president said in the past. He talked about Kim starving his own people. That's what we're getting at right there. Those are the kind of questions the president faces coming out of this. Is Kim really someone you can trust? Is he really committed to changing his cotry, to treating his peoplebetter, beyondhe nuclear program that's an open question right now. But it is clear, at least right now, that the president believes that he started something new with Kim. You heard him say people will look atthat and say that's not possible. It's hard to believe someone like Kim Jong un I going to change his ways from being the kind ofictator he's been. We'll have to see. Mike Pompeo's going to take the lead in these negotiations going forward. Heaid based on what happens, going forward, he would really like to see Kim, Kim Jong un at the white house at some point. 'Re far awayrom that kind of a, kind of a summit, foowup right now, but the president believes he got things started. He is also open to the possibility that maybe it won't work out. He believes that Kim Jong un is different from his father, is different from his grandfather, is cmitted to making a real change, a real agreement with the United States, Thate's not going to back away from. I think most of the rest of the world is going to wait and see, can he take concrete steps that put meat on those bone that put meat on the bones of the statement today and the nvince the world that he's really change the and really willing to give up those weapons. And George, one more question for you before you go. This was an extraordinary interview,eorge, with the president a few moments ago. You also asked aboutotential changes for the U.S. Militaryn the region, and the president talked about war games in the region and how we could see things evolve over time. His part of this agreement. Yeah. That was a big concession the president says he's willing to make right now. He's willing to stop joint military exercises with south Korea that have antagonized the north. He went into some detail. He said Hnot talking now about taking U.S. Troopsut of South Korea or doing away with the nuclear umbrella that we give to protect South Korea, but he is wing to cut back on the military exercises and see what Kim does. Th is something the presi has not been a fan of. But he wouldn't go into detail about oth security guarantees. But he says that's a start he's willing to make right now and a concession he's willing to make right now. George Stephanopoulos having just interviewed president trump on this day in history. I know you'll have the complete interview later this morning on ood morning, America." Jonathan Karl, Martha Raddatz, the whole team standing by to talk about this trust by verify. "Nightline continues in a moment. This special edition of "Nightline," trump and Kim, the
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