President Trump Talks About the Summit

President Donald Trump exits Air Force One at the Kentucky Air National Guard Base. Photo by Master Sgt. Phil Speck.

Before departing Singapore, President Trump spoke with the press about the summit, Kim Jong un, and letter the two leaders signed.

Full press conference (This post has been updated to the correct video cue times. We apology for the inconvenience.)

Vox has a transcript of the event.

He opens with thanks to those involved with setting up the summit, President Moon of South Korea, Prime Minster Shinzo of Japan, and President Xi of China. He also thanks Prime Minster Lee of Singapore for hosting the summit.

He thanks “Chairman Kim,” for “taking the first bold step” toward a new future for his people. He goes on to say his meeting with Kim Jong un, was “honest, direct, and productive.”

He talks about the joint statement the two leaders signed, “he reaffirmed his unwavering commitment to complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.”

He adds that “Chairman Kim,” says North Korea is also destroying a major missile engine testing site, but that isn’t in the joint statement, the two agreed to that after the document was signed.

He ends his speech before taking questions that he believes that as soon as “Chairman Kim, arrives” home, “he will start a process that will make a lot of people very happy and very safe.”


President Trump takes his first question at the 8:07: he is asked how come he is so comfortable calling Kim Jong un, a man that killed his family members, starved his own people and is responsible for death of Otto Warmbier, “very talented.”

At the 8:20: he answers, “Well he is very talented, anybody that takes over a situation like he did at twenty-six years of age and is able to run it and run it tough.” He adds, “He ran it, few people at that age. You can take one out of ten thousand could not do it.”

President Trump then takes about Warmbier, and says he believes without “Otto,” this would not have happened. He adds, “Otto is someone that did not die in vain.”


At the 9:28: he is asked if part of the security assurances talked about in the joint statement included reducing military operations.

He answers at the 9:38: second mark that no we aren’t reducing military presence right now, but at some point he wants to “get our soldiers out.” He says it’s not part of the equation this time, but at some point he hopes it would be, but he adds, “we will stop the war games which will save us a tremendous amount of money.” He explains that it could change depending on how negotiations are progressing, he adds again how much money we will save, calling them “provocative.”


The third question is asked at the 10:40: and focuses on the lack of a clear plan to verify that Kim Jong un, has dismantled his nuclear weapons and is that a concession on the United States.

President Trump answers, “no, no, not at all,” adding, “it will be gone I don’t see how it can be any clear than that.” pressed about how the verification process will be achieved he says, “by having a lot of people there.”


The next question comes at the 12:11: President Trump is asked what did Kim Jong un say to give you the convinced that for once North Korea is not cheating the system or the people of the world.

He answers that Kim Jong un, “mentioned to” him, that “they proceeded down the path in the past nothing happened.” President Trump adds they took billions from the Clinton regime. That Kim Jong un, said “we have never gotten this far.” Continuing the President adds, “I don’t think they have ever had the confidence in a president they have right now for getting things done.” President Trump then explains the document is very “comprehensive.”


At the 14:19: President Trump is asked about North Korea’s horrible record on human rights and if that was discussed and is that something the President would tackle in the future.

President Trump says yes it was discussed and then mentions the agreement that POW/MIA remains will be returned home and he believes “they will start the process immediately.” He adds that Kim Jong un agreed “quickly and nicely,” to the last-minute request.

President Trump is then asked about the human rights of the North Korean people and the President answers, it was discussed briefly compared to denuclearization, “Obviously that is where we started and where we ended,” he says Kim Jong un, wants to do things once again saying as he did right after the document was signed that Kim Jong un, is “very smart, very good negotiator,” and that he “wants to do the right thing.”


At the 17:17: President Trump is asked about whether they talked about a peace treaty, travel, and if the President would be going to Pyongyang soon.

“At the appropriate time. I also will be inviting Chairman Kim at the appropriate time to the White House.”


At the 19:29: he’s asked once again about human rights the reporter mention what President Trump had said about how brutally oppressed the people of North Korea are.

“It’s a rough situation over there.” President Trump adds, “we did discuss it today strongly.” He then adds, “It’s rough in a lot of places, by the way. We will continue that and I think ultimately agree to something. It was discussed at length outside of the nuclear situation. One of the primary topics.”


The next few minutes is spent going back over the document until the 24:18: when he is asked to clarify what he meant by stopping war games.

He answers, “The amount of money we spend on that is incredible. South Korea contributes, but not one-hundred percent.” he adds, it’s a “subject that we have to talk to them about also.” He brings up that “we have to talk to countries about treating us fairly. We pay for a big majority of them.” He adds “what I did say is and I think it is provocative.” Also adding that “under the circumstances we are negotiating a comprehensive and complete deal. It is inappropriate to have war games.”


At the 26:05: he is asked has North Korea given you something.

He answers going over press reports, pundits, that have speculated about how much North Korea has gained just having a meeting. He then says, “I think the meeting was every bit as good for the United States as it was for north Korea.”

He continues saying only a person that “dislikes Donald Trump would say that I have agreed to make a big commitment.” adding, “what did they do to justify this meeting? Secured commitment for complete denuclearization. That’s a big thing.” He mentions the hostages that were returned to the U.S. in May. How they have agreed to return the remains of the POW/MIA.


At the 30:38: he his asked again about the verification process and how come verification was not in the agreement.

President Trump answers, “because there was no time, I’m here for only one day.” He goes onto say that North Korea already knew this was the deal, “they did not agree to that and I could not sign any agreement. They understood that. It wasn’t a big point today because really this had been taken care of before we got here.” Adding, “we brought that up before today, you see the language which is very strong and it’s in the document.”


At the 35:12: he is asked about the G7 summit and the fallout that followed after he left. For more on that fallout here, here, and here.


At the 41:03: the question switches back to the summit and President Trump is asked “you called this a process, can you explain what happens next?”

He explains that Secartary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security adviser John Bolton will be meeting “next week,” to “go over the details and get this stuff done.”


At the 45:06: President Trump is asked about those 100,000 North Korean’s kept in a network of gulags, “have you betrayed them by legitimized the regime?”

“I think I helped them.” He says, “we have to stop the nukes,” adding “at a certain point you will ask me a more positive question or make a statement.” President Trump adds, “that large group of people that you are talking about. I think will be one of the great winners as a group.”


At the 46:02: he is asked about lifting sanctions and if the President would consider lifting them without significant improvements in human rights.

He answers he wants significant improvement, he is then asked how is North Korea going to “foot the bill” with sanctions in place. President Trump says, “I think South Korea and Japan will help them greatly.”


At the 47:16: he is asked to clarify his statement about denuclerization when he said it would take a “long time,” to get it done.

He says, “it will be done as fast as it can be done scientifically.”

Here the President tells a story about his uncle who worked forty years at MIT and he says he use to “discuss nuclear with him all the time.”


At the 51:04: he is asked if Kim Jong un gave the President an idea of how many nukes he had already obtained and if he was willing to give those up and if the deal will go further than the Iran deal, with actually dismantling their ability to produce more nuclear weapons in the future.

President Trump answers “It is a substantial arsenal.”

The last twenty-six minutes of the presser conference just repeat most of what is already been discussed.

He ends the press conference by saying he took no notes during the meeting the President says “I have one of the great memories of all time. I don’t have to do that.”

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About Tiff 2047 Articles
Member of the Free Press who is politically homeless and a political junkie.