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Trump, Kim accept each other's invitation

Korean-Americans hopeful and wary of summit

June 14, 2018 00:00:00

PYONGYANG: North Koreans watching the displayed local newspapers reporting the summit between the US and North Korea at a subway station in Pyongyang — Reuters

SEOUL, June 13 (AFP): Donald Trump accepted an invitation from Kim Jong Un to visit North Korea during their historic summit, Pyongyang state media reported on Wednesday.

Tuesday's unprecedented encounter in Singapore saw the leader of the world's most powerful democracy shakes hands with Kim, the third generation scion of a dynastic dictatorship.

In a characteristically bullish tweet, Trump said the first-ever summit between sitting leaders of the two Cold War foes meant "the World has taken a big step back from potential Nuclear catastrophe!"

"No more rocket launches, nuclear testing or research! The hostages are back home with their families. Thank you to Chairman Kim, our day together was historic!"

In a joint statement following the talks, Kim agreed to the "complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula".

In its first report on the landmark summit, the official KCNA news agency ran a glowing dispatch on the talks, describing them as an "epoch-making meeting" that would help foster "a radical switchover in the most hostile (North Korea)-US relations".

The report said the two men each asked the other to visit their country.

"The two top leaders gladly accepted each other's invitation," KCNA said.

It asserted that Trump had "expressed his intention" to lift sanctions against the North - something the US president had told a blockbuster press conference would happen "when we are sure that the nukes are no longer a factor".

"The sanctions right now remain," he added.

Meanwhile, Korean-Americans in the Los Angeles area, which has the largest number of Koreans outside Asia, appeared cautiously optimistic on Tuesday following the historic Trump-Kim summit.

"It was a good meeting," said Yuri Kim as she stood outside the South Korean consulate in Koreatown, holding her two-year-old son in her arms.

"It's just the beginning I hope."

Kim, who immigrated to the United States four years ago, said she was hopeful the unprecedented summit between the two leaders will lead to the denuclearization of North Korea.

"I don't know much about him but he doesn't commit to big corporations because he's rich, he doesn't have a political background, he doesn't need to persuade his party," she said, referring to Trump.

As to Kim Jong Un, she believes that since his meeting with his South Korean counterpart "he's trustable and consistent."

Kwang Yoon, a 59-year-old engineer, said the summit marked a "first step" toward a lasting peace.

"I'm excited but you can't solve everything in one time," he said. "If you don't (talk), you get into many misunderstandings."

The encounter between Trump and Kim Jong Un led to a joint statement in which both countries pledged to pursue the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

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