North Korean state media hails Kim-Trump summit success

U.S. President Donald Trump waves next to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa island in Singapore. / Internet photo

U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un were splashed across North Korea’s official party newspaper on Wednesday as state media hailed Tuesday’s historic summit between the two men.

The North’s state media framed Tuesday’s summit as a win for Pyongyang as it listed concessions made by Trump, with North Korea’s official party newspaper Rodong Sinmun dubbing the summit in Singapore “the meeting of the century” on its front page.

Trump expressed his intention to halt U.S.-South Korea joint military exercises, offer security guarantees to the North and lift sanctions against it as relations improve, according to a report by the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

“Kim Jong Un and Trump had the shared recognition to the effect that it is important to abide by the principle of step-by-step and simultaneous action in achieving peace, stability and denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula,” KCNA said.

The same report was later read by star North Korean broadcaster Ri Chun Hee on state television. Ri is best remembered outside North Korea for her emotional deliveries of the deaths of Kim Jong Il and Kim Il Sung, Kim Jong Un’s father and grandfather.

The 75-year-old grandmother usually takes to the air for major announcements, including ebulliently reporting the news of North Korea’s sixth and largest nuclear test last September.

Photographs of Trump and Kim Jong Un crowded the first half of Wednesday’s six-page Rodong Sinmun, the pair in various situations at the summit venue in Singapore.

In one photo on the front page, Trump was featured gesturing the way forward for Kim Jong Un, while four of the eight photos on the front page featured them shaking hands.

Other pages showed U.S. and North Korean officials having their extended meeting, a working lunch and later, Trump and Kim signing a joint agreement that marked the end to the summit.

Backdrops of U.S. and North Korean flags, both red white and blue, were also prominent in the Rodong Sinmun, which has previously lashed the United States as a ‘gangster-like imperialist’, and ‘cancer-like entity’.

“Today’s Rodong Sinmun wants to show Kim Jong Un played a huge part and seized a great victory,” said Moon Hong-sik, research fellow at the Institute for National Security Strategy (INSS).

“If you look at just the North Korean reports from today it seems this week’s summit existed to create a new peace regime on the Korean peninsula and a new relationship with the United States. Denuclearization was just an appendage,” he said.

The newspaper had been quick off the mark to cover Kim Jong Un’s trip, plastering its Tuesday edition with pictures and stories of Kim traveling with officials and sightseeing.

Agencies

 

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