Trump: Sanctions Remain for Now; Agrees to Stop U.S. War Games With South Korea

By Susan Jones | June 12, 2018 | 5:49 AM EDT

President Donald Trump meets with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un in Singapore. (Photo: Screen capture)

( - "I stand before you as an emissary of the American people to bring a message of hope and vision," President Trump told a news conference in Singapore early Tuesday morning (Washington time).

He thanked North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un for "taking the first bold step toward a bright new future for his people." Both sides are leaving the historic summit with promises on paper.

"My meeting with chairman Kim, was honest, direct and productive. We got to know each other well," Trump said. "We are prepared to start a new history, and we're ready to write a new chapter between our nations."

Trump said "the menace of nuclear weapons will now be removed" -- eventually. And "in the meantime, the sanctions will remain in effect."

Chairman Kim and I just signed a joint statement in which he reaffirmed his unwavering commitment to complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula. We also agreed to vigorous negotiations to implement the agreement as soon as possible, and he wants to do that. This isn't the past, this isn't another administration that never got it started and therefore never got it done.

Chairman Kim has told me that North Korea has already destroyed a major missile engine testing site. That is not in your signed document. We agreed to that after the agreement was signed. That's a big thing. The missiles that they were testing, the site is going to be destroyed very soon.

President Trump said complete denuclearization "takes a long time," but he believes the process will "start very soon." He said the sanctions will come off when he's sure that North Korea's nuclear weapons "are no longer a factor."

Trump said the issue of human rights was discussed relatively briefly, because the main focus was on denuclearization. But he said Kim has agreed to return the remains of soldiers and others who went missing during the long-running Korean War.

Trump said the United States is not removing U.S. troops from South Korea right now, although some day he'd like to get them out. He did say the United States will halt its war games with South Korea, which are a major irritant to the North.

"We will be stopping our war games, which will save us a tremendous amount of money, unless and until we see the future negotiation is not going along like it should. But we'll be saving a tremendous amount of money. Plus I think it's very provocative," Trump said.

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