Donald John Trump, President of the United States of America. Photo: File

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Washington, DC — President Donald Trump congratulated the Korean leaders on the historic summit and said that he was encouraged by their expressed goal of “complete denuclearisation” of the Korean Peninsula.

“I want to congratulate the Republic of Korea on its historic summit with North Korea, and we’re encouraged by President Moon and Kim Jong-un’s expressed goal of complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula. I will be meeting with Kim Jong-un in the coming weeks. We look forward to that, and hopefully, it will be productive,” Trump told reporters at a joint White House news conference with the visiting German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and the South Korean President Moon Jae-in, during an inter-Korean summit on April 27, 2018, agreed to pursue a permanent peace treaty and denuclearize the Korean peninsula. Trump thanked Merkel for her leadership in the campaign of maximum pressure on the North Korean regime, which has helped to reach “this important step”. “It’s taken a long time, many, many decades to get here. Let’s see what happens,” Trump said.

“We seek a future peace, prosperity, and harmony for the whole Korean Peninsula unlocking, not only a brighter future for the people of Korea, but for the people of the world. However, in pursuit of that goal, we will not repeat the mistake of past administrations. Maximum pressure will continue until denuclearisation occurs,” he said. Trump, who has accepted an invitation to meet the North Korea leader said that he looks forward to the meeting. “It should be quite something,” he said.

Joining Trump in congratulating the Korean leaders, Merkel said the meeting was a first step on a road that will “hopefully” lead into a better future. “We Germans know only too well what it means after years of separation, after years of division, to have these first contacts, but we will continue to be vigilant, to see to it that the nuclearisation of North Korea is stopped. And that a nuclear-free zone is established on the Korean peninsula. We think that this is essential,” she said.

Trump said the North Koreans are treating the US with “great respect”. “A lot of good things are happening with respect to North Korea,” he said. Exuding confidence of handling the issue, he said, “Hopefully there’ll be peace for North Korea, South Korea.” The Chinese President Xi Jinping, Trump said, has been really good at the border.

“Everyone’s surprised at how tight he clamped down. Everyone said that he’d just talk about it, he wouldn’t do it. Well, he did it, and he did it out of a relationship that we have, and also, out of the fact that we’re negotiating trade deals, and I think that’s also very important to him. Hopefully, we’ll come up with something that’s good for both countries,” he said.