While President Trump might be correct that his threat to rain "fire and fury" on the Korean Peninsula helped get Kim to the table (and perhaps persuaded Xi to cajole him there), the opportunity to convert that leverage into real denuclearization has been squandered.
Trump has committed to providing security guarantees to North Korea, while Kim "reaffirmed his unwavering commitment" to complete denuclearization, according to a statement signed by both leaders at the end of the summit in Singapore. "You know, he can have a membership at Trump National", Graham said on CBS, referring to Trump's golf course.
Perhaps the most controversial aspect of Trump's meeting with Kim was his seeming legitimization of a dictator who presides over a brutal totalitarian government.
The meeting is seen by North Korea as a way of bringing legitimacy to a nation long regarded as a pariah. "I'm very open-minded to security agreements and to economic incentives to North Korea".
Trump said Kim had also agreed informally to destroy his missile engine test sites.
The signatures of President Donald Trump and North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un are seen on a document held up by Trump following a signing ceremony during their U.S.
Loosening tensions, and therefore potentially decreased sanctions, could lead to an economic boom for this Chinese city, which facilitates the passage of about 70% of goods entering North Korea. The narrator references some of Trump's main arguments to Kim, namely that eliminating his nuclear stockpile would allow his country to benefit economically and re-enter the world community.
Trump also agreed to halt joint military exercises between the US and South Korea on the Korean Peninsula, though that decision seemed to surprise both Seoul and the Pentagon.
Nearly as remarkable as the summit itself was the press conference that Trump gave later in the afternoon, after Kim had left, to the gathered global press corps at the Capella Hotel. "We look forward to looking at the details of the agreement", Trudeau says. "Things will change. I think they are one of the great winners today", Trump said, adding that "there's not much I can do right now".
Finally, asked what would happen if Kim violated the promises, rather than discussing sanctions or enforcement of any kind, Trump spoke of how he'd cover for himself to the American public.