Moon Says Denuclearization of N.Korea Could Take Years

Evan Vucci  AP

"Now we can have hope it will soon end", Trump said.

"We had a historic meeting and made a decision to leave the past behind", said Kim afteward. The annual drills, separate from regular training programs, have long angered North Korea's leadership, which views them as a rehearsal for an invasion.

Still, he credited the summit for starting a diplomatic process between North Korea and the United States.

"There's no history of this family ever having not lied to the West", Shapiro said.

"What is most troubling about all this is that the US gave up something tangible, namely, US-RoK military exercises, in exchange", he added, using the abbreviation for South Korea's official name. "The guy's a tin-pot dictator, and treating him as though he's an equal world leader seems to me counterproductive", Shapiro said.

The U.S. President and Moon held talks on the phone Monday night and are set to hold another conversation at 2020 KST, the Blue House confirmed.

The announcement took South Korean officials by surprise. "It is a list of aspirational goals", said Evans Revere, a former United States negotiator with North Korea.

Earlier, discussions took place on the possibility of President Moon Jae-in joining Kim and Trump in Singapore for follow-up talks on ending the war, but Moon was not invited. I want to bring our soldiers back home", Trump said, adding "But that's not part of the equation right now.

In follow-up talks on the establishment of new relations, the USA and North Korea will likely hold discussions on ending hostilities.

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Speaking at a news conference after the summit, he called the military drills "tremendously expensive".

"The USFK has received no updated guidance on execution or cessation of training exercises - to include this fall's scheduled Ulchi Freedom Guardian", it said in response to a question from Yonhap News Agency.

"We'll have to see the concrete steps that North Korea takes", she told the ABC.

But the last three presidents secured commitments from North Korea on denuclearisation that North Korea later reneged on.

It also seemed to leave officials completely off guard in South Korea, where the presence of US troops has always been described as necessary to maintaining peace on the peninsula.

"Less than 24 hours and already there are two versions of what happened", said CNBC reporter Christina Wilkie.

The 1950-53 Korean War ended with an armistice and a state of war still technically exists between the two Koreas.

Moon however cautioned that this was "just a beginning and there may be many difficulties ahead".

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