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Politics Here's how world leaders are reacting to the historic Trump-Kim summit

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Donald Trump met North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore on June 12. The two leaders' relationship will likely affect other countries. South Korea, China, and Japan have appeared to highly approve of the talks.

Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump met in Singapore on Tuesday. play

Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump met in Singapore on Tuesday.

(Kevin Lim/THE STRAITS TIMES)

  • Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un concluded a highly-anticipated summit on Tuesday.
  • The two leaders' relationship has global ramifications.
  • South Korea, China, Japan, and the UK, are among the countries to respond so far
  • Scroll down to see them all.


Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un met for the first time in Singapore, where they promised to commit to peaceful relations and work toward "complete denuclearization" of the Korean Peninsula — although the exact definition remains unclear.

The two leaders' relationship has had massive implications on countries around the world. North Korea flew a missile over northern Japan last August weeks after Trump threatened Kim with "fire and fury." The US and South Korea has also held military drills on the North's border for decades, in what Pyongyang has interpreted as rehearsals for war on the Korean peninsula.

Take a look at world leaders have said of the summit so far.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in met Kim in April. play

South Korean President Moon Jae-in met Kim in April.

(Associated Press)

South Korea: A "great victory," "huge step forward" by all of us

President Moon Jae-in, who has for months been trying to bring Trump and Kim to the negotiating table, praised the "historic" summit and called it a "great victory achieved by both the United States and the two Koreas."

Read Moon's full statement below:

Trump told reporters on Tuesday that the US and South Korea would end war games on the Korean Peninsula, although militaries from both those countries said they have yet to receive that instruction.

Many South Koreans in Seoul also told Business Insider last weekend that the summit could be an opportunity for Koreans to "liberate" from the "constant uncertainty" of war, and that any inter-Korean meeting was "better than nothing."

Kim has met Chinese President Xi Jinping twice this year. This photo was taken during the North Korean leader's first visit in March. play

Kim has met Chinese President Xi Jinping twice this year. This photo was taken during the North Korean leader's first visit in March.

(KCNA/via Reuters)

China: We might lift sanctions

China could adjust or even remove its sanctions on North Korea, the country's foreign ministry said after the summit. China is North Korea's largest trading partner.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told reporters on Tuesday, as cited by Reuters: "The UN Security Council resolutions that have been passed say that if North Korea respects and acts in accordance with the resolutions, then sanction measures can be adjusted, including to pause or remove the relevant sanctions."

Beijing has long argued that sanctions were "not a goal in themselves."

The country's state media also covered the Trump-Kim summit closely and appeared to approve of the talks: "Give peace a chance," the state-run People's Daily newspaper tweeted while reporting the summit.

Beijing "welcomes and supports the history-making talks between DPRK and US leaders" and "will continue to play a unique and important role to resolve the peninsula issue," People's Daily reported, paraphrasing comments from Foreign Minister Wang Yi.

Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at Mar-a-Lago in April 2018. play

Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at Mar-a-Lago in April 2018.

(Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP)

Japan: Thanks Trump for bringing up human rights issues

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told reporters after the summit that he was grateful to Trump for bringing up human rights issues between Japan and North Korea, which have plagued relations between the two Asian countries for decades.

At least 17 Japanese citizens disappeared at the hands of North Korea in the 1970s and 1980s, and many of their whereabouts remain unknown.

Trump said he had "absolutely" raised the issue of the abductions with Kim, and although they weren’t mentioned in the joint statement, the North Koreans "are going to be working on that."

Trump and Kim held a private one-on-one meeting during the summit, and there may never be a full record of the conversation.

According to the South China Morning Post, Abe said on Tuesday that he "would like to thank the president [Trump] for raising the abduction issue" and that he was willing to continue the discussions with North Korea directly.

He said: "I'm determined that Japan will have to directly face North Korea and resolve [the abductions] bilaterally."

Boris Johnson, Britain's Foreign Secretary, also weighed in on the summit. play

Boris Johnson, Britain's Foreign Secretary, also weighed in on the summit.

(Handout / Getty)

Britain: We're hopeful for a "secure and prosperous future" in North Korea

UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson described the summit as "constructive" and called on Kim to continue on the path toward complete, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearization (CVID).

Here is Johnson's full statement:

"We welcome the fact that President Trump and Kim Jong Un have held a constructive summit. This is an important step toward the stability of a region vital to global economic growth and home to thousands of British nationals and important UK interests.

"The reaffirmation of North Korea's commitment in the Panmunjom Declaration to work toward complete denuclearisation of the North Korean Peninsula is a signal that Kim Jong Un may have finally heeded the message that only a change of course can bring a secure and prosperous future to the people of North Korea.

"There is much work still to be done and we hope Kim continues to negotiate in good faith towards complete, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearization. The UK will continue to support the United States in its efforts to achieve denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula."

The Trump administration has long made clear its goal of CVID, but Kim didn't seem to make any promises toward achieving it during the talks. The US-North Korea joint statement pledged to work toward "complete denuclearization," which falls short of the US's intention.

Johnson previously described North Korea's nuclear threat as a "nuclear sword of Damocles... held over the head of a trembling human race."

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(Kevin Lim/THE STRAITS TIMES)

EU: "Diplomacy is the only way forward" toward peace

The summit "reaffirms our strong conviction that diplomacy is the only way forward towards lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula," said EU High Representative Federica Mogherini on Tuesday. "Pursuing the diplomatic track is often challenging, but it is always rewarding."

Mogherini also emphasized the importance of CVID, and said the joint statement was a "clear signal that this goal can be achieved."

She also paid tribute to the "leadership, wisdom and determination of" South Korean President Moon Jae-in that led to the summit.