President Donald Trump is tweeting "KOREAN WAR TO END" after a historic meeting between the leaders of North Korea and South Korea.
Trump is responding to the historic meeting of North Korea's Kim Jong Un with South Korean President Moon Jae-in in South Korea. They pledged in a joint statement to rid their peninsula of nuclear weapons — but didn't identify any specific new measures to achieve that.
Trump is expected to meet with Kim in late May or June.
He tweeted: "KOREAN WAR TO END! The United States, and all of its GREAT people, should be very proud of what is now taking place in Korea!"
In a separate tweet sent minutes earlier, Trump said "good things are happening, but only time will tell."
Even so, the Koreas' summit Friday might be remembered as much for the sight of two men from nations with a deep and bitter history of acrimony holding each other's hands and grinning from ear to ear after Kim walked over the border to greet Moon, and then both briefly stepped together into the North and back to the South.
Standing at a podium next to Moon after the talks ended, Kim faced a wall of cameras beaming his image live to the world and declared that the Koreas are "linked by blood as a family and compatriots who cannot live separately."
What happened Friday must be seen in the context of the last year — when the United States, its ally South Korea and the North threatened and raged as the North unleashed a torrent of weapons tests — but also in light of the long, destructive history of the rival Koreas, who fought one of the 20th century's bloodiest conflicts and even today occupy a divided peninsula that's still technically in a state of war.
It marks a surreal, whiplash swing in relations for the countries, from nuclear threats and missile tests to intimations of peace and cooperation. Perhaps the change is best illustrated by geography: Kim and Moon's historic handshake and a later 30-minute conversation at a footbridge on the border occurred only meters (feet) from the spot where a North Korean soldier fled south in a hail of gunfire months earlier, and within walking distance of where North Korean soldiers axe-murdered two U.S. soldiers in 1976.
The latest declaration between the Koreas, Kim said, should not repeat the "unfortunate history of past inter-Korean agreements that only reached the starting line" before becoming derailed.
Moon agreed to visit Pyongyang, North Korea's capital, sometime in the autumn, and both leaders said they'd meet on a regular basis and exchange calls via a recently established hotline. They said they'd open a permanent communication office in the North Korean border town of Kaesong and resume temporary reunions of relatives separated by the 1950-53 Korean War. Both Koreas will also jointly push for talks with the United State and also potentially China to officially end the Korean War, which stopped in an armistice that never ended the war.
"I feel like I'm firing a flare at the starting line in the moment of (the two Koreas) writing a new history in North-South relations, peace and prosperity," Kim told Moon as they sat at a table, which had been built so that exactly 2018 millimeters separated them, to begin their closed-door talks. Moon responded that there were high expectations that they produce an agreement that will be a "big gift to the entire Korean nation and every peace-loving person in the world."
Kim, during their talks, joked that he would make sure not to interrupt Moon's sleep anymore, a reference to the North's drumbeat of early-morning missile tests last year. Kim said he'd visit Seoul's presidential Blue House if invited.
The historic greeting of the two leaders, which may be the images most remembered from the summit, was planned to the last detail, though the multiple border crossings may have been impromptu.
As thousands of journalists, who were kept in a huge conference center well away from the summit, except for a small group of tightly controlled pool reporters at the border, waited and watched, Moon stood near the Koreas' dividing line, moving forward the moment he glimpsed Kim, dressed in dark, Mao-style suit, appearing in front of a building on the northern side. They smiled broadly and shook hands with the border line between them. Moon then invited Kim to cross into the South, and, after Kim did so, Moon said, "You have crossed into the South, but when do I get to go across?" Kim replied, "Why don't we go across now?" and then grasped Moon's hand and led him into the North and then back into the South.
Expectations were generally low on the nuclear issue, given that past so-called breakthroughs on North Korea's weapons have collapsed amid acrimonious charges of cheating and bad faith. Skeptics of engagement have long said that the North often turns to interminable rounds of diplomacy meant to ease the pain of sanctions — giving it time to perfect its weapons and win aid for unfulfilled nuclear promises.
Advocates of engagement, however, say the only way to get a deal is to do what the Koreas tried Friday: Sit down and see what's possible.