President Trump touted the “historic meeting” between North and South Korea early Friday and said the U.S. should be “very proud” of the progress, as leaders from the two nations pledged to clear the peninsula of nuclear weapons.
The president’s tweets came during a summit in the Peace House in Panmunjom between North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in.
“After a furious year of missile launches and Nuclear testing, a historic meeting between North and South Korea is now taking place. Good things are happening, but only time will tell!” Trump tweeted.
The Korean leaders announced they would work to achieve a “nuclear-free Korean Peninsula,” and also expressed hope to officially end the 1950-53 Korean War by the end of the year, though it is not clear at this point the steps the leaders will take to achieve denuclearization.
“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!” Trump tweeted, minutes later.
During an exclusive interview with “Fox & Friends” Thursday morning, Trump criticized the Obama administration for allowing the situation with North Korea to escalate, touting his negotiating skills while calling former Secretary of State John Kerry the “worst negotiator” he’d “ever seen.”
“We had weak people, this should have been settled long before I came into office,” Trump said. “This is a much different ball game than if they did it five or ten or twenty years ago. This is a much more dangerous ball game now. I will tell you it’s going very well.”
Trump, who is slated to have a summit with Kim Jong Un at a date not yet scheduled, slammed media reports that he was making concessions to secure the meeting with the North Korean dictator. Newly confirmed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo traveled to North Korea earlier this month to lay the foundation for the meeting between Trump and Kim.
Now, the North and the South have announced that they will jointly push for talks with the United States, and potentially China to officially end the decades-old war. The Koreas have agreed to stop all hostile acts over “land, sea and air” that cause military clashes and tensions.
“Please do not forget the great help that my good friend, President Xi of China, has given to the United States, particularly at the Border of North Korea. Without him it would have been a much longer, tougher, process!” Trump tweeted, applauding Chinese President Xi Jinping for his aid throughout talks.
The leaders also agreed that beginning May 1, all loudspeaker propaganda broadcasts that have been blaring from each side of the heavily-armed border will be suspended. They also agreed to dismantle broadcasting equipment and stop flying propaganda leaflets across their border.
Kim also promised Moon that he “won’t interrupt” his “early morning sleep anymore,” referring to missile tests, South Korea said.
During the summit, Kim Jong Un signed South Korea’s guestbook: “A new history starts now. An age of peace, from the starting point of history.” The message was written in black ink, and ended with the date “2018.4.26,” marking the date of the historic summit.
Bradford Betz , Edumund DeMarche, Adam Shaw , Amy Liu, and The Associated Press contributed to this report.