North Korean State media lauded the summit between Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump as a resounding success, highlighting concessions by the US president and the prospect of a new era of peace and prosperity on the Korean peninsula.
The summit, the first between a sitting US president and a North Korean leader, was in stark contrast to a flurry of North Korean nuclear and missile tests and angry exchanges of insults between Trump and Kim last year that fuelled worries about war.
North Korea's media is known to be tightly controlled by the government and it is only on rare occasions that it reports on leader Kim's activities in real time. But the summit in Singapore made it to the front page of several publications on Wednesday, loaded with images of Kim and Trump.
The State media depicted the meeting as a "diplomatic victory" for its leader. The official KCNA news agency offered a glowing account of the talks, naming Kim 16 times.
'Meeting of the century'
Official newspaper Rodong Sinmun called the summit "the meeting of the century" on its front page. It said the summit was held to bring an end to "extreme, hostile relations" between the countries.
Meanwhile, KCNA published an enthusiastic article in English praising the talks as a historic break from the past. It said the talks were "epoch-making" and would help foster a "radical switchover in the most hostile (North Korea)-US relations".
The agency called the trip "a historic foreign tour". "Wide-ranging and profound views on the issue of establishing new DPRK-US relations, the issue of building a permanent and durable peace-keeping mechanism on the Korean peninsula, the issue of realising the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula and other issues of mutual concern, as required by the changed era, will be exchanged at the DPRK-US summit talks to be held for the first time in history under the great attention and expectation of the whole world," the agency said in English.
It also celebrated Kim's transformation into a statesman. "Singapore, the country of the epoch-making meeting much awaited by the whole world, was awash with thousands of domestic and foreign journalists and a large crowd of masses to see this day’s moment which will remain long in history," the agency said.
While trumpeting the thaw in relations between North and South Korea, North Korean media outlets have continued to criticise the United States, especially over joint military drills it plans to conduct with South Korean troops at the end of the month.
Meanwhile, Daily NK reported that some North Korean officials are now fearing an emboldened Kim after the summit with Trump. "There are many among the central party cadres who feel differently from the leadership about the US-North Korea summit. If the American imperialist government supports Kim, his leadership will become even bolder and powerful," a source from Pyongyang told Daily NK.
The Singapore summit, however, did not get top billing in the main state news outlets in China, North Korea's main ally. The ruling Communist Party's main newspaper, People's Daily, reported the news in a brief page three article about the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s reaction to the talks.
The English-language China Daily said in an editorial that, while it remained to be seen if the talks would be a defining moment in history, the fact that the talks went smoothly was a positive result.
"While no one should expect the summit to have ironed out all the differences and erased the deep-seated mistrust between the two long-time foes, it has ignited hopes that they will be finally able to put an end to their hostility and that the long-standing peninsula issues can finally be resolved. These hopes should not be extinguished," it said.
During the summit, according to a report by KCNA, Trump had expressed his intention to halt US-South Korea joint military exercises, offer security guarantees to the North and lift sanctions against it as relations improve.
The US president had said in a news conference on Tuesday he would like to lift sanctions against North Korea but it would not happen immediately.
Kim and Trump invited each other to their respective countries and both leaders “gladly accepted”, KCNA reported.
"Kim and Trump had the shared recognition to the effect that it is important to abide by the principle of step-by-step and simultaneous action in achieving peace, stability and denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula," KCNA said.
Trump confirmed the United States will not hold war games with South Korea while North Korea negotiates in good faith on denuclearisation. "We're not going to be doing the war games as long as we're negotiating in good faith," Trump told Fox News Channel in an interview in Singapore after the summit.
With inputs from agencies.
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Updated Date: Jun 13, 2018 16:03:54 IST