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Trump says Kim Jong Un will "start now" on denuclearization

President Trump says that North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un will "start now" in following through on promises to take steps toward denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula following their historic summit in Singapore. "We have the framework for getting ready to denuclearize," Mr. Trump said in an interview with ABC News' George Stephanopoulos. "He's de-nuking the whole place. I think he's going to start now."

Mr. Trump added of the regime's "concrete" steps: "They're going to start immediately. They really have already started. They blew up a site – which was the real deal site. That was their real site. They've blown it up. They're getting rid of things that haven't been mentioned in the document. They're getting rid of missile areas. And they're not going to be sending missiles up."

Mr. Trump appeared optimistic about Kim's intentions to hold up his end of the agreement signed in Singapore, saying the dictator "really wants to do something I think terrific for their country." He said he believes "he trusts me and I trust him."

But pressed on how he could "trust" a leader with such noted cases of human rights abuses leveled against him and his government, Mr. Trump said "I'm given what I'm given."

"This is what we have, this is where we are, and I can only tell you from my experience, and I've met him, I've spoken with him. I've met him. And this is, this has started early and it's been very intense. I think that he really wants to do a great job for North Korea. I think he wants to de-nuke, without that, there's nothing to discuss," he added. 

During their meeting, the two leaders signed a document that Mr. Trump described as "important" and "comprehensive," to conclude their meetings in Singapore. The document, which offers few details about how the aims will be accomplished, says North Korea commits to working towards denuclearization.

"It got done. I think it's a terrific document, it's a starter, but it's a terrific document. I think, far more, and there are things that we negotiated after that document that are also very important," Mr. Trump told Stephanopoulos. 

The president, however, did not ignore the North Koreans' history of promises not kept. 

 "Maybe in a year you'll be interviewing and I'll say I made a mistake. It's possible. We're dealing at a high level, a lot of things can change, a lot of things are possible," he said.

Correction: This article has been updated to correct the spelling of George Stephanopoulos' name.

  • Emily Tillett

    Emily Tillett is a politics reporter and video editor for CBS News Digital