President Trump: Kim ‘trusts me, and I trust him’

Posted at 8:49 AM, Jun 12, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-12 12:38:23-04

SINGAPORE -- President Donald Trump said he trusts Kim Jong Un and that he has received the same trust in return following a historic sitdown with the North Korean leader.

"I do trust him, yeah," the President said in an interview Tuesday with ABC News' George Stephanopoulos in Singapore, the site of the summit.

"Now will I come back to you in a year, and you'll be interviewing, I'll say, 'Gee I made a mistake?' That's always possible," he acknowledged, adding that "we're dealing at a very high level, a lot of things can change."

But Trump told ABC News he believes that the trust is mutual.

"He trusts me, I believe, I really do," Trump said of Kim. "I think he trusts me, and I trust him."

In this handout photograph provided by The Strait Times, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (L) with U.S. President Donald Trump (R) during their historic U.S.-DPRK summit at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa island on June 12, 2018 in Singapore. U.S. President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un held the historic meeting between leaders of both countries on Tuesday morning in Singapore, carrying hopes to end decades of hostility and the threat of North Korea's nuclear programme. (Photo by Kevin Lim/The Strait Times/Handout/Getty Images)

After nearly five hours of unprecedented talks between Trump and Kim, the two leaders signed a document in which Kim "reaffirmed his firm and unwavering commitment to complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula" and the US agreed to "provide security guarantees." Trump also told reporters in a news conference in Singapore that Kim would be destroying a major missile engine testing site "very soon."

But there was no mentioning the previous US aim of "complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization." And Kim's commitments did not appear to go beyond what he already pledged to do in April when he met with South Korean President Moon Jae-in along their countries' border.

Asked whether he thinks the North Korean dictator is willing to change, Trump told ABC News, "Over my lifetime, I've done a lot of deals with a lot of people, and sometimes the people that you most distrust turn out to be the most honorable ones, and the people that you do trust they are not the honorable ones."

Trump said the US will be monitoring the situation in North Korea to be sure that Kim is committed to dismantling his country's nuclear program.

At a news conference wrapping up the summit, Trump told reporters he and Kim "have developed a very special bond."