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Americans confused about summit outcome

People gather at the WABar in the Korea Town section of Manhattan, New York, to watch TV coverage of U.S. President Donald Trump meeting North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. /Reuters

By Jane Han

DALLAS ― The highly anticipated and unprecedented face-to-face meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un is now over.

So what do the American people think about the history-making handshake and agreement?

"Historical or hysterical ― I really don't know," said Mike Wylie, 45, a nurse who was taking a lunch break at a Starbucks in the suburbs of Dallas, Tuesday. "But seeing the two cozy up to each other just seemed odd, so odd."

Americans across the country saw the dramatic coverage of the Trump-Kim summit held in Singapore on live television late into Monday evening while even popular shows like "The Bachelorette" were interrupted to show summit footage.

"I somehow ended up watching the news coverage and was surprised in many ways," said Lisa Raisman, 38, an administrative assistant at a dental clinic. "Kim Jong-un looked jolly and innocent considering all those wild threats he'd been making all this time. And Trump, our president, was unnecessarily too nice in my opinion."

Many Americans, including experts, questioned the appropriateness of Trump saying how "honored" he was to meet a dictator.

"He said it was an honor to meet him," wrote Anissa Gonzalez in response to the summit news on Facebook. "Our flag is touching theirs. I thought the U.S. does not negotiate with rogue countries. We set the rules, at least that's what I believed. Now, I don't know what to believe."

Following the landmark meeting, Trump and Kim signed a joint statement through which Trump committed to provide security guarantees to the communist state, while Kim reaffirmed his commitment to the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

Trump also announced that the U.S. will stop joint military drills with South Korea, a major concession to the Kim regime.

The agreement includes no detailed timeline of North Korea's denuclearization effort.

"It's good that the two leaders met, but as of today, nothing has changed, has it?'' said Amy Knapp, 42, a school teacher. "I don't think North Korea will ever denuclearize, even if they say they will. We've been down this road before."

James O'Brien, a realtor, said: "Based on all the news I'm seeing, it looks like Kim has out-negotiated Trump. Not sure if Trump realizes this. We'll find out in no time."

Meanwhile, optimists spoke highly of the summit.

"This is an incredible moment," wrote Kim Sales on a Facebook news page. "For the sake of the whole world, let us hope this leads to lasting peace and denuclearization on the peninsula."

Amy Smith-Barton also wrote: "This is a positive and hopeful event. I didn't think anyone could get this man to agree to meet or see reason. Trump realized the North Korean leader is a threat to the world and is doing the best he can do to make the situation better for all."


LETTER