June 12, 2018 has already been etched into the everlasting book of history. It was the first ever face to face meeting between sitting leaders of the United States and North Korea.
The meeting started at a little after 9:00AM, Singapore time, and lasted well into the afternoon. The summit consisted of two main meetings. One meeting was about 45 minutes long and just between President Trump and Kim Jong Un. The second was a bilateral meeting between President Trump, Kim Jong Un, and a few government officials from the US and North Korea.
At the end of it all, President Trump and Kim Jong Un signed a "Declaration of Friendship". Within that Declaration of Friendship there were certain agreements, which you may read here:
The signing of the agreement can be watched here per whitehouse.gov:
SO WHY IS THIS A WIN FOR PRESIDENT TRUMP?
Let's pick at the low hanging fruit real quick, President Trump is the first ever sitting US president to have an in person meeting with a sitting dictator of North Korea. That right there gives President Trump points.
President Trump also clearly dominated the room. It was clear he was asserting himself as the alpha towards Kim Jong Un, and that he was coming into the summit from a position of strength. You could tell by the way President Trump talked and how he'd pat Kim on the back or slightly grab his arm from time to time. I don't think Kim was expecting that to be honest.
Now as for the agreement they signed. There isn't that much meat to it, but it is strategic in how the US laid it out. The US has simple demands here: denuclearization, POW/MIA recovery from the Korean War, peace between US and North Korea, and peace on the Korean Peninsula as a whole.
In the meantime, the US is going to suspend all war games and military drills on the Korean Peninsula. See, that's how deals go. You ask for something, but give something, in this case the US gave something very little, but very significant. North Korea wanted those drills to end to begin with.
Like any deal goes, if one end doesn't hold up their end of the bargain then there will be no deal. If North Korea doesn't commit to denuclearization or peace, then the US can very easily restart the war games and military drills and walk away from the table.
President Trump himself said there will need to be multiple meetings and many years to achieve the goals laid out. Denuclearization takes a while, but you need to start somewhere. Peace can start right away, but will need to be smoothed out over many talks and years as well.
The end game is capitalism, and eventually democracy in North Korea, that will take over a decade to achieve, but again, you need to start somewhere. President Trump showed Kim Jong Un a video of shots from around the USA, as well as what North Korea could potentially be like if they embrace western culture. South Korea did just that, and look where they are today.
If that end game is achieved, then there should no longer be a human rights crisis in North Korea. The citizens there will have a chance to live a long, healthy, and decent life. No more generation prisons or executions for watching western films, along with many other things.
Kim Jong Un knows all of this, he knows he has the weaker hand to play with, and he knows he has to play the game. He knows the world knows what his people are going through. If Kim starts shooting missiles off again, or continues to build nuclear weapons, it'll end badly for him and North Korea in general.
The US still has sanctions on North Korea, and Trump again put it out there for Kim, that if they honor their agreements, those sanctions can be lifted. That could open up to lifting the trade embargo, and potentially lead into doing what Trump suggested; hotels and condos on North Korean beaches.
Today, The Hill cited an AFP News Agency (@AFP) tweet that Kim Jong Un accepted President Trump's invitation to the White House. Allegedly Kim Jong Un invited President Trump to Pyongyang as well.
The Trump-Kim Summit was a big W for President Trump, and a big L for those against him. If those goals are all achieved, you can rewind back to where it all started, June 12, 2018 with President Donald J. Trump.