The joint statement signed by United States President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un yesterday is a dramatic move forward and a crucial first move towards permanent peace on the Korean peninsula, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.
In letters to both leaders congratulating them on the "successful conclusion of a historic summit", Mr Lee said of the declaration: "It is a crucial first move in the long journey towards lasting peace and stability on a denuclearised Korean peninsula."
Mr Trump and Mr Kim, Chairman of North Korea's State Affairs Commission, had a one-on-one meeting at the Capella hotel in Singapore yesterday, followed by an extended bilateral summit. They then signed a statement capping their talks.
In it, Mr Trump "committed to provide security guarantees" to North Korea, and Mr Kim "reaffirmed his firm and unwavering commitment to complete denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula", although no timeline was given.
Mr Lee said Singapore is honoured to have hosted the summit. "We join the international community in celebrating this outcome, and in wishing both the DPRK (Democratic People's Republic of Korea) and the US success in implementing this agreement," he wrote.
He said he looked forward to welcoming Mr Trump again in November for his state visit, which will be in conjunction with the 6th Asean-US Summit and 13th East Asia Summit.
THANK YOU, SINGAPORE
Let me begin by thanking our incredible host in Singapore. Especially Prime Minister Lee (Hsien Loong). We send our warm wishes to everyone of Singapore who really made this visit so important and so pleasant. Despite all of the work and long hours.
UNITED STATES PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP, expressing his appreciation to Singapore for hosting the summit.
In his letter to Mr Kim, Mr Lee said he hoped the North Korean leader had enjoyed his stay in Singapore, including his walk at Marina Bay on Monday evening, and that he looked forward to meeting him again in the near future.
Mr Lee also thanked all public officers and national servicemen who worked on the summit. "You did an outstanding job," he wrote in a Facebook post. "Thanks also to Singaporeans for showing the world what we can do."
In separate posts yesterday, Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean, Home Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam and Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen also thanked public servants for the part they played.
Mr Shanmugam said Muslim officers had to handle "the extraordinary demands of this summit while fasting. Extra difficult for them". He added: "Salute all our officers."
Noting Singapore Armed Forces troops and assets were loaded with live ammunition to deal with external threats, Dr Ng said: "The successful completion of this mission gives confidence that we can protect Singapore, even at short notice."
Over the past few days, Mr Lee also held bilateral meetings with both visiting leaders. On Sunday, he met Mr Kim for the first time.
In an interview with CNN journalist Christiane Amanpour that aired yesterday, Mr Lee gave his take on the 34-year-old leader, calling him "a confident, young leader".
Mr Lee also held a working lunch with Mr Trump, who arrived in Singapore fresh from a Group of Seven meeting in Canada where he clashed with America's traditional allies over issues such as trade.
Asked about the man he met, Mr Lee said: "He speaks his mind, he has his take - he has his very firmly held views on trade, on the way America is being taken advantage of, and the way he wants to make America great again."
On whether the US is indeed being taken advantage of, Mr Lee gave his perspective on the evolving global dynamics that have given rise to such sentiment. In the past, the US was generous in helping other countries so it could benefit from a stable and prosperous world, he noted.
But today, it has a much smaller share of the world economy. "So, some Americans are asking themselves: Do I still have to carry this burden for the world? Why can't I just calculate for myself?"
These are legitimate questions, he said. "But to abandon the whole system, and say... I want to win every single match but I really do not have the overall view of the global game... That is a very different kind of world which America will find themselves in, if it goes that way, over several terms of the presidency."