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Locals react to results of Trump, Kim Jong-Un summit

Trump and Kim Jong-Un hand shake at historic summit in Singapore. (FOX 8 Photo) Trump and Kim Jong-Un hand shake at historic summit in Singapore. (FOX 8 Photo)
NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) -

Locals react to the result of President Donald Trump’s historic face-to-face meeting with North Korea’s Kim Jong-Un in Singapore. And a U.S. senator from Louisiana does not mince word in reminding the public who Kim Jong-Un is.

"I want to thank Chairman Kim for taking the first bold new step toward a bright, new future for his people,” Trump said during an early morning press conference.

Trump is touting Kim’s agreement to give up his nuclear weapons and pushed back against critics who said the signed agreement is short on specifics.

“This is complete de-nuclearization of North Korea and it will be verified,” said the president to members of the media who raised questions.

In Singapore, Trump used words like “It’s my honor,” and “talented” in referring to Kim.

"We've come to expect Donald Trump to be very loose with language. He was in Singapore on the issue of de-nuclearization of the peninsula, but still the complimentary language could be seen by many as unnecessary,” said FOX 8 Political Analyst Mike Sherman.

Sherman said Trump has used flowery words in describing some other controversial leaders.

"The complimentary language Donald Trump has used about Kim Jong-Un is actually part of a pattern. He's been very complimentary to Vladimir Putin and the actions he's taken and then again in the Philippines, we've seen him very complimentary with the language he uses against that brutal dictator,” said Sherman.

But Sen. John Kennedy, R-Louisiana, is keeping his guard up concerning Kim.

"I think it's important that we don't lose sight of the fact that Kim Jong Un is a butcher and he is a butcher of his own people. Trying to reason with someone like that is like trying to hand feed a shark. Doesn't mean you can't do it, but you've got to do it very, very carefully,” Kennedy told reporters in Washington.

Sherman said the signed agreement between Trump and Kim should be viewed in the proper context.

"For those of us looking to see a concrete plan that would lead to North Korea giving up its nuclear missiles, we didn't see that. But after the really fierce language on both sides over the past year I think what we saw was a change in tone, that at least takes us off the brink of war and begins the process of dialogue,” he said.

Tulane international relations expert Chris Fettweis remarked on the results of the summit.

"Nobody wanted this to spiral into war, and when two sides don't want war, war generally doesn't happen. But as symbolism this was positive. As substance it was pretty thin. But maybe the substance will come later on, but either way I'm happy enough that neither one of them stormed out of the room and put us on a bad path,” said Fettweis.

And he added that talks between the U.S. and North Korea appear to be on the right track.

"The relationship is moving in the right direction, so overall I think it was a very positive outcome as long as people don't really want to see any particular details,” said Fettweis.

With few trading partners and of course, the sanctions North Korea's economy has been hurting for years.  President Trump thinks the agreement will help North Korea get back in the game.   

"There is no limit to what North Korea can achieve when it gives up its nuclear weapons and embraces commerce and engagement with the rest of the world,” said Trump.

And could the president’s summit and the resulting signed agreement with Kim help republicans facing re-election in this fall’s mid-term election?

“So if the benchmark among voters is actually getting a concrete deal done, yesterday's summit doesn't change anything. But if the benchmark is beginning the dialogue to change the tone of the U.S. relations with North Korea then I think this is the start of something,” answered Sherman.

He added that North Korea benefited a great deal from the optics.

"For America, this is a potential win if North Korea follows through but for North Korea this was a homerun.  It was a photo-op with the President of the United States, both flags flying next to each other,” said Sherman.

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