WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump offered a misleading characterisation of his deal with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, insisting that Pyongyang had agreed to begin "total denuclearization" right away, a media report said.
In reality, the document he signed with Kim at their June 12 summit in Singapore only reiterated North Korea`s previous commitment to "work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula", CNN reported.
Sitting in the Cabinet Room on Thursday next to Defence Secretary James Mattis, Trump insisted the document read: "We will immediately begin total denuclearization of North Korea," an opaque phrase that the US and North Korea view differently.
According to the document: "President Trump committed to provide security guarantees to North Korea and Chairman Kim Jong-un reaffirmed his firm and unwavering commitment to complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula."
It also declared that North Korea "commits to work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula."
Trump on Thursday also said North Korea had begun destroying test sites, reports CNN.
However on Wednesday, Mattis said that he was "not aware" of any indications that North Korea had taken concrete steps to dismantle any more of its infrastructure for the launching of ballistic missiles or any additional steps to fully denuclearize.
Trump`s comments come as South Korean President Moon Jae-in is in Russia, where he is pitching the economic benefits of peace on the Korean Peninsula.