SEOUL -- Most South Korean newspapers reacted with cautious optimism Wednesday to the historic meeting between Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un in Singapore, although one conservative daily denounced the agreement it produced as "absurd."
The centrist Hankook daily noted that the post-summit joint statement signed by the US president and North Korean leader on Tuesday had omitted Washington's demand for a "complete, verifiable, irreversible" denuclearization of the North and lacked a concrete timetable to achieve that goal.
Instead the statement commits Pyongyang to "work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula."
"In terms of the key issue... it may appear that the result failed to meet expectations," Hankook said in an editorial.
But it added that the concrete steps of dismantling the North's nuclear arsenal would be handled during follow-on negotiations, and that negotiations for a nuclear-free Korean peninsula and permanent peace between Seoul and Pyongyang had "just begun."
The pro-business Joongang daily was cautiously optimistic, even though the timetable for the dismantling of Pyongyang's nuclear weapons remained vague.
"We can't dismiss the summit as a failure. It is already a historic event that the leaders of two foes have met. The first step to end decades of hostilities since the Korean War has been made," Joongang said.