What's next after US summit with North Korea

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DE PERE, Wis. (WBAY) - The summit between President Grump and Kim Jong Un was historic. No sitting U.S. President has ever agreed to a meeting with a North Korean leader. But beyond the pictures, what actually happens in the aftermath is far from clear.

North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un and U.S. President Donald Trump meet in Singapore, June 12, 2018 — Image: CNN

It's the handshake seen around the world. The meeting between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un ending what has always been a contentious relationship between two nations.

"Simply by meeting with Kim is something that no other President has done," says Dr. Wayne Patterson.

Patterson is a professor at St. Norbert College who specializes in the history of East Asia. He's written numerous books about Korea and is even heading there this summer to again teach a class about its history. He believes the meeting between President Trump and Kim Jong Un is significant and he's keeping his fingers crossed for what it means.

According to Patterson, "I came down on the side that it's probably better to talk to your enemies than not to talk to your enemies."

And even though reports out of the summit and the signed agreement call for the denuclearization of North Korea, Patterson says the situation calls for patience. He adds, "The word verifiable hasn't shown up in the communiques and so that means, well he can say anything he wants, but how do you know he's telling the truth since the regime hasn't told the truth in the past and has reneged on some of its agreements."

But from what he's seen so far, Patterson is hopeful progress is being made, saying diplomatic relations begin with discussions, "Stay tuned, stay tuned. This is just the first step in a long process, apparently, and we'll see how it goes. I'm optimistic."