Wednesday, 19 September, 2018


Trump Kim summit: Sitting down side-by-side

Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un at the Capella resort on Sentosa Island Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un at the Capella resort on Sentosa Island
Bennie Garza | 13 June, 2018, 23:57

The United States hopes to achieve "major disarmament" by North Korea within the next two-and-a-half years, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Wednesday, as he defended President Donald Trump against charges that he made too many concessions in his summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

Trump said he had formed a "very special bond" with Kim and that relationship with North Korea would be very different. A quick answer: Probably not.

He said Trump and Kim reached understandings not written in the document they signed.

Trump's tweets followed a high-profile summit which yielded a renewed promise by Kim to "denuclearize" the Korean Peninsula but was scant on details. The Korean War ended in 1953 without a peace treaty, leaving the two sides in a technical state of war. "But there was a great deal of work done that is beyond what was seen in the final document that will be the place that we will begin when we return to our conversations".

Aware that the eyes of the world were on a moment many people never expected to see, Kim said many of those watching would think it was a scene from a "science fiction movie".

Alluding to the North's concerns that giving up its nuclear weapons could surrender its primary deterrent to forced regime change, Pompeo told reporters that the USA was prepared to take action to provide North Korea with "sufficient certainty" that denuclearization "is not something that ends badly for them".

And Trump's announcement that he wanted to remove US troops from South Korea - which reportedly caught Seoul off-guard - led to former US Undersecretary of State Wendy Sherman, who helped draft a multilateral deal to curtail Iran's uranium enrichment capabilities, saying that Trump "doesn't believe in allies".

"I support this as a first step to the comprehensive resolution of issues concerning North Korea". "When Trump realized there wasn't going to be anything substantial in return, it was impossible for him to back out because he had already gone too far".

"People are going to be very impressed and people are going to be very happy and we are going to take care of a very unsafe problem for the world", Trump said.

Despite those efforts, Trump announced after the summit that he had agreed to suspend U.S. military drills with South Korea, something North Korea has long demanded.

"We would like to seek an understanding of this between Japan, the USA and South Korea", he said, Reuters reported.

He also announced an unexpected end to US-South Korea military drills.

Speaking briefly hours after Kim Jong Un and Trump held historic talks in Singapore, Abe also said he was pleased that the USA leader had raised the emotive issue of Japanese abducted by Pyongyang. He said cancellation of the drills "is really a bad idea. and [Trump] betrayed our people".

In his first interview after the summit, Trump told ABC News chief anchor George Stephanopoulos that he trusts Kim, in spite of the dictator's past brutality.

That didn't stop the president from talking up the outcome of what was the first meeting between a USA and North Korean leader in six decades of hostility. Even though no deadline was set for the denuclearization of North Korea, a guarantee of security was extended to Pyongyang. Euan Graham, International Security Director at the Lowy Institute, previously told Business Insider that North Korean media "will cut and splice to show Kim in the most favorable light". The report said they "celebrated" Kim "on the success of the summit".

North Korea, Trump said Tuesday, has agreed to destroy a major missile engine testing site.

Duckworth said any discussion of withdrawing USA forces from the Korean peninsula must be tied to concrete and verifiable changes in North Korea's behavior "and it must be done in close consultation with our allies". The agreement's aspirational language on denuclearization was a "strategic decision" to reduce pressure on both sides and keep the process going, Mr. Min said.

"We will be stopping the war games, which will save us a tremendous amount of money", Trump told reporters, adding that "at some point" he wanted to withdraw USA troops from the South. He said he planned to continue sharing the view with Washington and Seoul.

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