Wednesday, 20 June, 2018


Pompeo says North Korea sanctions to remain until complete denuclearization

Bennie Garza | 14 June, 2018, 15:15

Anthony Ruggiero, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies in Washington and a former official of the US State and Treasury departments who investigated the illicit financing of North Korea, said Mr Trump's meeting with Mr Kim appeared heavy on pomp and light on substance.

While the Korean Central News Agency said Trump agreed to "lift sanctions" as relations improve, the secretary reiterated that would only come after Kim dismantles his nuclear program.

Several U.S. lawmakers expressed their approval of Trump's meeting with Kim, but said they were skeptical of the U.S. leader's declaration that North Korea no longer poses a nuclear threat. "North Korea has great potential for the future!"

Through a translator, North Korea's leader summed up the surreal nature of the meeting, telling the USA president that those watching around the world might see it as "a science fiction movie". "President (Barack) Obama said that North Korea was our biggest and most risky problem". A Democratic senator from Connecticut, Chris Murphy, said of the outcome of the Singapore summit: "Kim's gulags, public executions, planned starvation, are legitimized on the world stage..." Meeting with Kim Jong Un was an interesting and very positive experience.

But details on what form those promises would take were sparse, with critics noting the lack of a timeline for when North Korea will begin dismantling its nuclear programme.

Denuclearization or the "complete, verifiable, and irreversible dismantlement" of North Korea's nuclear weapons - long the hallowed and increasingly unrealistic U.S. objective - was present only in name.

Pompeo said Trump would resume the military drills if North Korea stops negotiating in good faith.

A North Korea expert with inside knowledge of the Trump administration agreed Tuesday that Trump had taken us back from the brink of war.

The statement made no mention of verification, despite Trump's longstanding insistence on "complete, verifiable and irreversible" denuclearization. The president also said the he trusts Kim will follow through, but won't admit if he got it wrong.

Even while buckling under the U.S. administration's "maximum pressure" policy of energetic sanctions expansion and implementation - a policy that is now dead in the water after the summit - Kim was able to complete a sufficiently credible nuclear deterrent to force the United States to the negotiating table.

Trump returned to the United States on Wednesday and took to Twitter to hail the meeting, the first between a sitting US president and a North Korean leader, as a major win for American security.

Deputy director of Human Rights Watch's Asia division Phil Robertson criticised Mr Trump for putting little or no emphasis on the human rights of North Koreans.

At Thursday's joint press conference, South Korea's Foreign Minister told reporters that she and Pompeo had not discussed the drills "in depth" but "military officials from South Korea and the United States will have to discuss further and coordinate".

On the joint U.S.

But this kind of disconnect between myth and reality seemed evident throughout President Trump's freewheeling news conference, suggesting his grand ambitions were not grounded in a full understanding of what and with whom he was dealing.

With the Trump-Kim summit concluded, the baton was being passed to lower-level USA and North Korean officials, who Pompeo said would likely resume meeting as early as the next week to hash out details of a disarmament deal, sure to be a complex and contentious process. The Korean War ended in 1953 without a peace treaty, leaving the two sides in a technical state of war. US officials said it was unclear what types of training involving USA and South Korean troops might cross into Trump's now forbidden zone of "war games".

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