Trump declares on Twitter: The North Korea nuclear threat is over

Daniel Fowler
June 13, 2018

President Donald Trump's joint statement with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Tuesday provided few specifics and no binding commitments, but likely set in motion a series of events that could unseat the United States as the dominant world power.

Yu said that if the talks lead to a decreased nuclear threat from North Korea - the objective for US military officials being stationed in the region - then pulling USA troops should be on the table.

While Trump and Kim concluded their summit in Singapore by signing a joint statement that promised "complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula", it did not specify what that process would entail. But Lu Chao, an expert on North Korea at the Liaoning Academy of Social Sciences in northeast China's Shenyang city, says the guarantees are probably "a repeat of previous USA statements that it does not seek to overthrow the current regime in North Korea".

Trump on Tuesday pledged to suspend the USA and South Korea's "war games", or military drills.

President Donald Trump took to Twitter to encourage Americans to "sleep well tonight" upon landing in Washington, D.C., early Wednesday morning after the landmark summit in Singapore between the United States and North Korea.

After returning to the White House Wednesday, Trump also defended his decision to halt the joint military exercises with South Korea, which he called "war games" - a term used by Pyongyang - arguing on Twitter that the USA will "save a fortune".

"We save a fortune by not going war games, as long as we are negotiating in good faith - which both sides are!"

Victor Cha, a former USA pointman on North Korea, said in an opinion piece in the New York Times: "Despite its many flaws, the Singapore summit represents the start of a diplomatic process that takes us away from the brink of war".

It says the sides "commit to establish new US-DPRK relations in accordance with the desire of the peoples of the two countries for peace and prosperity".

Mr Trump said during the press conference at the end of the summit that "the sanctions will come off when we are sure that the nukes are no longer a factor".

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That would go against what the Trump administration has said so far.

The move, long requested by Pyongyang, has been seen as a major concession to North Korea and has left one former South Korean military leader "speechless".

On the huge domestic issue of Japanese citizens kidnapped by North Korea decades ago, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe welcomed that Trump had apparently brought it up with Kim, but there was no tangible progress. But simultaneously, Seoul is aiming to prepare its defenses in case the USA decides to halt joint military exercises indefinitely or pull out the around 28,000 troops it has stationed inside South Korea's borders.

In August 2017, Pyongyang threatened missile strikes on Guam, the only USA territory easily in reach of North Korean missiles.

The KCNA report - which was also carried by the Rodong Sinmun, official newspaper of the ruling Workers' Party - also claimed that the president pledged to suspend military drills with South Korea, and lift sanctions on the North. Asked about this yesterday, Trump said: "I think he wants to get it done".

Seth Meyers gave the "Closer Look" treatment to the monumental meeting, paying particular attention to Trump and Kim's ill-fitting suits. "The V matters", he told reporters.

There are usually two sets of exercises every year, in spring and autumn, involving a massive number of troops and military hardware. He said he planned to continue sharing the view with Washington and Seoul.

The Pentagon said Tuesday it was consulting with the White House and others, but was silent on whether the August exercise would proceed.

"If North Korea is no longer an issue, then what is the objective of leaving the troops here?"

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