Trump falsely declares post-summit victory

Clay Curtis
June 14, 2018

Mr Trump, who returned to Washington early on Wednesday, hailed the meeting with Mr Kim, the first between a sitting US President and a North Korean leader, as a success that had removed the North Korean threat.

"Kim Jong Un and Trump had the shared recognition to the effect that it is important to abide by the principle of step-by-step and simultaneous action in achieving peace, stability and denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula", state media outlet KCNA reported.

Mr Pompeo has travelled to South Korea to brief the US's regional allies on the agreement, and on Mr Trump's surprise announcement that he was ending the routine US-South Korea military drills which have so angered North Korea.

Trump: "Chairman Kim and I just signed a joint statement in which he reaffirms his unwavering commitment to complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula". It called the summit "dumbfounding and nonsensical", and said it will allow North Korea to permanently maintain its nuclear weapons program.

"The United States is our ally, so the joint military drills are still necessary to maintain our relationship with the USA", said Lee Jae Sung, from Incheon.

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"The coming few months will give us a better indication as to whether [this] was an expensive photo opportunity or a positive breakthrough", said Patrick Cronin, the top Asia security expert at the Center for New American Security in Washington.

In his post-summit press conference, Trump made the surprise announcement that the USA would halt joint military exercises with its security ally Seoul - something long sought by Pyongyang, which claims the drills are a rehearsal for invasion.

Trump said, 'We're flying planes in from Guam, we're bombing empty mountains for practice.

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But he said that was no longer the case, and everyone can "sleep well tonight".

Donald Trump has dismissed concerns about the widely condemned human rights record of the North Korean dictator, Kim Jong-un, praising him as a "tough guy", a "smart guy" and a "great negotiator".

Ambassador Joseph DeTrani, who served as a top US negotiator with Pyongyang before the last attempt at diplomacy broke down in 2009, was more optimistic.

He added that it would be impossible to verify completely whether North Korea completely denuclearized. Will he then withdraw the 29,000 United States troops out of South Korea that have served as a guarantor for the ally against post-war Japan, North Korea, and now a rising China over 68 years?

"I suppose we could argue semantics, but let me assure you it's in the document", Pompeo told reporters Wednesday in Seoul.

"Kim Jong Un has proved to be a pretty ruthless leader in North Korea, and I'm not sure this sort of speed dating of a 45-minute one-on-one meeting. would suggest that there's nothing to be concerned about", he said.

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

"I brought it up absolutely and they are going to be working on that", Trump said. It's unclear whether the president informed USA allies in the region of his plan to end the "war games", as he called them, prior to his declaration.

"All of that points to a new era of the relationship between the United States and North Korea", Tina Park, vice president of the NATO Association of Canada, told Global News. The next scheduled major exercise, involving tens of thousands of troops, normally would be held in August.

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