President Donald Trump declared Wednesday that the North Korean regime no longer poses a nuclear threat following his summit with Kim Jong Un, even though the meeting produced no verifiable proof that the rogue regime will discontinue its nuclear program.
The secretary insisted that Trump was clear both with Kim and in his post-summit press conference that the military exercises would only be abandoned if “productive, good-faith negotiations” are ongoing.
After North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il died in 2011, his son, Jong Un, was named the head of the nation and went on to purge other family members from the party.
But the president’s change in approach – to reset the relationship before denuclearisation, not after, is one that the former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper has welcomed: it was necessary, he says, to create a new dynamic in which talks might progress. “Trump doesn’t realise that if you brought down the barriers at the North Korean-China border and told the Chinese to stop chasing North Koreans, you’d probably have 100,000 people leave in a week”.
That task will come down to dialogue among lesser men, including scientific experts deep in the weeds on nuclear policy.
This has been taken to indicate that the U.S. would grant concessions to Pyongyang along the way. This was all the Singapore summit really accomplished.
If the USA and North Korea, or North and South Korea normalize relations, that undercuts the stated rationale for having U.S. forces on the peninsula. Then on Thursday night, Fox News aired an interview filmed during Trump’s return flight from Singapore in which he defended Kim again.
Critics fear that Pyongyang is a more hard case. But about 30 percent said they approved of his handling of North Korea.
But so far, Mr Trump hasn’t shown he’ll avoid the same trap he’s accused his predecessors of falling into: giving North Korea too much without getting anything in return.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said that there will be no sanctions relief for North Korea until it has denuclearised in a way that is “complete, verifiable and irreversible”.
South Korea’s Blue House offered cautious assent to Trump’s controversial statement Wednesday that the US would halt “war games” on the Korean Peninsula, saying the suspension of joint military drills may be necessary to assist in denuclearization talks, according to Yonhap news agency.
It was not clear how the denuclearization would be verified given the country’s secrecy and reluctance to work with global inspectors.
“When you objectively do the arithmetic this comes out overwhelmingly in Kim Jong-un’s favour”. And so do the North Koreans. There is no guise that the program has a civilian nuclear objective as there was in Iran.
“Trump has pursued what he calls a “maximum pressure” campaign” against Pyongyang to force it to give up its nuclear weapons. If so, what is he willing to concede in exchange? The likelihood of Trump launching a first strike against North Korea, thus setting South Korea, where more than 100,000 Americans live and/or work, ablaze and risking a strike against population centers in the USA, was similarly low. On Thursday, North Koreans finally got a glimpse of video of Trump and Kim together, as official Korean Central Television broadcast the first footage of Kim’s trip to Singapore. And Kim, for his part, has offered no specificity. I think over the last two months, maybe less so.
When a reporter asked why the terms were not included in the statement, Pompeo replied “It’s in the statement”. “Can I ensure that you’re going to be able to sit down properly when you sit down? I mean, you can’t ensure anything”.
‘I would love to get the military out as soon as we can because it costs a lot of money and a lot of money for us, ‘ he said.