[Vision2020] Trump claim raises eyebrows: North Korea no longer a nuke threat?
thansen at moscow.com
Wed Jun 13 15:27:55 PDT 2018
Courtesy of the Military Times at:
Trump claim raises eyebrows: North Korea no longer a nuke threat?
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump stretched credulity at home and abroad Wednesday by declaring there is “no longer a Nuclear Threat from North Korea” after his summit with Kim Jong Un that reduced tensions but produced no details on how or when Pyongyang might disarm.
Tempering Trump’s very upbeat assessment, his top diplomat, Mike Pompeo, cautioned that the U.S. would resume “war games” with close ally South Korea if the North stops negotiating in good faith. The president had announced a halt in the drills after his meeting with Kim on Tuesday.
The summit in Singapore marked a sea change from last fall, when North Korea was conducting nuclear and missile tests, and Trump and Kim were trading threats and insults that stoked fears of war. Kim is now promising to work toward a denuclearized Korean Peninsula.
But the details of what is sure to be a complex and contentious process have yet to be settled. That didn’t stop the president from talking up the outcome of what was the first meeting between a U.S. and North Korean leader in six decades of hostility. The Korean War ended in 1953 without a peace treaty, leaving the two sides in a technical state of war.
“Just landed - a long trip, but everybody can now feel much safer than the day I took office,” Trump tweeted early Wednesday. “There is no longer a Nuclear Threat from North Korea. Meeting with Kim Jong Un was an interesting and very positive experience. North Korea has great potential for the future!”
Pompeo, who flew to Seoul to brief South Korean leaders on the summit, said the U.S. wants North Korea to take “major” nuclear disarmament steps within the next two years — before the end of Trump’s first term in 2021. He said the North Korean leader understands that “there will be in-depth verification” in any deal with the U.S.
“We have big teams ready to go,” including experts from the U.S. and other partners around the world, Pompeo told reporters. “We’re prepared to execute this once we’re in a position that we can actually get to a place where we can do it.”
The secretary of state said the brief, four-point joint statement that emerged from the summit did not encapsulate all the progress the U.S. and North Korea had made. He said negotiations would recommence “in the next week or so.”
While Trump was facing questions at home and among allies about whether he gave away too much in return for too little at the summit, North Korean state media heralded claims of a victorious meeting with the U.S. president. Photos of Kim standing side-by-side with Trump on the world stage were splashed across newspapers.
Trump’s own chest-thumping tweet seemed reminiscent of the “Mission Accomplished” banner flown behind President George W. Bush in 2003 when he spoke aboard a Navy ship following the U.S. invasion of Iraq. The words came back to haunt the administration, as the war dragged on throughout Bush’s presidency.
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