Mike Pompeo says North Korea should disarm in 2 years

Marco Green
June 13, 2018

Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un were the stars of the historic Singapore summit on Tuesday, but it was China's worldview that dominated.

Kim, for his part, said the leaders had "decided to leave the past behind" and promised, "The world will see a major change".

With a handshake that lasted for about 13 seconds, North Korea's Kim Jong-un and US President Donald Trump on Tuesday scripted history during the first-ever and much-awaited meeting between the two countries.

As US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo flew to South Korea for follow-up talks on Wednesday, much of Asia was still trying to process the whirlwind events of the day before.

To China, the agreement sounded like one they had been pushing all along, a "suspension for suspension", where the U.S. stops military drills with South Korea in exchange for North Korea halting missile and nuclear tests.

Shi Yinhong, an global relations expert at People's University in Beijing, said Trump's pledge to halt military maneuvers is, from China's perspective, nearly "too good to be true". We know that Kim is far less cautious about his public appearances than many had surmised.

The media message to the masses was clear: this is a big success for Kim - known in the North as the Marshal - and the result of his wise leadership. "Plus, I think it's very provocative".

"I was really disappointed".

Last year's talking point was that Trump, with his "fire and fury" talk, was leading the USA into a nuclear war with North Korea.

Ordinary North Koreans consistently voice unequivocal support for the leadership when speaking to foreign media.

Even if there's no record, Trump assured reporters that it's no big deal.

Of course, it's no surprise that North Korean outlets would paint a picture of Kim dictating to the American president, but the factual discrepancies in the two accounts are exactly why there were concerns about Trump and Kim talking one-on-one, with only their interpreters present.

The Kremlin welcomed the summit as the start of direct dialogue and said such meetings "help reduce tensions on the peninsula". And why wasn't the South Korean president invited?

A lot of people can claim credit for making the summit happen. Kim and Trump, obviously.

During his return, Trump spoke with South Korean Prime Minister Moon Jae-in and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

"We're hopeful that we can achieve that in, what was it, the next two and half years", the top American diplomat said when asked how soon the USA wanted to see North Korea move to dismantle its nuclear weapons program. Having open channels of communication can only minimize the risk of miscalculation. North Korea and South Korea have the most riding on a peace deal, but China, which is next door, is probably next in line.

"The sanctions will come off when we are sure that the nukes are no longer a factor", Trump said at the briefing, adding, "I hope it's going to be soon".

Mr Pompeo arrived at Osan Air Base south of Seoul from Singapore early on Wednesday evening and met for close to an hour with General Vincent Brooks, commander of US Forces Korea, at the air base before heading by motorcade to Seoul.

The US has stationed combat troops in South Korea since the end of the Korean War in the 1950s and has used them in a variety of drills. However, they've long wanted a meeting with a U.S. president. "North Korea has great potential for the future!"

"So that's good for a number of reasons, in addition to which we save a tremendous amount of money", Mr Trump said.

After all those nuclear and missile tests, it seems like Kim Jong Un has suddenly signaled he wants peace. The totalitarian state also restricts travel, prohibits outside information, strictly controls the media, and brutally suppresses dissent by imprisoning over 100,000 people in political prison camps, and possibly subjecting them to torture, rape, murder, according to a 2014 United Nations report that recommended the leadership in North Korea be prosecuted for crimes against humanity at the International Criminal Court.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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