Trump rants against skeptical summit coverage

Elias Hubbard
June 13, 2018

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he expects North Korea to take the major steps toward nuclear disarmament during Donald Trump's first term, as the US president tweeted that there's "no longer a Nuclear Threat from North Korea".

On Wednesday the foreign affairs minister, Julie Bishop, said the suspension of war games - a surprise concession offered by the USA president on Tuesday night that caught South Korea by surprise - was not in the official declaration but "the president spoke about it in answer to a question at a press conference".

North Korean state news agency KCNA has celebrated the promise, reporting that Mr Kim demanded the urgent cessation of "irritating and hostile military actions" during the summit.

It also said Trump "expressed his intention to halt the U.S".

A major obstacle to reaching and implementing any nuclear deal is that the USA and North Korea have differing definitions of denuclearization on the Korean peninsula.

Trump says on Twitter after returning from his Singapore summit that "we save a fortune by not doing war games, as long as we are negotiating in good faith".

While Japan is concerned about their citizens who were abducted decades ago by Pyongyang, the signed paper makes no specific reference to abductees in North Korea when referring to the repatriation of the remains of prisoners of war and people killed during fighting.

North Korea has condemned the drills as an unacceptable act of aggression, provocation and threat.

The emerging detente between USA and North Korea represents a step forward in world peace. "China can see some shocking resemblance to Nixon coming to China with Trump and North Korea", said Yun Sun, a China analyst at the Washington-based Stimson Center.

Trump's primary reason for suspending the war games was that it drained money, although he provided no estimate of the expenditure - a decision that has got mixed reactions from America's political allies around the globe.

The seemingly off-the-cuff remarks, which were not written into the joint document signed by Kim and Trump at their summit, stunned South Korea and even came as a surprise to US forces in Korea, which said that they had yet to receive updated guidance on the execution or cessation of training exercises, including the joint drills scheduled for August.

The Singapore accord largely amounts to an agreement to continue discussions, echoing previous public statements and commitments.

"I offer my heartfelt congratulations and welcome the success of the historic North Korea-United States summit", Mr Moon said in a statement.

"Trump expressed his intention to halt the US -south Korea joint military exercises, which the DPRK side regards as provocation, over a period of good-will dialogue between the DPRK and the USA, offer security guarantees to the DPRK and lift sanctions against it along with advance in improving the mutual relationship through dialogue and negotiation", the KCNA reported.

Kim said that human rights abuses in North Korea are "so widespread and pervasive that it is hard to pick just one" to focus on in future talks between Washington and Pyongyang, but suggested that the country's gulag system is "at the core" of violations.

"It is up to the United States and South Korea to decide about their joint exercises".

Washington has described the drills as defensive in nature, but Pyongyang says they are a rehearsal for invasion and has long called for them to end.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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