N Korea media highlights Trump concessions on war games

Elias Hubbard
June 14, 2018

The document the two leaders signed did not include details of how and when North Korea would denuclearize, nor did it spell out exactly what "security guarantees" the United States would provide to North Korea.

With the president offering North Korea several concessions at the Singapore summit with Kim, including the cessation of military-preparedness training with the South Koreans and the possible removal of US troops from the Korean Peninsula, critics of the administration say the U.S.is giving China exactly what it wants. "There's a lot of work left to do".

Tweeting from the presidential plane, which just landed in Hawaii to refuel on the trip back from Singapore, Trump wrote, "There is no limit to what NoKo can achieve when it gives up its nuclear weapons and embraces commerce & engagement w/ the world". There is no longer a Nuclear Threat from North Korea ...

Pyongyang also confirmed Trump's declaration on Tuesday that the USA would halt joint military drills with South Korea.

Following the summit on Tuesday, a joint statement between the two leaders also revealed US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and officials from the North would follow up on negotiations "at the earliest possible date".

North Korea still has nuclear weapons.

"He (Trump) made it very clear that the condition precedent for the exercises not to proceed was for productive, good faith negotiations being ongoing", Pompeo told reporters.

"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.

But US military officials point out exercises often involve thousands of troops and months of planning, making it hard to quickly restart them once suspended or canceled. "I am equally confident they understand that there will be in-depth verification".

When asked why the words "verifiable" and "irreversible" weren't included in the statement - words that form part of a State Department policy of "complete, verifiable, irreversible denuclearization", or CVID, before lifting sanctions on North Korea - Pompeo said, "I find that question insulting and ridiculous and frankly ludicrous". If you can do that at 27 years old, that's one in 10,000 who can do that.

US Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said Mr Trump's cost reasoning for halting the exercises was "ridiculous".

Think Trump told Kim Jong Un about the tear gas launchers and shotguns on board? They'll be announcing things over the next few days talking about other missile sites because they were, as you know, they were sending out a lot of missiles.

A North Korea expert with inside knowledge of the Trump administration agreed Tuesday that Trump had taken us back from the brink of war. The President told Stephanopoulos that he had long wanted to end the "war games" because they were expensive.

And in spite of Mr Trump's announcement, Onodera said that Japan would continue its military exercises with the United States and will continue to improve defences against any possible North Korean strike. He predicted he will have his next conversation with the North Koreans "fairly quickly after we return to our home countries" and within "the next week or so".

As the dust settled, it appeared increasingly unlikely that US troops would be able to proceed with the annual Exercise Ulchi Freedom Guardian, a largely computer-simulated but large-scale exercise in South Korea that last took place in August 2017 and involved 17,500 USA forces joining South Korean troops.

But ahead of his sit down with Kim, Trump had said he would gauge whether the North Korean leader was honest with "just my touch, my feel".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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