Pompeo Tries to Clean Up Trump’s Messy Claims About North Korea Summit

Elias Hubbard
June 14, 2018

Seeking to quell concerns that North Korea and the USA interpreted the talks differently, Pompeo said, "I am confident that [North Koreans] understand what we're prepared to do".

Kim's summit with Trump in Singapore on Tuesday was the first meeting between sitting leaders of the two countries. Would you get out of Syria? They probably now believe, correctly, that Trump used tough talk to bring Kim to the table.

Also missing: basics such as a timetable for Mr Kim to give up his weapons, verification procedures or even a mutual definition of denuclearisation. No such experts were present in Singapore, where the discussion was far broader than non-proliferation, and instead focused on the general path Pyongyang wishes to take for its people. "Make no mistake, we are going to maintain the readiness of our forces in South Korea", said one USA official, speaking on condition of anonymity.

'I could go through a lot of nations where a lot of bad things were done'. "But I think we understand each other".

"Just landed - a long trip, but everybody can now feel much safer than the day I took office", Trump tweeted early Wednesday.

The summit in Singapore did mark a reduction in tensions - 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.

Many in Washington expressed concern on Wednesday that Trump has put so little emphasis on the monumental task of verifying North Korean denuclearization.

"I find that question insulting and ridiculous and frankly ludicrous", Pompeo said. Mr. Trump said he and Kim, a dictator accused of directing the murders of family members and starving his own people, had a "very good relationship". " That work, he said, was "beyond what was seen in the final document that will be in the place that we will begin when we return to our conversations". In other words, Kim doesn't want foreign intelligence to know about his health status by examining his stool samples. Mr Trump made clear he was keeping USA sanctions in place until he saw evidence of a reduced nuclear threat.

But Trump's move had always been suggested by China, and Beijing was quick to applaud its announcement on Wednesday.

Kim is now promising to work toward a denuclearized Korean Peninsula and state media heralded the meeting as victorious, with photos of Kim standing side-by-side with Trump on the world stage splashed across newspapers in Pyongyang. If they do, then all kudos to them.

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.

By claiming that the North Korean nuclear threat has disappeared, Trump also risks weakening the USA negotiating position in talks on denuclearization that were mandated by the summit and will be led from the U.S. side by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Former South Korean foreign minister Yoon Young Kwan said Mr Trump's negotiation appears "very different" from past talks between the two countries because it's the first time a sitting USA president has taken a primarily political approach to the issue.

But he also said he would love to bring the United States military out of South Korea because of the cost, adding that while it was not now part of the discussion, "at the appropriate time, it will be".

"Even if the North Korean regime opens their country for revolution, this announcer will declare that decision". Ron Bonjean, also a Republican strategist, said voters were more likely to be influenced if there was serious and measurable progress closer to the election.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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