World Leaders React to Trump-Kim Summit

Lawrence Kim
June 14, 2018

Trump, who returned to Washington early on Wednesday, hailed the meeting with Kim, the first between a sitting USA president and a North Korean leader, as a success that had removed the North Korean nuclear threat. The Korean War ended in 1953 without a peace treaty, leaving the two sides in a technical state of war.

The cancellation is considered a concession to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrived in South Korea on Wednesday to discuss details of how denuclearisation could be achieved.

By referencing the "conflicting views", Moon appeared to be referring to Trump's unexpected promise to halt joint military exercises with South Korea, which the USA president called a "provocation" to the North. South Korea was largely responsible for convincing Pyongyang and Washington to come to the negotiating table.

When questioned on the wording of the statement, Pompeo said Wednesday that Trump's intention was to allow the U.S. the opportunity to pursue further productive conversations on the issue with Pyongyang.

"I think we have a very good relationship. "Complete denuclearization" certainly encompasses that idea very clearly".

Trump said the world is "safer" following the summit with Kim.

Trump, going above and beyond the statement on paper, promised to halt joint military drills with South Korea.

Joel Wit, a Stimson Center senior fellow and North Korea expert, told NPR that in such a timeline "you could probably disarm key portions of the North Korea nuclear program". Past year it tested long-range missiles that could reach the US mainland, although it remains unclear if it has mastered the technology to deliver a nuclear warhead that could re-enter the atmosphere and hit its target.

If North Korea's illegal nuclear program forced the US military to stop training with its ally, then it sends a powerful message to leaders everywhere: The US can be blackmailed with nukes.

After calling the dictator a "tough guy", "smart", and someone who "loves his people", Trump shrugged off a question about his human rights abuses, echoing his remark past year that while Russian president Vladimir Putin is a killer, "There are a lot of killers. No longer - sleep well tonight!"

President Donald Trump gestures during a meeting in March with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the Oval Office. Getty Images
President Donald Trump gestures during a meeting in March with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the Oval Office. Getty Images

On the other hand, while President Trump should be credited with opening a possible path to peace on the Korean Peninsula and ending the Korean War, both of those outcomes remain far in the future.

But Pompeo insisted at a joint press conference with the two countries' foreign ministers that there was no daylight among the allies on how to achieve the denuclearisation of North Korea.

President Donald Trump is defending North Korea's dictator, Kim Jong Un, despite worldwide criticism of the country's human rights offenses.

Trump has also claimed that North Korea is committed to "complete denuclearization" after a cordial meeting with Kim in Singapore.

When Baier pointed out some of the unsavory things Jong Un is accused of doing in North Korea, Trump demurred. Trump's announcement appeared to catch the Pentagon and officials in Seoul off guard, and some South Koreans were alarmed.

The current understanding between Kim and Trump may not be a complete American giveaway either, as some critics are asserting. In earlier post-summit remarks, he congratulated Trump and Kim but also cautioned that "this is just a beginning and there may be many difficulties ahead, but we will never go back to the past again and never give up on this bold journey". For the USA, its 30,000 or so troops in South Korea represent a foothold on the Asian mainland and a major check on China's growing global ambitions.

"He was unambiguous about that", Pompeo said.

In a further tweet on Wednesday, President Trump hit out at criticism of his summit in some United States media, dubbing it "Fake News".

Trump, seemingly unprompted, has long wanted to withdraw the USA from South Korea, and now he may have found a reason.

Speaking at a news conference in Seoul alongside South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-hwa and Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono, the US secretary of state said the Trump administration would not repeat the mistakes made by past presidents that rewarded Pyongyang for denuclearization promises.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, right, South Korea's Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha, centre, and Japan's Foreign Minister Taro Kono attend a joint news conference at the Foreign Ministry in Seoul.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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