Trump declares an end to the North Korean nuclear threat

Trump declares an end to the North Korean nuclear threat

Trump declares an end to the North Korean nuclear threat

U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un issued a joint statement after their Singapore meeting that reaffirmed the North's commitment to "work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula", while Trump "committed to provide security guarantees".

Earlier today, North Korean state media reported that Trump made concessions to Kim that were not in the statement signed by the leaders - including Trump agreeing to "the principle of step-by-step and simultaneous action" rather than the USA administration's prior demands for rapid denuclearization.

Tough sanctions will remain on North Korea until its complete denuclearization, the US secretary of state said on Thursday, apparently contradicting the North's view that the process agreed at this week's summit would be phased and reciprocal.

Several U.S. lawmakers expressed their approval of Trump's meeting with Kim, but said they were skeptical of the U.S. leader's declaration that North Korea no longer poses a nuclear threat.

Mr Trump's political supporters back home may well agree.

He characterized them as 'very expensive, ' however, and portrayed their end as an economic decision rather than a negotiated concession that the USA had previously said it wouldn't budge on.

Interested in North Korea?

"President (Barack) Obama said that North Korea was our biggest and most unsafe problem". While nuclear experts believe some significant progress could be made during Trump's time in office, they've estimated that completely dismantling North Korea's nuclear weapons program could take ten to 15 years.

Pompeo's comments came after North Korean state media reported on Wednesday that Trump had agreed to a "step-by-step" process, suggesting that North Korea would gain concessions from the U.S. at the same time.

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. Less than a year before their historic summit, Trump was threatening "fire and fury" on North Korea and publicly deriding Kim as "Little Rocket Man".

The President also added that North Korea's promise to complete denuclearization "will be verified", though the document the two leaders signed did not lay out details of that process.

The United States has long insisted on complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization by North Korea. He pointed out that the statement makes reference to a previous agreement that did mention verification, and argued that as a result, the Trump-Kim statement automatically "incorporates" verification without having to state it outright.

Pompeo said Trump was alluding to the fact that it was the first time a sitting USA president had met with Kim, adding that both leaders had a "blunt conversation" about the need for the communist state to rejoin the world community.

Trump replied by praising Kim as a "tough guy".

Mr Pompeo was speaking at a press conference in Seoul with his South Korean and Japanese counterparts.

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

On Wednesday, Japan's Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera pointedly said the drills played a "vital role in East Asia's security".

Trump had also wanted a commitment to ending the Korean War, which was stopped by an armistice, not a peace treaty, leaving the Korean Peninsula still technically in a state of war.

On the joint U.S. The Korean Central News Agency welcomed that decision and use that very same word - provocative - to describe these exercises.

The U.S. 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.

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