Saturday, 18 August, 2018

Half of Americans back Trump's handling of North Korea

Trump Declares North Korea ‘No Longer a Nuclear Threat’ On Twitter, Trump declares that the North Korea nuclear threat is over
Jeannette Daniel | 14 June, 2018, 14:06

"It is clear that, through this summit, the severe security conditions that meant we were always on alert for incoming missiles (from North Korea) were alleviated", Suga said.

On the joint U.S.

"President Trump and Chairman Kim Jong Un conducted a comprehensive, in-depth, and honest exchange of opinions on the issues related to the establishment of new U.S. -DPRK relations and the building of a lasting and robust peace regime on the Korean Peninsula", the leaders said in a joint statement.

Christopher Hill, chief USA negotiator with North Korea in the George W. Bush administration, suggested in an interview that it's "a little premature" for Trump to say Kim is someone the US can trust. US officials said it was unclear what types of training involving USA and South Korean troops might cross into Trump's now forbidden zone of "war games".

Trump's announcement minutes after the summit's conclusion that he would halt the "provocative" joint military drills were a shock to South Korea and caught much of the US military off guard, too.

The problem with the summit ultimately wasn't the optics or the legitimisation of the regime, though these are certainly points that count against the United States ledger of concessions.

So Pompeo had some explaining to do as he travelled to Seoul to brief the allies on what transpired in Singapore.

The weird quirks of the summit seemed to follow us even as Air Force One left Singapore behind.

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.

At his press conference in the South Korean capital Pompeo defended Trump's stance, saying the joint drills could be brought back if negotiations with the North deteriorated.

"It's a game. And one ought not play games with serious matters like this", Pompeo said.

Ultimately, that may end up being the only option that the U.S. has short of war. The next scheduled major exercise, involving tens of thousands of troops, normally would be held in August.

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Donald Trump has come a long way from describing Kim Jong-un as "Rocket Man" and threatening "fire and fury". Ultimately, in the short term, at least while diplomacy continues, Trump's tweets seem to indicate he is ready to live with the fact that North Korea has nuclear weapons and potentially the capacity to fire them at the United States, in an implicit erosion of the U.S. strategic position.

But the new epoch envisioned here by Trump and Kim may be one in which the U.S. loses its grip on Asia, and then the world, and the new future will likely be ruled from Beijing, not Washington.

Despite the uncertainties, Trump talked up the outcome of what was the first meeting between a US and North Korean leader in six decades of hostility.

Trump seemed equally ecstatic. No longer - sleep well tonight!'

'There is no longer a Nuclear Threat from North Korea.

Mr. Trump downplayed Kim's actions, suggesting Kim isn't alone in that. She reported in April on the first summit between North and South Korea in a decade, and then on Trump's meeting with Kim.

"So far United States administrations tended to focus on a narrowly defined military-security deal instead of trying to tackle the root cause of North Korea problem, which is a high level of mutual distrust", he said on Bloomberg Television.

The leaders signed a statement pledging to establish a new relationship.

Despite Pompeo's insistence that sanctions would hold until denuclearization occurred, he offered few details on how the complex process of complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization would be implemented.

"I find that question insulting and ridiculous and, frankly, ludicrous", Pompeo responded when asked about the lack of that wording in the agreement.

North Korean seafood - a lucrative specialty export - is already beginning to appear in Chinese markets, and Chinese firms are reportedly beginning to re-employ North Korean laborers, said Sue Mi Terry, a former Central Intelligence Agency analyst and Korea specialist. It's possible North Korean officials will seek a firm commitment from the South on stopping its military drills with the United States.

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