Wednesday, 15 August, 2018

Kim nuclear summit praised, but big questions loom

Map showing key North Korean missile sites Source Scott La Foy Credit Alyson Hurt NPR
Jeannette Daniel | 14 June, 2018, 09:12

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Wednesday that he expects North Korea to take steps toward major nuclear disarmament within the next two-and-a-half years.

President Donald Trump may well regret his choice of words to describe how he would address his meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, with late night comedians poking fun at the president's description of the "touch and feel" he would use in the meeting.

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.

In his post-summit press conference, Trump made the surprise announcement that the USA would halt joint military exercises with its security ally Seoul - a concession Pyongyang has sought for decades.

Echoing that stance, Akira Kawasaki of the ICAN anti-nuclear group said the summit was "a great photo-op", but that "the substance needs to be followed up".

Trump's own chest-thumping tweet seemed reminiscent of the "Mission Accomplished" banner flown behind President George W. Bush in 2003 when he spoke aboard a Navy ship following the US invasion of Iraq.

So, what will the North Korean leader get in return for agreeing to "de-nuclearise"? "Maybe in a year you'll be interviewing and I'll say I made a mistake".

Another headache for US officials in Japan: The agreement says nothing about North Korean short- and medium-range missile tests and development, a particular concern for Japan, located a chip shot away from North Korea.

Most of us realize that the hysterical anti-Trump resistance has difficulty keeping its talking points straight.

More news: Apple looks set to change their iPhone chargers again and just, ugh

But he said that was no longer the case, and everyone can "sleep well tonight".

The president sat down with Baier on Air Force One shortly after his summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. He also has clearly indicated that withdrawing U.S. troops from South Korea was on the table for the future.

North Korea is believed to possess more than 50 nuclear warheads, with its atomic program spread across more than 100 sites constructed over decades to evade global inspections.

He added that it would be impossible to verify completely whether North Korea completely denuclearized.

Both sides stated their commitment "to establish new US-DPRK relations in accordance with the desire of the peoples of the two countries for peace and prosperity" and to "join their efforts to build a lasting and stable peace regime on the Korean Peninsula".

Pompeo said Trump was alluding to the fact that it was the first time a sitting US 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.

"Yeah, but so have a lot of other people done some really bad things", Trump shot back of his newest political introduction.

"The document is short on details, "Schumer said". -South Korean exercises appeared off-limits under the new guidance. Trump cast the decision as a cost-saving measure, but also called the exercises "inappropriate" while talks continue. "Well I think without the rhetoric we wouldn't have been here".

Tokyo has reacted with concern at Trump's plans to cancel military exercises with South Korea, saying such drills are vital for East Asian security.

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