Kim nuclear summit praised, but big questions loom

Angelo Anderson
June 13, 2018

The signatures of President Donald Trump and North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un are seen on a document held up by Trump following a signing ceremony during their U.S.

Hours earlier as he sat alongside Kim at the signing ceremony, Trump said the two leaders "have developed a special bond" and that after their several hours of talks Tuesday and the signing of the agreement he thinks the US relationship with North Korea "will be very different than in the past".

More broadly, Mr. Yun said he was "quite surprised" at the lack of a more specific commitment on denuclearization from the North Korean side.

We firmly reject any false equivalency between North Korea's illegal nuclear and missile programs, which are enormously destabilizing and have been repeatedly condemned by the UN Security Council, and our long-standing joint activities with our allies, which are transparent and defensive in nature.
During a press conference, Trump credited Warmbier, who was arrested in 2016, for the historic summit taking place and added that he did not "die in vain". He described it as a failure that got nothing, at a cost of $3 billion in giveaways.

Current and former USA defence officials expressed concern at the possibility that the United States would unilaterally halt military exercises without an explicit concession from North Korea that lowers the threat from Pyongyang. It committed North Korea to accept global inspections and stay in the non-proliferation treaty, under which its pursuit of a nuclear bomb was illegal. Tuesday's statement made no mention of inspectors.

Kim said he wanted to express his gratitude to President Trump for making the meeting happen.

"The North Koreans are freezing their ICBM and nuclear tests, and the Americans are freezing our military exercises with the South Koreans". He said Kim told him he had just destroyed a missile engine testing site.

Trump also said that he would be willing to invite Kim to visit the White House following this first meeting.

The video doesn't explicitly state what that alternative will be, but it does show a sequence of war and flames, reminiscent of the "fire and fury" Trump once promised to rain down upon Kim.

It's not entirely clear what was included on the document that they signed but both men appeared happy and Trump made his announcement about denuclearisation.

Supporters of Tuesday's agreement say it serves as a starting point for more meaningful discussions.

The White House has not yet released the document, but the words were clearly visible in photographs taken when Trump displayed it to the gathered reporters. The broad language could pave the way for the kinds of victories Trump is already claiming, though over a years-long, step-by-step process. "My meeting with Chairman Kim was honest, direct, and productive".

The optimistic summit was a remarkable change in dynamics from less than a year ago, when Trump was threatening "fire and fury" against Kim, who in turn scorned the American president as a "mentally deranged US dotard". Still, he offered no indication he planned to give up his arsenal, which he has called a "treasured sword". The video was produced by the US government to help persuade Kim to make a deal, a White House official said.

Uncertainty on the issue loomed especially large Tuesday morning in Washington, where long-time North Korea watchers are all too aware that Mr. Kim's father Kim Jong-il explicitly committed back in 2005 to "abandoning all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programs", only to renege on the promise in the years that followed.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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