North Korean state media highlights US concession on war games

Lloyd Doyle
June 13, 2018

The country's defence minister, Itsunori Onodera, said drills and the United States military presence in South Korea were "vital to security in East Asia".

These defectors turned to Trump in part because South Korea had already embraced an engagement strategy with North Korea. In agreeing to the summit, Trump risked granting Kim his long-sought recognition on the world stage in hopes of ending the North's nuclear program.

Even as Pompeo staunchly defended the summit results, he was less exuberant than Trump, who tweeted on his return to the US on Monday morning: "Just landed - a long trip, but everybody can now feel much safer than the day I took office".

"I have no idea" whether Trump secured anything of substance, Senator Corker, the retiring chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee said.

Trump's tweets are wrong, as North Korea maintains its nuclear capabilities and the agreement he signed with Kim doesn't detail any sort of verifiable denuclearization process. The two leaders walked each other and shared a handshake with the flags of the two countries in the backdrop.

On the huge domestic issue of Japanese citizens kidnapped by North Korea decades ago, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe welcomed that Trump had apparently brought it up with Kim, but there was no tangible progress.

"The sanctions right now remain", he added.

Before the unexpected thaw between Pyongyang and the US, North Korea had repeatedly threatened to target US troops in the region.

In Pyongyang, commuters crowded round the spread of images the first they had seen of the summit, for majority. "We will be there together with North Korea along the way".

North Korean women push their cart and bicycles over a bridge in Hamhung, North Korea, July 21, 2017.

Pyongyang has reason to feel confident after the meeting, where the leader of the world's most powerful democracy shook hands with the third generation of a dynastic dictatorship, standing as equals in front of their nations' flags.

The spectacle was a major coup for an isolated and heavily sanctioned regime that has long craved worldwide legitimacy.

While Trump has said his "maximum pressure" campaign is what led to the summit, KCNA suggested that Trump credited Kim for the detente.

Both in South Korea and Japan, there are mixed views on the military exercises. He told reporters on tarmac upon landing that it had been a "great three days".

USA military commanders in the South also said they had no warning of Mr Trump's announcement.

He said about half of the cost is for security.

The Singapore agreement does not detail plans for North Korea to demolish a missile engine testing site, a concession Trump said he'd won, or Trump's promise to end military exercises in the South while negotiations between the US and the North continue.

Mr Kim arrived in town on Sunday for a historic summit on Tuesday with US President Donald Trump to discuss possible denuclearisation efforts.

Any reduction in tensions on its doorstep is welcome for China, North Korea's closest ally, which accounts for around 90 percent of Pyongyang's trade. It's one where bipartisan members of Congress are doubting the outcomes of his Singapore summit, while repudiating his rapprochement with Russian Federation and his alienation of USA allies.

The US has long resisted calls from North Korea and China for dual suspension, saying that the bilateral, planned, and transparent military drills are legal while North Korea's nuclear program is not.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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