Watching coverage of the Trump-Kim summit

Lester Mason
June 13, 2018

Speaking briefly hours after Kim Jong Un and Trump held historic talks in Singapore, Abe also said he was pleased that the U.S. leader had raised the emotive issue of Japanese abducted by Pyongyang.

North Korea typically heavily censors its local and foreign content, with events often not being reported until several days after, if at all.

Trump and Kim planned to meet one on one for most of an hour - joined only by interpreters.

"We will be stopping the war games, which will save us a tremendous amount of money", Trump told reporters, adding that "at some point" he wanted to withdraw U.S. troops from the South.

Mr Trump later promised to end "war games", with ally South Korea, a concession to Mr Kim that appeared to catch the Pentagon and Seoul government off guard and sowed confusion among Mr Trump's Republican supporters in Washington.

Both Seoul and USA military commanders in the South indicated they had no idea the announcement was coming, and in an editorial Wednesday the Korea Herald said it was "worrisome".

"The United States is our ally, so the joint military drills are still necessary to maintain our relationship with the USA", said Lee Jae Sung, from Incheon. "I think there's some validity to that school of thought with the exception (of) once those dictators have nuclear weapons". "Triumphant moment for Kim and North Korea that will become fodder for art, posters, stamps", tweeted Jean H. Lee, director of the Korea Center at the Wilson Center.

During his return, Trump spoke with South Korean Prime Minister Moon Jae-in and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Pompeo was slated to fly on to Beijing later Thursday.

Despite the confusion and disappointment among some, the summit managed to, for a time at least, reset a relationship that has always been characterised by bloodshed and threats.

Trump's Tuesday meeting with Kim produced a wave of USA concessions in exchange for vague, nonbinding promises from North Korea, but it did make nuclear war all but inconceivable at the present moment.

Despite being regarded as a first step towards denuclearisation, the North Korean Supreme Leader was credited for creating conditions for peace following his historic meeting on Tuesday with Donald Trump.

"I am. confident they understand that there will be in-depth verification", Pompeo said, adding that further USA talks with North Korea on how and when it will end its nuclear program will resume "sometime in the next week". "No longer - sleep well tonight!" the president wrote.


Trump's claim that North Korea no longer poses a nuclear threat is questionable. -South Korea military exercises, making clear to the North Korean leader that those exercises will resume if Pyongyang negotiates in bad faith. Delegates were outlining specific goals for what the leaders should try to accomplish and multiple scenarios for resolving key issues, a senior U.S official said, adding that the meetings were also an ice breaker of sorts, allowing the teams to get better acquainted after decades of minimal contact between their nations.

Richard N. Haas, the president of the Council on Foreign Relations, said "the summit changed nothing".

Former U.S. ambassador Bill Richardson told VOA he is concerned about no verification of what the North Koreans will do about missile technology in their country, no details of nuclear reduction or the peace treaty ending the Korean War from the early 1950s, and human rights. "We're hopeful that we can achieve that in the two and half years".

North Korea in May cancelled talks with Seoul over "Max Thunder" joint military air exercises between the USA and the South. "The world will see a major change". -South Korea military maneuvers may be in doubt and was showered with effusive praise from a president who just previous year derided him as "little rocket man".

"I find it stunning that the White House didn't tell the South Koreans about stopping the joint exercises beforehand, but then again this is a president who doesn't believe in allies".

Before leaving Singapore, Trump suggested a sequel as he talked about hosting Kim at the White House.

"I find that question insulting and ridiculous and frankly ludicrous", Pompeo said.

If he was forced to negotiate by USA pressure, it certainly wasn't obvious.

Also, the USA forces stationed at South Korea admitted that Department of Defense or the Indo-Pacific Command had given them "no updated guidance on the execution or cessation of training exercises" and hence will continue to coordinate with their Seoul counterparts and maintain their current positions until further notice. He said he planned to continue sharing the view with Washington and Seoul.

"China would be anxious about Trump going too far, too quickly".

The conservative Chosun Ilbo, the country's biggest paper, was more critical, denouncing Trump for offering the end of military drills while failing to convince the North to commit to verifiably giving up its nukes for good.

Speaking in South Korea, where he discussed the outcome of the summit, Secretary Pompeo said there was still "a great deal of work to do" with North Korea.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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