China victor from summit but wary of closer US-N. Korea ties

14 June, 2018, 07:50 | Author: Genevieve Gibbs
  • FG lauds outcome of Kim, Trump historic summit

President Trump returned on Wednesday from his historic summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore and issued what would be a remarkable statement - if it were true.

Using the military exercises as a massive negotiating chip in exchange for the North denuclearizing is a pretty orthodox policy proposal, but it stunned nearly everybody that Trump seemed to be giving this away for free after his meeting.

"Kim Jong Un and Trump had the shared recognition to the effect that it is important to abide by the principle of step-by-step and simultaneous action in achieving peace, stability and denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula", state media outlet KCNA reported. According to the Washington Post, North Korea's definition of "denuclearization" is different from Trump's. (There is no nuclear threat from North Korea anymore, he announces, raising the question then as to why any more negotiations are needed.) This has become a caricature of the Iran negotiations with a sometimes prickly Secretary of State John F. Kerry insisting - wrongly, it turned out - that he was getting everything he wanted. Moscow and Beijing have long pushed a plan known as "freeze-for-freeze", referring to a halt to US military maneuvers alongside a freeze in North Korean nuclear and missile tests.

Of course, there obviously have been discussions between the negotiating teams that go beyond what is in the Joint Statement, with more details, so we don't know all of the specific commitments that might have been made. He did say that Otto Warmbier, an American who died past year just days after his release from imprisonment in North Korea, "did not die in vain" because his death helped bring about the nuclear talks.

Trump on Tuesday became the first USA president to sit down with a North Korean ruler, as they met in Singapore to discuss the hermit kingdom's nuclear ambitions. "No longer - sleep well tonight!"

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

Victor Cha, a Georgetown University professor and former National Security Council director for Asia in President George W. Bush's administration, lamented that the summit results "left a lot to be desired".

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During a press conference following Tuesday's summit, Trump lamented about how long it might take to achieve complete denuclearization. "That will take a while".

He said Trump and Kim reached understandings not written in the document they signed.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday exploded at an unidentified reporter who asked him a very basic question about verifying the destruction of North Korea's nuclear arsenal.

Meanwhile, Trump accepted the offer originally suggested by China that the U.S. and North Korea suspend their tests and military exercises - the so-called freeze-for-freeze (or suspension-for-suspension) proposal that had been repeatedly rejected previously by the US. "I just have to be honest with you".

The top USA diplomat was set to arrive in Seoul later in the day.

The administration's argument is that the incremental approach used by past administrations has allowed North Korea to extract rewards and incentives from the USA, only to ultimately renege and refuse to give up its nukes. Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono also headed to Seoul and was to meet with Pompeo and his South Korean counterpart.

We still don't know whether North Korea has made a strategic commitment to abandon its nuclear weapons and associated weapons production capabilities, or whether this is a step calculated to reduce worldwide pressure on the DPRK, to weaken the security relationship between the USA and its north Asian allies, and to create some strategic space for Pyongyang.

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Sanders called to convey that "Trump was very pleased with the things that I've been saying about our country and about him", Rodman said.

Trump described his meeting with Kim as "an interesting and very positive experience" and said North Korea "has great potential for the future".

In a joint statement issued after their historic summit, Trump and Kim said they agreed to improve their countries' relationship, a move that would inevitably require a formal end to the Korean War, in which almost half a million American troops fought with their South Korean allies.

After years of building a friendship with Kim through multiple visits to Pyongyang and their shared love of basketball, Rodman suggested that he played a supporting role in laying the groundwork that ultimately led to the summit by bringing "awareness" to North Korea.

The Pentagon said Tuesday it was consulting with the White House and others, but was silent on whether the August exercise would proceed.

During a Fox News interview on Wednesday morning, Sen. Any hint of a US pullout in the region will prompt serious concerns in Japan. In June, the North Korean government sent Otto Warmbier home as a humanitarian gesture.

"Apparently, Washington and Pyongyang are moving exactly in this direction", Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told reporters in Moscow.

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