Wednesday, 24 October, 2018

Trump administration insists agreement means North Korea will denuclearize

President Donald Trump meets with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Sentosa Island Tuesday President Donald Trump meets with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Sentosa Island Tuesday
Lisa Bryan | 15 June, 2018, 02:43

The statement came despite the lack of concrete proof that North Korea will discontinue its nuclear program. But the whole business of "denuclearization" is a misnomer because they want us to withdraw our nuclear forces from the region, B-52s, B-1 bombers from Guam, and Trident nuclear submarines, all of that has to presumably be reoriented away from the Korean Peninsula.

Pompeo was briefing North Asian leaders on the summit, meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae-in before heading to Beijing to talk with Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平).

"When you take over a country, a tough country, tough people and you take it over from your father - I don't care who you are, what you are, how much of an advantage you have - if you can do that at 27 years old, that's one in 10,000 that could do that", Trump said. "North Korea has great potential for the future!"

Harry Harris, the retired Navy admiral and former commander of USA forces throughout the Pacific, said Thursday he believes the North's nuclear weapons still pose a threat, but he endorsed Trump's decision to suspend US military exercises. Several Japanese media outlets said Kim had expressed a readiness to meet Abe when he held a summit with Trump.

It fired a few barrages against hard-line comments by U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and National Security Adviser John Bolton and has stood ever critical of "capitalist values", but has kept direct references to Trump to a minimum.

Mr Trump unilaterally announced on Tuesday the U.S. would be stopping the joint exercises that the North deems as a rehearsal for invasion, "as long as we're negotiating in good faith".

At a building on the northern side of Panmunjom, the South Korean officials were greeted by a North Korean delegation led by Lt Gen An Ik San, who joked that he was "very jealous" of the major general who he thought was probably the first Korean soldier to cross the military demarcation line that bisects the Koreas by foot and while wearing a uniform.

President Donald Trump meets with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Sentosa Island Tuesday
President Donald Trump meets with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Sentosa Island Tuesday

"The No. 1 problem with this, geopolitically, is that it suggests to our allies that we are just incompetent, that we don't recognize the threat", Green said.

North Korea has previously pledged to denuclearize, only to expand its arsenal of nuclear weapons and test missiles that could reach the United States.

Without mentioning that South Korea and Japan were not consulted before Trump suspended drills, Harris said such decisions should not be taken unilaterally.

"Making unnecessary and unreciprocated concessions is not in our interests - and it is a bad negotiating tactic", McCain said.

The US and South Korea were also discussing a suspension of the Ulchi Freedom Guardian exercises scheduled for August, South Korea's MoneyToday reported yesterday, citing an unidentified defense official.

"If North Korea implements denuclearisation measures and continues to have honest dialogue with South Korea and the United States to ease hostile relations, we need a flexible change in our military stance against North Korea in accordance with the spirit of building mutual trust as agreed in the Panmunjom Declaration", he said.

In Wormuth's view, Trump's stated concern about the cost of such exercises, combined with his talk of eventually bringing all USA troops home from South Korea, is likely to create doubt in Seoul and Tokyo about American steadfastness.


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