ibusinesslines.com August 18, 2018

Trump says North Korea no longer a nuclear threat

13 June 2018, 09:40 | Kelvin Horton

Trump says Kim 'trusts me, and I trust him'

US offers 'unique' guarantees to North Korea on eve of summit

Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un pledged, in the first ever meeting between leaders of the long-time foes, to work toward complete denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula while Washington committed to providing security guarantees.

"I feel that Kim Jong Un wants to do something great for his people", Trump said at a press conference in Canada before departing the G-7 summit for Singapore.

Trump shocked US allies by declaring he would call off annual US-South Korea military drills, in exchange for a vague promise from Kim to denuclearize someday.

FILE PHOTO: North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un listens to U.S. President Donald Trump as they meet in a one-on-one bilateral session at the start of their summit on the resort island of Sentosa, Singapore June 12, 2018.

Trump also said he hopes the thaw in relations with North Korea will eventually allow him to withdraw US troops from the peninsula.

Trump's Twitter storyline, however, went like this: "Before taking office people were assuming that we were going to War with North Korea". "President (Barack) Obama said that North Korea was our biggest and most unsafe problem".

But he said that was no longer the case, and everyone can "sleep well tonight". It's unclear whether the president informed US allies in the region of his plan to end the "war games", as he called them, prior to his declaration. There are still few details about Trump's decision to suspend United States "war games" in South Korea, which could fuel discussion about a weakening of the alliance.

But there was no mentioning the previous US aim of "complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization".

Victor Cha, a former United States pointman on North Korea, said in an opinion piece in the New York Times: "Despite its many flaws, the Singapore summit represents the start of a diplomatic process that takes us away from the brink of war".

In his post-summit press conference, Trump made the surprise announcement that the U.S. would halt joint military exercises with its security ally Seoul something long sought by Pyongyang, which claims the drills are a rehearsal for invasion.

Trump, seemingly unprompted, has long wanted to withdraw the US from South Korea, and now he may have found a reason.

"But that's not part of the equation right now", Trump said.

The summit's joint declaration said that Pompeo and North Korean officials would hold further talks "at the earliest possible date".

Japan's Minister of Defence Itsunori Onodera told reporters Wednesday that joint military exercises were "vital" for East Asian security and hence should not be suspended.

A North Korea expert with inside knowledge of the Trump administration agreed Tuesday that Trump had taken us back from the brink of war. -South Korean drills was met with concern. -South Korea joint military exercises that take place every year.

Without drills, the U.S. forces in South Korea will wither, and if peace talks continue, the very rationale for them will erode as well. He said he planned to continue sharing the view with Washington and Seoul.

"At this point, we need to find out the precise meaning or intentions of President Trump's remarks", a Blue House spokesman said.

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