How anti-Trump hysteria helps the president on North Korea

How anti-Trump hysteria helps the president on North Korea

North Korean state media heralded the summit between Kim Jong Un and President Trump as "the meeting of the century" and emphasized Trump's announcement to end the "war games" with South Korea, according to reports.

The issue of North Korea's abysmal human rights record, which Trump said he and Kim touched on during their summit, is also left to be addressed in a more formal way. Despite those efforts, Trump announced after the summit that he had agreed to suspend USA military drills with South Korea, something North Korea has long demanded.

President Donald Trump walks with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Sentosa Island, Tuesday, June 12, 2018, in Singapore.

Trump and Kim met in Singapore on Tuesday and reached a short agreement that reaffirmed the North's commitment to "work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula", but provided no details on when Pyongyang would give up nuclear arms or how that might be verified.

"We had a historic meeting and chose to leave the past behind", Kim said as he and Trump signed the joint statement, adding, "The world will see a major change".

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

"In coordination with our ROK [South Korean] partners, we will continue with our current military posture until we receive updated guidance from the Department of Defense and/or Indo-Pacific Command", the U.S. Forces-Korea statement said.

President Donald Trump said afterwards that sanctions would remain in place for now, but would be lifted once "nukes are no longer a factor". "We're hopeful that we can achieve that in the two and half years". But Lu Chao, an expert on North Korea at the Liaoning Academy of Social Sciences in northeast China's Shenyang city, says the guarantees are probably "a repeat of previous USA statements that it does not seek to overthrow the current regime in North Korea".

Under the deal, the North retains its nuclear warheads, the missiles to launch them and has not agreed to any specific process to get rid of them.

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Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe spoke to Donald Trump after the summit, saying there was "great meaning in Chairman Kim's clearly confirming to President Trump the complete denuclearisation".

Trump took to Twitter on Wednesday to slam the media for its insistence that the United States gave up too much in its deal with Kim.

"Under the circumstances that we're negotiating a very comprehensive complete deal, I think it's inappropriate to have war games", Trump said of the joint military exercises that for decades have bolstered USA and South Korean readiness.

How will this change relations between the USA and South Korea, particularly the presence of U.S. troops? "They are not 'war games", tweeted former ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul, "That's what our enemies call them". He met for almost an hour at the air base with Gen. Vincent Brooks, commander of U.S. Forces Korea, before heading by motorcade to Seoul.

Rocky Kim, 38, fled North Korea in his early 20s in 2003, and made his way to Canada, where he now runs a heating and ventilation company in Toronto.

Trump also talked about real estate development opportunities in the DPRK.

Pompeo will meet President Moon Jae-in on Thursday morning to discuss the summit. And why wasn't the South Korean president invited?

He also announced an unexpected end to US-South Korea military drills.

Pompeo, speaking to reporters in Seoul on Wednesday, sought to quell criticism that North Korea didn't make any major commitments at the summit in Singapore.

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