North Korea Has Broad but Optimistic Reaction to Kim-Trump Summit

Sergio Conner
June 14, 2018

But a slushy "freeze-for-freeze"-with no decisive steps toward denuclearization-is precisely what President Trump has agreed to: a freeze of joint USA and South Korean military exercises in exchange for a continued freeze on North Korean nuclear and missile testing, accompanied by no concrete North Korean commitment to freeze further development of its nuclear and missile programs". North Korea wants the extended nuclear deterrence the United States offers South Korea included in any deal, while Washington sees the issue as the dismantling and removal of North Korea's nuclear weapons and facilities.

"I think it is very provocative".

Security experts warn that a reduction in U.S. military presence in East Asia would alter the balance of power in the region as China's engages in a rapid military build-up. The senator added that because of Trump's comments referring to the end of the exercises, "that's why I said there needs to be some clarification".

"The summit's joint statement simply heralded the start of working-level negotiations, where all key, complex issues will be discussed, including the timeline of the North's dismantlement, its verification and corresponding USA action".

South Korea's presidential office said Mr Pompeo will meet President Moon on Thursday morning to discuss President Trump's denuclearisation talks with Mr Kim. We need that to be taken care of.

There is now confusion in Seoul and Washington DC over whether large joint exercises in August, called Ulchi Freedom Guardian, will go ahead. When Trump tweeted that transgender USA citizens wouldn't be allowed to serve in the military, the Pentagon also had received no guidance.

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In the sudden rush of diplomacy involving North Korea, China has appeared to have the upper hand, hosting the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, twice before his long-anticipated Singapore summit meeting with President Trump even begins.

"Trump suspending joint drill between the USA and South Korea shows sincerity", said Lu Chao, an expert in North and South Korea relations at the Liaoning Academy of Social Science. The supreme leader, Trump said, was happy to accommodate the request.

Highlighting the continued differences in the two countries' views of the denuclearization process, the report also said that they had agreed on a "step-by-step" approach. "But that's not part of the equation right now", Trump said. In 2014, he "stormed out of the room" during military talks when the South demanded an apology for the 2010 attacks, said former South Korean military officials involved in the meeting.

It said that Kim and Trump had a candid exchange of views and in-depth discussion on establishing "new" bilateral relations and building a permanent and durable peace mechanism on the Korean Peninsula.

Mitchell Reiss, who served from 2003-2005 as the U.S. State Department's director of policy planning, said it is important to make such decisions hand-in-hand with South Korea.

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