Singapore Offers to Pick up Kim Jong-un's Bills

Joann Johnston
June 14, 2018

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (left) meets with Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the Istana presidential palace in Singapore on Sunday.

"We'll be verifying", the president remarked in a rare, extended news conference after the summit.

Trump was also optimistic about the progress they achieved, stating, "We are going to take care of a very big and very risky problem for the world".

Just over half of all Americans say they approve of how President Donald Trump has handled North Korea, but only a quarter think that his summit this week with Kim Jong Un will lead to the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, according to a Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll released on Wednesday.

The argument also allows Trump's political allies and supporters in conservative media to claim ahead of the midterm elections that the President has engineered a triumph overseas that was beyond all his predecessors and has made America and the world much safer.

Pompeo noted that the agreement's specifics needed to be reached, but that the goal of the agreement was in print and signed by Trump and Kim.

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Rodong Sinmun, North Korea's state newspaper, shows unfiltered images Kim Jong Un in Singapore.

North Korea typically heavily censors its local and foreign content, with events often not being reported until several days after, if at all. Mr. Trump also claimed Kim told him North Korea has destroyed a "major" missile testing site, although he didn't expand on that.

The decision to publish extensive coverage of the summit seems to reflect North Korea's desire to portray itself to citizens as a player on the global stage, and is considered by some to be a propaganda coup.

By claiming that the North Korean nuclear threat has disappeared, Trump also risks weakening the U.S. negotiating position in talks on denuclearization that were mandated by the summit and will be led from the USA side by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

The welcome from Japan was conspicuously less effusive than from other countries, with Tokyo under direct threat from North Korean missiles and reliant on the U.S. for its defence. Ultimately, in the short term, at least while diplomacy continues, Trump's tweets seem to indicate he is ready to live with the fact that North Korea has nuclear weapons and potentially the capacity to fire them at the United States, in an implicit erosion of the USA strategic position.

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