Wednesday, 15 August, 2018

Half of Americans approve of Trump's handling of North Korea - Reuters/Ipsos poll

Kim-Trump summit: Where does it leave the main players? Half of Americans approve of Trump's handling of North Korea - Reuters/Ipsos poll
Russell Knight | 13 June, 2018, 21:40

"Just landed - a long trip, but everybody can now feel much safer than the day I took office".

The country's defence minister, Itsunori Onodera, said drills and the USA military presence in South Korea were "vital to security in East Asia".

U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un walk in the Capella Hotel after their working lunch, on Sentosa island in Singapore June 12, 2018.

Trump's announcement also appeared to surprise both the United States and South Korean militaries, who said they hadn't received any instruction to cease the joint military drills, including the Ulchi Freedom Guardian exercises scheduled to take place this fall. President Obama said that North Korea was our biggest and most risky problem. "No longer - sleep well tonight!" the President wrote.

Almost an hour later, noted the "fortune" the US will save as a result of his commitment to end U.S.

The meeting, long sought by Pyongyang, will be the first ever between a serving United States president and a North Korean leader, and will focus on the nuclear bombs and ballistic missiles the North has spent decades developing.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo offered a clearer statement on the eve of the summit, saying sanctions would remain in place until Pyongyang delivered "CVID" - meaning complete, verifiable, irreversible denuclearization.

Several topics were discussed Tuesday during Trump and Kim's summit, including the "complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula." Bob Corker, R-Tenn., said, adding that the Trump-Kim agreement is nothing more than a "few sentences on a sheet of paper" that were "very aspirational".

Trump's chest-thumping tweets seemed reminiscent of the "Mission Accomplished" banner flown behind President George W. Bush in 2003 when he spoke aboard a Navy ship following the US invasion of Iraq.

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During his talk with Hannity, Trump said his inflammatory rhetoric helped spur this new meeting.

"In coordination with our ROK (Republic of Korea) partners, we will continue with our current military posture until we receive updated guidance from the Department of Defence (DoD) and/or Indo-Pacific Command (INDOPACOM)".

The move, long requested by Pyongyang, has been seen as a major concession to North Korea and has left one former South Korean military leader "speechless".

Many lawmakers from both parties, while unready to declare the summit a diplomatic victory or defeat, remained skeptical the USA could successfully negotiate a deal toward peace with Kim - but are letting the process play out.

North and South are also likely to renew their push towards a declaration that the 1950-53 Korean war is over, after fighting stopped in an armistice rather than a peace treaty. Pompeo told reporters that the language used in the document encompassed those demands, even though they weren't spelled out. In agreeing to the summit, Trump risked granting Kim his long-sought recognition on the world stage in hopes of ending the North's nuclear program. "Plus, I think it's very provocative".

Trump, going above and beyond the statement on paper, promised to halt joint military drills with South Korea.

There are usually two sets of exercises every year, in spring and autumn, involving a massive number of troops and military hardware. A flurry of media coverage the day Kim arrived in Singapore showed him waving from the door of the specially chartered Air China flight that brought him from Pyongyang.

But others said it's a great step forward for peace.

After a day filled with smiles and handshakes watched around the world, the U.S. "committed to provide security guarantees" to North Korea.

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