Tuesday, 18 September, 2018

The deal is what Donald Trump does

Patty Aguilar | 13 June, 2018, 22:32

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

However, the credibility of that claim is in doubt.

Conservative House Republicans were unrepentant in their praise for the president for engaging with North Korea, a sharp reversal from many of their views on similar negotiations between President Barack Obama's Secretary of State John Kerry and Iran. 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. Jung said Trump led the group to believe that he would confront the leadership in Pyongyang about the widespread abuses in the country. 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.

The conservative Chosun Ilbo, the country's biggest paper, was decidedly more critical, denouncing Trump for offering the end of military drills while failing to convince the North to commit to verifiably giving up its nukes for good. "The most important, hard part of this security issue is for the USA and North Korea to sit down to find a way to resolution via equal talks", Wang said.

Pyongyang also confirmed Trump's declaration on Tuesday that the U.S. would halt joint military drills with South Korea.

"Before taking office people were assuming that we were going to War with North Korea".

What does the deal lack?

North Korea could begin giving up its weapons today if it wanted to, but it instead has insisted on staging performances of denuclearization rather than on inviting global inspectors to verify its progress.

The Trump administration has called for complete, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearization (CVID) on the Korean Peninsula, while Tuesday's joint statement mentioned only of a commitment "to work towards complete denuclearization".

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Media captionTrump Kim summit: Win-win, or a Kim win?

Even as Washington agreed to suspend joint USA and South Korean military exercises as the country pursues peace with North Korea and the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, Seoul is modernizing its military and purchasing new missiles and fighter aircraft.

Annual military drills between the US and South Korea have been a major source of tension on the Korean Peninsula. "I mean, I may stand before you in six months and say, 'Hey, I was wrong.' I don't know that I'll ever admit that, but I'll find some kind of an excuse".

How has the deal been received?

Following the summit, Trump told reporters during a news conference in Singapore that Kim agreed to "destroying a major missile engine testing site" and that it would be done "very soon", without elaborating further on which testing site or timing.

Tokyo also, however, cautioned that despite Pyongyang's pledge for denuclearisation no concrete steps had been taken and that Japan would not let down its guard.

"Following this historic summit, I remain skeptical but hopeful that this new dialogue can translate into meaningful progress", Portman said in a statement.

On the idea of Trump working with a "homicidal boy-king", the host threw to a clip of the president saying "I'm given what I'm given", to which Colbert added, "He's given what he's given, okay?" Also, by letting North Korea dictate what the USA military does, Trump sends the United States down a slippery slope.

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