Trump says North Korea no longer nu­clear threat

Iran Daily - - Front Page -

North Korea no longer poses a nu­clear threat, nor is it the “big­gest and most dan­ger­ous prob­lem” for the United States, Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump said on Wed­nes­day on his re­turn from a sum­mit in Sin­ga­pore with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

The sum­mit was the first be­tween a sitting US pres­i­dent and a North Korean leader and fol­lowed a flurry of North Korean nu­clear and mis­sile tests and an­gry ex­changes be­tween Trump and Kim last year that fu­eled fears of war, Reuters re­ported.

“Ev­ery­body can now feel much safer than the day I took of­fice,” Trump said on Twit­ter.

“There is no longer a nu­clear threat from North Korea. Meet­ing with Kim Jong-un was an in­ter­est­ing and very pos­i­tive ex­pe­ri­ence. North Korea has great po­ten­tial for the fu­ture!”

On Tues­day, Trump told a news con­fer­ence af­ter the sum­mit that he would like to lift sanc­tions against the North but that this would not hap­pen im­me­di­ately.

North Korean state media lauded the sum­mit as a re­sound­ing suc­cess, say­ing Trump ex­pressed his in­ten­tion to halt Us-south Korea mil­i­tary ex­er­cises, of­fer se­cu­rity guar­an­tees to the North and lift sanc­tions against it as re­la­tions im­prove.

Kim and Trump in­vited each other to their re­spec­tive coun­tries and both lead­ers “gladly ac­cepted,” the North’s Korean Cen­tral News Agency (KCNA) said.

“Kim Jong-un and Trump had the shared recog­ni­tion to the ef­fect that it is im­por­tant to abide by the prin­ci­ple of step-by-step and si­mul­ta­ne­ous ac­tion in achiev­ing peace, sta­bil­ity and de­nu­cle­ariza­tion of the Korean Penin­sula,” KCNA said.

Trump said the United States would stop mil­i­tary ex­er­cises with South Korea while North Korea ne­go­ti­ated on de­nu­cle­ariza­tion.

“We save a for­tune by not do­ing war games, as long as we are ne­go­ti­at­ing in good faith – which both sides are!” he said on Twit­ter.

US Repub­li­can Sen­a­tor Lind­sey Gra­ham said Trump’s rea­son­ing for halt­ing the ex­er­cises was “ridicu­lous”.

The United States main­tains about 28,500 sol­diers in South Korea, which re­mains in a tech­ni­cal state of war with the North af­ter the 1950-53 Korean War ended in a truce not a peace treaty.

Trump’s an­nounce­ment on the ex­er­cises was a sur­prise even to South Korea’s Pres­i­dent Moon Jae-in, who has worked in re­cent months to help bring about the Trump-kim sum­mit.

Asked about Trump’s com­ments, South Korean pres­i­den­tial spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom told re­porters there was a need to seek mea­sures that would help im­prove en­gage­ment with North Korea but it was also nec­es­sary to con­firm ex­actly what Trump had meant.

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