US agreed to ‘al­ter’ armistice – Pom­peo

Marlborough Express - - FRONT PAGE -

Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump has agreed to ‘‘al­ter’’ the 1953 armistice halt­ing the Korean War if North Korea gives up its nu­clear weapons, Sec­re­tary of State Mike Pom­peo said, re­veal­ing an ap­par­ent prom­ise from Trump’s sum­mit with Kim Jong Un that wasn’t an­nounced at the time.

‘‘He has made very clear his com­mit­ment to fully de­nu­cle­arise his coun­try,’’ Pom­peo said of the North Korean leader dur­ing a speech at the Detroit Eco­nomic Club yes­ter­day. ‘‘In re­turn for that, the pres­i­dent has com­mit­ted to mak­ing sure that we al­ter the armistice agree­ment, pro­vide the se­cu­rity as­sur­ances that Chair­man Kim needs.’’

Be­fore the June 12 sum­mit, Trump raised the pos­si­bil­ity that a for­mal peace treaty end­ing the Korean War of 1950-1953 could be one out­come of his meet­ing with Kim. But the joint state­ment the pair signed made no such prom­ise. In­stead, it said only that the US and North Korea would ‘‘join their ef­forts to build a last­ing and sta­ble peace regime on the Korean Penin­sula.’’

Asked about Pom­peo’s com­ment, a Na­tional Se­cu­rity Coun­cil of­fi­cial, who asked not to be iden­ti­fied speak­ing about pri­vate de­lib­er­a­tions, de­clined to con­firm what Pom­peo said. The of­fi­cial said only that the two sides had com­mit­ted to the build­ing of a peace mech­a­nism whose even­tual goal would be to re­place the armistice.

It wasn’t the first time the ad­min­is­tra­tion dis­closed a US com­mit­ment from the sum­mit that wasn’t cited in the fi­nal doc­u­ment.

Hours af­ter meet­ing Kim in Sin­ga­pore, Trump told re­porters the US would sus­pend mil­i­tary ex­er­cises with South Korea as long as North Korea con­tin­ues down the path to­wards de­nu­cle­ari­sa­tion.

Trump was crit­i­cised for sus­pend­ing the ex­er­cises with­out a ma­jor con­ces­sion in re­turn. A prom­ise to al­ter the armistice raises ques­tions be­cause it’s not some­thing the US could do on its own: Any for­mal treaty would prob­a­bly need a sign-off from other na­tions, in­clud­ing China, and need rat­i­fi­ca­tion from the United Na­tions Se­cu­rity Coun­cil.

Trump hinted to re­porters af­ter the Sin­ga­pore sum­mit that the two sides had come to sev­eral agree­ments that weren’t men­tioned in the joint dec­la­ra­tion.

‘‘What we signed to­day was a lot of things in­cluded,’’ Trump said. ‘‘And then you have things that weren’t in­cluded that we got af­ter the deal was signed. I’ve done that be­fore in my life. And we didn’t put it in the agree­ment be­cause we didn’t have time.’’ – Bloomberg

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