Trump says sum­mit was a suc­cess

U.S. will sus­pend ‘war games’ with S. Korea

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel - - Front Page - David Jackson

SIN­GA­PORE – Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump on Tues­day de­clared the Kim Jong Un sum­mit a suc­cess that will lead to the de­nu­cle­ariza­tion of North Korea, even as crit­ics pointed out that their agree­ment lacks specifics and that Trump of­fered to cur­tail mil­i­tary sup­port for South Korea.

“To­day is the be­gin­ning of an ar­du­ous process – our eyes are wide open,” Trump said at a news con­fer­ence af­ter the meet­ing with the North Korea dic­ta­tor.

Trump also said he would not with­draw U.S. troops from South Korea as part of the agree­ment, though he would like to “get our sol­diers home” at some point. Trump also said the U.S. would stop “war games” mil­i­tary ex­er­cises with South Korea, say­ing they are too ex­pen­sive and “provoca­tive.”

While there will be “vig­or­ous ne­go­ti­a­tions” on de­nu­cle­ariza­tion, Trump said he be­lieves Kim is “very tal­ented” and will fol­low through on his pledge to dis­arm in ex­change for eco­nomic as­sis­tance. At an­other point, how­ever, Trump said “I may be wrong” about his new ne­go­ti­at­ing part­ner.

“We’ll prob­a­bly need an­other sum­mit,” Trump said dur­ing the news con­fer­ence that lasted more than an hour.

Trump spoke as nu­mer­ous for­eign pol­icy an­a­lysts pointed out that Trump-Kim agree­ment cites only in­ten­tions to de­nu­cle­arize, with no specifics about how to get that done. The agree­ment says noth­ing about ver­i­fi­ca­tion or in­spec­tion sys­tems to make sure North Korea ac­tu­ally gets rid of weapons.

“The sum­mit was heavy on pomp and cir­cum­stance and low on de­tails,” said Olivia Enos, pol­icy an­a­lyst with the Asian Stud­ies Cen­ter at The Her­itage Foundation in Washington.

The pledge on de­nu­cle­ariza­tion did not in­clude the U.S. de­mands for a “com­plete, ver­i­fi­able, ir­re­versible dis­man­tle­ment” of North Korea’s nuclear pro­grams, she pointed out.

“The prom­ise of fu­ture di­a­logue means it’s pos­si­ble to ham­mer out those de­tails go­ing for­ward, but com­mit­ments were lim­ited, gen­eral and un­spe­cific,” said Enos, who was in Sin­ga­pore for the sum­mit.

The gen­eral agree­ment also did not pro­vide specifics about what Kim means by “de­nu­cle­ariza­tion.” In the past, North Korea has said it re­quires the U.S. to pull back its own nuclear weapons sys­tems in the re­gion, as well as with­draw Amer­i­can troops from South Korea.

The agree­ment “is even thin­ner than most skep­tics an­tic­i­pated,” tweeted Robert E. Kelly, a po­lit­i­cal science pro­fes­sor at Pu­san Na­tional Univer­sity in South Korea.

Kelly said he fig­ured Trump would “at least get some mis­siles or a site clo­sure or some­thing concrete.”

Dur­ing his news con­fer­ence, Trump said that Kim told him he would soon de­stroy a nuclear test site. He again ex­pressed con­fi­dence that Kim would sur­ren­der his nuclear weapons in ex­change for eco­nomic as­sis­tance that would improve his coun­try’s standard of liv­ing.

Asked about Kim’s sin­cer­ity, Trump said no one can be cer­tain of any­thing, but “we’re go­ing to be cer­tain soon” about Kim’s in­ten­tions pur­suant to on­go­ing ne­go­ti­a­tions.

As the sum­mit wrapped up, ad­min­is­tra­tion of­fi­cials said they gave Kim and his aides a film out­lin­ing the choices fac­ing North Korea.

“There can only be two re­sults,” the film said: “One of mov­ing back and one of mov­ing for­ward” – and it il­lus­trated the “mov­ing back” op­tion with clips of mis­siles fir­ing.

Trump said his staff showed the film to Kim, and “I think he loves it.”

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