N. Korea no longer a nuclear threat: Trump

Times Colonist - - World -

WASHINGTON — Amer­ica and the world can “sleep well tonight,” U.S. Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump de­clared on Wed­nes­day, boast­ing that his sum­mit with Kim Jong Un had ended any nuclear threat from North Korea though the meet­ing pro­duced no de­tails on how or when weapons might be elim­i­nated or even re­duced.

While Trump claimed a his­toric break­through at the most sig­nif­i­cant diplo­matic event of his pres­i­dency, Sec­re­tary of State Mike Pom­peo, was more mea­sured. He said the U.S. wants North Korea to take “ma­jor” nuclear dis­ar­ma­ment steps within the next two years — be­fore the end of Trump’s first term in 2021.

Pom­peo also cau­tioned that the U.S. would re­sume “war games” with close ally South Korea if the North stops ne­go­ti­at­ing in good faith. The pres­i­dent had an­nounced a halt to the drills af­ter his meet­ing with Kim on Tues­day, a con­ces­sion long sought by Pyongyang.

The sum­mit in Sin­ga­pore did mark a re­duc­tion in ten­sions — a sea change from last fall, when North Korea was con­duct­ing nuclear and mis­sile tests, and Trump and Kim were trad­ing threats and in­sults that stoked fears of war. Kim is promis­ing to work to­ward a de­nu­cle­arized Korean Penin­sula.

But the de­tails of what is sure to be a com­plex and con­tentious process have yet to be set­tled.

De­spite the un­cer­tain­ties, Trump talked up the out­come of what was the first meet­ing be­tween a U.S. and North Korean leader in six decades of hos­til­ity. The Korean War ended in 1953 with­out a peace treaty, leav­ing the two sides in a technical state of war.

“Just landed — a long trip, but ev­ery­body can now feel much safer than the day I took office,” Trump tweeted early Wed­nes­day. “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!”

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