Singapore agreement will end Cold War, S. Korea president says

Jermaine Castillo
June 13, 2018

His statement follows a report from the New York Times, which criticized the White House for lacking a scientific advisory team.

Pentagon officials scrambled for a clear message on Tuesday about the U.S. military presence in South Korea, after President Donald Trump vowed at his summit with the North's leader Kim Jong Un to cancel "provocative" joint drills.

US President Donald Trump's abrupt announcement in Singapore on Tuesday that he will suspend US military drills in South Korea appeared to catch both the Pentagon and the Seoul government flat-footed, and it contradicted a pillar of US Defence Secretary James Mattis's campaign to make US troops more combat-ready.

Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un had a one-on-one in Singapore today.

Later in the day, Trump is reportedly set to give his first post-summit interview at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa Island to Fox News' Sean Hannity, a leading Trump booster, who is in Singapore covering the summit.

It's also unclear if and when the USA will lift sanctions on Pyongyang, which has gone back on vows to denuclearize before. Trump gave no further details, but previous statements demanded that North Korean effectively eliminate its nuclear program before any US concessions can be considered. Speaking at a news conference after the summit, he called the military drills "tremendously expensive". "Trump delivered it while getting nothing in return beyond the same generalities that North Korea has been offering since the early 1990s". "We'll check it very strongly", he told reporters on Air Force One.

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After a banner year of testing bombs and ballistic missiles, he said, Kim Jong Un saw it as "the flawless time to change the tune to a happier, romantic melody and get the U.S. to ease off, relax sanctions, so he can buy more time and money with which to further advance his missile and nuclear capabilities, while coming across as a reasonable, reform-minded leader".

US Forces Korea (USFK), which comprises about 28 500 troops permanently based in South Korea, received no immediate new guidance on upcoming joint training exercises, including so-called Ulchi Freedom Guardian scheduled for later this year.

"I don't think that's wise", said Sen.

At the end of the historic summit, Trump and Kim signed a joint statement to put in writing the commitment to a denuclearized and peaceful Korean Peninsula.

Beijing has key strategic interests when it comes to North Korea, and has long feared that a collapse of its isolated neighbour could push waves of refugees into northeastern China, or that nuclear war on the Korean peninsula could contaminate swathes of the country.

If the showy drills do end, it would be a concession on the part of the president to Kim.

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Trump added that the United States has "done exercises with South Korea for a long time", but that it would be "inappropriate" to continue while hammering out details to their deal.

Nam Sung-wook at Korea University said, "With the latest agreement, we can kiss goodbye to the prospect of North Korean denuclearization".

This would require at some point moving the US-North Korean negotiations from a bilateral format for the talks to a multilateral framework, Stoffer noted.

Chung Lee, who is owner of Kim's Korean Restaurant in Spokane, moved to the USA from South Korea more than 35 years ago.

Tokyo officially recognizes 17 people as having been abducted by North Korea in the 1970s and 1980s.

China, North Korea's main ally, accounts for more than 90 percent of the isolated country's trade, and China's participation is widely seen as crucial for global sanctions to have any bite. "I call them war games", he said.

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