Sunday, 18 November, 2018

North Korea: Trump has agreed to step-by-step denuclearization

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Melinda Barton | 13 June, 2018, 07:37

The U.S. Forces Korea (USFK) said Tuesday that it had received "no updated guidance" yet related to the regular exercises with South Korea that President Donald Trump said he will stop.

Following the unprecedented meeting in Singapore, Trump stunned observers when he said continuing the exercises routinely held between the US and South Korea would be "inappropriate" while Washington fleshes out a comprehensive deal with Pyongyang.

"Plus, I think it's very provocative", he noted, adding that "at some point" he wanted to withdraw U.S. troops from the South.

Tuesday saw Trump describe Kim as "a very talented man" and say he had "developed a very special bond" with the DPRK leader.

"I want to bring our soldiers back home", he said.

North Korea first started operating a small reactor tailored for making weapons-grade plutonium in 1986.

Still, after the summit, Trump applauded the North Korean leader and said the people "love" Kim, regardless of Trump's previous remarks denouncing the regime's purported human rights abuses.

Nan, a senior official at the South Korean presidential office, said he believed Pyongyang and Washington could "develop confidence in resolving any issues through follow-up measures".

Meanwhile at the Pentagon, officials ducked in and out of meetings to discuss what would amount to an epic shift in how the USA military has been postured in South Korea for decades.

U.S. President Donald Trump's declaration on Tuesday that he meant to end joint military exercises in Korea seemed to be news to both South Korean and U.S. military officials.

Since the 1970s, the United States and South Korea have held a major summertime exercise called Ulchi Freedom Guardian that involves tens of thousands of troops.

If the country did something "very bad and very threatening and disgusting", then past presidents wouldn't react, Trump commented during the interview that followed his Singapore summit with Kim.

Nam said Seoul welcomed the news that President Trump had "sufficiently expressed" his trust in Kim. "So I think it's probably well for everybody to maintain a healthy skepticism until we see those actions taken".

Senator Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) on Tuesday claimed that Pence promised to continue conducting "readiness training and training exchanges", despite Trump's pledge to end military drills in the region.

Trump speaks to Kim as the pair prepare to begin their closed-door talks.

"The Singapore summit statement is essentially aspirational: no definitions of denuclearization, no timelines, no details as to verification", Haass said on Twitter.

Still, he credited the summit for starting a diplomatic process between North Korea and the United States.