Sunday, 18 November, 2018

Trump ‘can’t jump ahead’ in North Korea negotiations: Leon Panetta

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un visits the Marina Bay Sands hotel in Singapore on Monday North Korean leader Kim Jong-un visits the Marina Bay Sands hotel in Singapore on Monday
Melinda Barton | 13 June, 2018, 19:40

South Korean President Moon Jae In yesterday hailed the outcome of the summit between President Donald Trump and the North's leader Kim Jong Un as a "historic event" that ended the last Cold War conflict.

At the conclusion of the historic summit, Mr. Trump said he'll freeze so-called "war games" with South Korea as negotiations with Mr. Kim continue.

Joint military exercises between US and South Korean troops have long angered Pyongyang.

Joining Gov. Richardson to represent the North Korean side was Ambassador Joseph DeTrani - who, in real life, served as Special Envoy to North Korea for the six-party talks starting in 2003. "He had a lot to do with us being here today", said Trump.

"I can only say that this once again proves that China's initiative is reasonable and feasible, not only in the interest of all parties, but also in addressing the most urgent security concerns of all parties", he said.

"We would like to seek an understanding of this between Japan, the US and South Korea", Japan's defence minister, Itsunori Onodera, said. "I support this as a first step to the comprehensive resolution of issues concerning North Korea".

President Donald Trump met North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore on Tuesday, issuing a joint statement afterward that reaffirmed the North's commitment to "work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula" and gave USA guarantees of security to North Korea.

It also did not mention points raised later by Mr Trump around the abduction of Japanese citizens, human rights abuses or the withdrawal of United States troops.

At the conclusion of the summit, held on Tuesday in Singapore, the two leaders issued a joint statement pledging to establish new relations, build a peace regime on the Korean Peninsula, and committing to the recovery and repatriation of the remains of American prisoners of war and soldiers missing in action in North Korea. The North has said that it wants a phased approach in dismantling its nuclear weapons program.

When asked to clarify Pence's message on whether the joint military exercises would continue, Gardner, who leads a Senate panel overseeing policy toward North Korea, responded: "I think there are certain exercises that will continue, yes".

Meeting with Kim Jong Un was an interesting and very positive experience.

Since the end of the Korean war, when Washington fought alongside Seoul against the North, the U.S. has had troops stationed in South Korea. If U.S. troops in South Korea were to really halt military exercises, he says, it could cause allies to lose confidence in Washington and undermine the entire U.S. military presence in Asia.

But on Tuesday morning Pentagon officials said they're still awaiting more detail from the White House.

"I don't know exactly what the timing will be for our next conversation with the North Koreans", Pompeo said.