Published: Thu, June 14, 2018

Trump heaps praise on 'tough guy' Kim Jong Un

Trump heaps praise on 'tough guy' Kim Jong Un

Pompeo did not want to outline a timeline for denuclearization, though both he and President Trump have called for "rapid" denuclearization in the past.

When asked why the words "verifiable" and "irreversible" weren't included in the statement - words that form part of a State Department policy of "complete, verifiable, irreversible denuclearization", or CVID, before lifting sanctions on North Korea - Pompeo said, "I find that question insulting and ridiculous and frankly ludicrous".

North Korean state media on Tuesday said Trump had agreed to "step-by-step and simultaneous action" to achieve denuclearization, South Korea's Yonhap news agency reports, leading some to believe that sanctions could be lifted in phases. He insisted that Trump had been explicit about the sequencing from the start. "Great progress was made on the denuclearization of North Korea".

"Only then will there be relief from the sanctions", he added.

In his post-summit press conference, Trump made the surprise announcement that the USA would halt joint military exercises with its security ally Seoul - a concession Pyongyang has sought for decades.

"Pyongyang will read this as a concession that its nuclear and missile advancements purchased weaker language on denuclearization, " Mount said. Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono is also heading to Seoul and is due to meet with Pompeo and his South Korean counterpart.

"It's a game. And one ought not play games with serious matters like this", Pompeo said.

The summit statement provided no details on when North Korea would give up its nuclear weapons program or how the dismantling might be verified.

When his son, Kim Jong Il, died in 2011, it was Ri - clad in black funeral clothes and her voice quavering - who delivered the news to North Koreans.

Greeting the South Korean delegation, An, the North's top delegate, joked that Kim would be recorded as the first person in uniform who has crossed the military demarcation line that divides the two Koreas. The Korean War ended in 1953 without a peace treaty, leaving the two sides in a technical state of war.

"Everybody can now feel much safer than the day I took office", Trump tweeted.

Through a translator, North Korea's leader summed up the surreal nature of the meeting, telling the United States president that those watching around the world might see it as "a science fiction movie".

The likelihood of Kim Jong Un launching a first strike against the USA, thereby bringing on "fire and fury", was low.

"Not all of that work appeared in the final document", said Pompeo, who travelled to South Korea after the Singapore summit to brief officials there on the outcome. He said negotiations would recommence "in the next week or so". There is speculation that some North Korean officials could've dropped by Beijing to deliver the summit results to China.

And after Trump made a fat joke and showed Kim the inside of his limo, they signed their "historish agreement", he said.

Irrelevant, Pompeo argued Thursday in Seoul, noting that because the deal makes reference to a previous agreement that did include verification, it automatically "incorporates" verification without having to state it outright.

Trump, seemingly unprompted, has long wanted to withdraw the US from South Korea, and now he may have found a reason. The president also said the he trusts Kim will follow through, but won't admit if he got it wrong.

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Pompeo said Trump was alluding to the fact that it was the first time a sitting USA president had met with Kim, adding that both leaders had a "blunt conversation" about the need for the communist state to rejoin the world community. The next military exercise is scheduled for August, and in years past, has drawn thousands of troops from the U.S., South Korea and other countries.

Independent experts say the North could have enough fissile material for between about a dozen and 60 nuclear bombs.

The exact terms of that agreement remain unclear.

North Korea is believed to possess more than 50 nuclear warheads, with its atomic program spread across more than 100 sites constructed over decades to evade global inspections.

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