Published: Wed, June 13, 2018
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

Trump declares there is ‘no longer a nuclear threat from North Korea’

Trump declares there is ‘no longer a nuclear threat from North Korea’

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said Donald Trump offered to lift sanctions against his regime when they met Tuesday in Singapore, state media reported, a claim that contrasts with the us president's rhetoric that the economic strictures would remain.

"Just landed - a long trip, but everybody can now feel much safer than the day I took office".

Al Jazeera's Wayne Hay, reporting from Seoul, said that there is not much sign in the declaration from Kim "that he is willing to give up much, if not anything".

Any reduction in tensions on its doorstep is welcome for China, North Korea's closest ally, which accounts for around 90 percent of Pyongyang's trade.

In a blockbusting press conference after the summit, Trump said the United States would halt military exercises with Seoul - something long sought by Pyongyang, which claims the drills are a rehearsal for invasion.

Even as they offered measured praise for Mr Trump's diplomatic efforts, congressional Republicans have emphasised the hard road that remains and pressed for more details of what exactly the President agreed to with Kim.

Just hours after Kim Jong-un wrapped up a surprise evening sightseeing tour of Singapore on Monday, the North Korean newspaper Rodong Sinmun crammed its front page with photographs snapped of the reclusive leader.

Japan's defence chief said on Wednesday that the U.S. military presence in South Korea and joint military exercises were "vital" for East Asian security.

But he said that was no longer the case, and everyone can "sleep well tonight".

South Korean President Moon Jae-in spoke by phone with Mr Trump for 20 minutes late on Tuesday, but an official readout of the call made no mention of military exercises, according to Reuters news agency. Kim, for his part, said the leaders had "decided to leave the past behind" and promised, "The world will see a major change". No details of what those steps would be were given.

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The North's media also said that ridding the Korean Peninsula of nuclear weapons is dependent on Washington and Pyongyang ceasing moves that antagonise each other.

"In coordination with our ROK (Republic of Korea) partners, we will continue with our current military posture until we receive updated guidance from the Department of Defence (DoD) and/or Indo-Pacific Command (INDOPACOM)".

In addition to his one-on-one with Trump, Kim also impressed observers in "four-by-four" talks, enlisting former spy chief Kim Yong-chol, Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho and vice-chairman of the Workers' Party of Korea Ri Su-yong for discussions.

Trump's signature, which Leong said looked like "arrows or skyscrapers", points to people who "tend to wear a mask to hide their true nature".

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo left Singapore on Wednesday on his way to Seoul, where he planned to meet privately in the evening with Gen. Vincent Brooks, commander of U.S. Forces Korea. "We have no intention of changing our joint drills with the U.S.", he said.

While Mr Trump has confirmed Mr Kim has agreed to work toward complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula, it was only briefly referenced twice in the article. "My meeting with Chairman Kim was honest, direct and productive".

Video of the dining room incident has gone viral, and it's not the first time Trump has taken aim at the North Korean leader's weight.

The signed document includes a pledge from Mr Kim to rid the Korean peninsula of nuclear weapons. "I think he's going to start now", he said.

He cited American college student Otto Warmbier, who was arrested by North Korean authorities in 2016 and died a year ago after being repatriated to the United States with severe brain damage.

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