Trump's comments back United States report of razed N. Korea test site

Trump's comments back United States report of razed N. Korea test site

Though the leaders mentioned in a joint statement the need for the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, the wording is ominously vague and, it could be argued, doesn't go any further than the North's previous promises.

Jae-in issued a statement after the summit calling it a "huge step forward" toward peace that "helped break down the last remaining Cold War legacy on Earth".

Even as Pompeo staunchly defended the summit results, he was less exuberant than Trump, who tweeted on his return to the USA on Monday morning: "Just landed - a long trip, but everybody can now feel much safer than the day I took office".

Provocative nuclear and missile tests by North Korea a year ago initially gave Jae-in little diplomatic room to maneuver. "It's because North Korea has been belligerent", said Kim Taewoo, former president of the Korea Institute for National Unification in Seoul.

North Korea still has nuclear weapons.

North Korean state media broke form and featured photos of leader Kim Jong Un walking around Singapore and meeting with President Donald Trump in their latest editions. But Lu Chao, an expert on North Korea at the Liaoning Academy of Social Sciences in northeast China's Shenyang city, says the guarantees are probably "a repeat of previous US statements that it does not seek to overthrow the current regime in North Korea".

Right up until Kim's arrival, North Korea, which may have wanted the meeting even more than Trump, had been palpably nervous. The remains are going to come back. To sweeten the deal for Washington, Kim also made a major show before foreign media of the closure of his countries' nuclear test site, returned three American prisoners and announced a unilateral moratorium on further nuclear tests and long-range missile launches.

Chinese state media described the summit as a "starting point" but said "no-one would expect the half-day summit to be able to iron out all differences and remove deep-seated mistrust between the two long-time foes".

"Before taking office people were assuming that we were going to War with North Korea", Trump tweeted. "No longer - sleep well tonight!"

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The previous day US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis told reporters he did not believe that troop levels were on the agenda.

Freezing the regular military exercises with South Korea is a major concession to North Korea that has long claimed the drills were invasion preparations.

South Koreans applauded in a train station as they watched; the South Korean president grinned broadly; one official compared the summit, favourably, to the birth of his daughter.

Mr Trump cast that decision as a cost-saving measure, but also called the exercises "inappropriate" while talks continue.

"Under the circumstances that we're negotiating a very comprehensive complete deal, I think it's inappropriate to have war games", Trump said of the joint military exercises that for decades have bolstered USA and South Korean readiness. He told reporters that if the USA concludes they no longer are, the freeze "will no longer be in effect".

Kim responded: "It was not easy to get here".

The summit, the first between a sitting USA president and a North Korean leader, was in stark contrast to a flurry of North Korean nuclear and missile tests and angry exchanges of insults between Mr Trump and Mr Kim past year that fuelled worries about war.

The meeting was the first between a sitting US president and a North Korean leader. The United States and the DPRK commit to hold follow-on negotiations, led by the U.S. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, and a relevant high-level DPRK official, at the earliest possible date, to implement the outcomes of the U.S. -DPRK summit. Japanese foreign minister Taro Kono is also heading to Seoul and is due to meet with Pompeo and his South Korean counterpart. Pompeo was slated to fly on to Beijing later Thursday. -South Korean drills was met with concern.

Also, the USA forces stationed at South Korea admitted that Department of Defense or the Indo-Pacific Command had given them "no updated guidance on the execution or cessation of training exercises" and hence will continue to coordinate with their Seoul counterparts and maintain their current positions until further notice.

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