U.S. lays out terms for North Korea sanctions relief

Esequiel Farfan
Junio 14, 2018

What if America suffers buyer's remorse and the president (or perhaps the next president) reneges, and Kim finds that he is as vulnerable as was Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, whose fate national security adviser John Bolton has made clear he would happily assign to the North Korean leader? "North Korea has great potential for the future!"

Trump struck an optimistic tone about his talks with Kim.

Pompeo contradicted some claims from North Korean state media about what the process would look like.

Mr Trump announced he would halt "very provocative" and expensive regular military exercises that the United States holds with South Korea.

The announcement apparently caught USA allies including Seoul as well as the United States military off guard. Already, North Korea has criticized the United States and South Korea's military drills, saying they're not helpful for peace talks.

Most of all, I think they feel relief - relief they would not have felt, and certainly not to the same degree, if the Democrats hadn't drummed up hysteria about an impending war with North Korea.

He met for almost an hour with Gen. Vincent Brooks, commander of U.S. Forces Korea, at the air base before heading by motorcade to Seoul. Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono also headed to Seoul and was to meet with Pompeo and his South Korean counterpart. Pompeo, the former Central Intelligence Agency director, then plans to fly to Beijing to update the Chinese government.

Trump had an idea about how to counter the nuclear threat posed by North Korea, which he got after speaking to Russian President Vladimir Putin: If the USA stopped joint military exercises with the South Koreans, it could help moderate Kim Jong Un's behavior.

Christopher Hill, chief US negotiator with North Korea in the George W. Bush administration, suggested in an interview that it's "a little premature" for Trump to say Kim is someone the USA can trust.

China's rise has been a long time coming. Ultimately, in the short term, at least while diplomacy continues, Trump's tweets seem to indicate he is ready to live with the fact that North Korea has nuclear weapons and potentially the capacity to fire them at the United States, in an implicit erosion of the USA strategic position.

On the eve of the summit, Pompeo emphasized that sanctions would remain until North Korea delivered "CVID", and acronym for complete, verifiable, irreversible denuclearization. "No longer - sleep well tonight!"

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Joel Wit, a Stimson Center senior fellow and North Korea expert, told NPR that in such a timeline "you could probably disarm key portions of the North Korea nuclear program". He even has an opportunity to become the peninsular Deng Xiaoping by opening North Korea up economically. After all, if there is no threat, why would the North Koreans need to give up their arsenal?

But no rational and objective observer who followed the summit and saw Trump and Kim behaving so cordially can believe that Trump is leading the US into a nuclear war with North Korea. Trump and Kim referred back to the so-called Panmunjom Declaration, which contained a weak commitment to denuclearization but no specifics on how to achieve it.

Speaking later in the day in Beijing, Pompeo said China, Japan and South Korea all acknowledged a corner had been turned on the Korean peninsula issue, but that all three had also acknowledged sanctions remained in place. "We are going to get complete denuclearization".

"The issue of South Korea-U.S. joint exercises is one that should be discussed between the military authorities between the two Koreas, and it will be going forward", Kang said.

After the summit, President Trump surprised allies in the region by calling the joint military exercises with South Korea "provocative" and saying they will no longer be held, as long as North Korea continues to make progress toward denuclearization.

Trump also is wrong in saying "nothing happened" in return.

Kim at one point told Trump that many people around the world would see their meeting as a kind of fantasy, as if it the event was a "science fiction movie".

Wang, however, appeared to issue a warning to the US on trade disputes, saying the nations have two options, one is "cooperation" and a "win-win" scenario. The next scheduled major exercise, involving tens of thousands of troops, normally is held in August. Because that's exactly what Trump did, reports Business Insider.

In Japan, the prospect of canceled U.S. -South Korean exercises appeared off-limits under the new guidance.

The conservative Chosun Ilbo, the country's biggest paper, was more critical, denouncing Trump for offering the end of military drills while failing to convince the North to commit to verifiably giving up its nukes for good.

The summit in Singapore did mark a reduction in tensions - a sea change from last fall, when North Korea was conducting nuclear and missile tests and Trump and Kim were trading threats and insults that stoked fears of war.

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