Trump: No More Nuclear Threat from
June 13, 2018
U.S. President Donald Trump declared
Wednesday, "There is no longer a Nuclear Threat from North Korea," as he
returned home from a summit in Singapore with North Korean leader Kim
"Just landed - a long trip, but everybody can now feel much safer than
the day I took office," Trump wrote on Twitter. "Meeting with Kim Jong
Un was an interesting and very positive experience. North Korea has
great potential for the future!"
Kim agreed Tuesday "to complete denuclearization of the Korean
Peninsula" during the summit, while Trump unexpectedly said he was
suspending military drills with South Korea.
Trump on Wednesday said "We save a fortune by not doing war games, as
long as we are negotiating in good faith - which both sides are!"
The document the two leaders signed did not include details of how and
when North Korea would denuclearize, nor did it spell out exactly what
"security guarantees" the United States would provide to North Korea.
Critics pointed to the lack of specifics in the agreement while
questioning whether Trump gave up too much while securing too little in
return during his several hours of talks with Kim in what was the first
meeting between a sitting U.S. president and a North Korean leader.
Trump has defended the agreement as a major step in dealing with the
threat of nuclear-armed North Korea and said he believed Kim's
government would start the process of living up to the agreement right
"Before taking office people were assuming that we were going to War
with North Korea," he tweeted Wednesday. "President Obama said that
North Korea was our biggest and most dangerous problem. No longer -
sleep well tonight!"
Former U.S. ambassador Bill Richardson told VOA he is concerned about no
verification of what the North Koreans will do about missile technology
in the DPRK, no detail of nuclear reduction, the peace treaty and human
North Korea's official news agency on Wednesday quoted Kim as saying it
is "urgent" that both North Korea and the United States "make a bold
decision on halting irritating and hostile military actions against each
other," while mentioning Trump's pledge to halt the military exercises.
Respond in kind
Kim said if the United States takes "genuine measures for building
trust," he would take "additional goodwill measures of next stage
commensurate with them." No details of what those steps would be were
The report also mentioned that Kim invited Trump to Pyongyang while
Trump invited him to Washington and said both accepted the other's
invitation as "another important occasion for improved relations."
The agreement calls for the two countries to jointly work on efforts to
build a lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula, to establish new
U.S.-North Korea relations and to recover the remains of prisoners of
war and military members missing in action. The two sides promised to
hold follow-up negotiations.
"We're going to denuke North Korea," Trump told VOA contributor Greta
Van Susteren, adding that U.S. troops stationed in South Korea will
remain in place, but announcing one concession long-sought by North
Korea was included in the document signed earlier in the day.
"We are going to get out of the war games that cost so much money," he
said referring to the U.S. participation in joint military exercises
with South Korea. At his news conference, Trump said the war games were
expensive, provocative and inappropriate.
A Pentagon spokesman said Defense Secretary Jim Mattis was "not
surprised" by Trump's concession ending the military exercises and had
been consulted, including discussions with Trump and Secretary of State
"We welcome the outcomes," the defense spokesman said. "We support
Trump struck an optimistic tone about his talks with Kim. "My meeting
with Chairman Kim was honest, direct and productive. We got to know each
other well in a very confined period of time," he said.
The U.S. leader stressed that existing U.S. sanctions will remain in
place until North Korean nuclear weapons "are no longer a factor."
On human rights, Trump said Tuesday's meetings only very briefly touched
on the topic but that the two sides would discuss it more in the future.
When asked about thousands of people imprisoned in labor camps, Trump
said he thinks he has helped them because things in North Korea will
"I think they are one of the great winners today," 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.
"Otto did not die in vain. He had a lot to do with us being here today,"
Hours earlier as he sat alongside Kim at the signing ceremony, Trump
said the two leaders "have developed a special bond" and that after
their several hours of talks Tuesday and the signing of the agreement,
he thinks the U.S. relationship with North Korea "will be very different
than in the past."
White House invite
said he would "absolutely" invite Kim to visit the White House and is
open to visiting Pyongyang, as well.
"Today, we had a historic meeting and decided to leave the past behind,"
Kim said, speaking through a translator. "The world will see a major
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
They first met Tuesday for about 40 minutes alone, except for their
translators, before bringing in delegations from their respective sides
for a working lunch. They walked outside together after the lunch,
stopping briefly to look at the U.S. president's special limousine.