Days ago, Trump said the North Korean threat was “no longer.” Now, he’s worried that talks could “break down.”
On Sunday morning, President Trump explained why he agreed to halt joint military exercises with South Korea during his meeting in Singapore with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.
“Holding back the ‘war games’ during the negotiations was my request because they are VERY EXPENSIVE and set a bad light during a good faith negotiation,” Trump wrote. “Also, quite provocative. Can start up immediately if talks break down, which I hope will not happen!”
But Trump’s acknowledgement that talks with North Korea could “break down” conflicts with the line he’s been pushing since he returned from Singapore — that he’s already solved the problem.
But if it truly were the case that North Korea’s nuclear threat had ended once and for all, then there would be no need to worry that talks could “break down.”
Instead, the agreement merely says, “Reaffirming the April 27, 2018 Panmunjom Declaration, the DPRK commits to work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.” It does not detail how North Korea will “work toward complete denuclearization” or any sort of inspection process other countries can rely on to verify it is actually doing so, nor does it require the Kim regime to give up any of his nukes at any particular time.
Nonetheless, in interviews immediately after the summit with George Stephanopoulos and Sean Hannity, Trump insisted that Kim — whom he praised as “a strong guy” with “a very good personality” who is “very strategic” and “very impressive” — could be trusted.
During the Hannity interview, Trump claimed that Kim agreed to terms that, for some reason, didn’t make it into the actual written agreement.
And when Stephanopoulos pressed Trump how how “he is going to know that [Kim] is keeping his word,” all Trump could say is “we’re going to be following things, we’re going to be monitoring things.”
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