The World According to Trump: North Korea Is ‘No Longer a Nuclear Threat’

Rae Ann Varona


This is an excerpt from an article published in the Asian Journal. Read the rest here.


President Trump said Wednesday, June 13, that North Korea was no longer a nuclear threat, upon returning to Washington from his summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore.


Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that while there was still “a great deal of work to do,” the U.S. hopes to reach “major disarmament” within the next 2-½ years.


Arriving in Washington, Trump tweeted, “Just landed — a long trip, but everybody can now feel much safer than the day I took office. There is no longer a Nuclear Threat from North Korea.”


In a following tweet, he lauded his meeting by tweeting: “Before taking office people were assuming that we were going to War with North Korea. President Obama said that North Korea was our biggest and most dangerous problem.  No longer – sleep well tonight!”


But Trump’s judgment of his meeting was countered by Democrat lawmakers who said North Korea should still be seen as a threat — arguing the agreement was short on detail.


“One trip and it’s ‘mission accomplished,’ Mr. President?” tweeted Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.), adding that North Korea was still in possession of its nuclear missiles and that the promise was still vague. “North Korea is a real and present threat.  So is a dangerously naive president.”


Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.), also highlighting North Korea’s possession of nuclear weapons and intercontinental ballistic missiles, said the U.S. was still in danger.


“What planet is the president on?” asked Schumer on the Senate floor. “Somehow President Trump thinks when he says something, it becomes reality. If it were only that easy, only that simple.”


But House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) said Wednesday that Trump deserves credit for the meeting, which was the first to have happened between a North Korean leader and sitting U.S. president.


“The status quo was not working with North Korea,” Ryan told reporters. “The president should be applauded for disrupting the status quo.”



Acknowledging North Korea’s volatile past, he added that the U.S. should be “under no illusion of our experiences with North Korea,” which he called a “terrible regime.”


“They’ve done terrible things and they’ve been deceitful in the past,” said Ryan.


“But it’s really important that we disrupt the status quo like the president has,” he added.


He further said that he was “encouraged” by the denuclearization negotiations being done between North Korea and Pompeo, also adding that “We should be under no illusion that it’s going to be fast.”


Trump and Kim at the June 12 meeting signed a broad statement calling for a “firm and unwavering commitment to complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.”


Trump described the meeting in earlier tweets as “an interesting and very positive experience.”


While not much detail was provided for the denuclearization process, he said they were starting the process “very, very quickly.”


One sudden step already taken has been Trump’s announcement that the U.S. military would halt joint military exercises with South Korea which have taken place since the 1970s and have long aggravated North Korea.


“We will be stopping the war games, which will save us a tremendous amount of money,” said Trump. “Plus, I think it is very provocative.”


South Korean President Moon Jae-in — seemingly caught by surprise — responded by saying, “At this moment, we need to figure out President Trump’s accurate meaning and intention.”


North Korea’s state-run media was quick to report on the meeting — hailing the summit a success.


The nation’s Rodong Sinmun vaguely reported the nuclear dismantling process as a “step-by-step” process. Official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported Kim saying “Singapore is clean and beautiful and every building is stylish as he heard of in the past,” adding “he is going to learn a lot from the good knowledge and experience of Singapore in various fields in the future.”


This is an excerpt from an article published in the Asian Journal. Read the rest here.

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