North Korea no longer poses a nuclear threat, US President Donald Trump said on Wednesday as he returned to Washington following a summit with Kim Jong-un in Singapore the previous day.
“Everybody can now feel much safer than the day I took office,” Trump tweeted. “There is no longer a nuclear threat from North Korea. Meeting with Kim Jong Un was an interesting and very positive experience. North Korea has great potential for the future!”
Hailing his meeting with Kim, the first between a sitting US president and a North Korean leader, as a major win for American security, Trump indicated that he expects Pyongyang to follow through on its commitment to work toward denuclearization, Reuters reports.
On Tuesday, following their historic Singapore meeting, Trump and Kim issued a joint statement that reaffirmed the North’s commitment to “work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula” and gave US guarantees of security to North Korea.
Democratic critics in the US said the agreement was short on detail and that Trump had made too many concessions to Kim without getting anything concrete in return.
Despite the lack of detail in the summit agreement, Trump stressed at a news conference afterward that he trusted Kim to follow through. He returned to Washington early on Wednesday and claimed the meeting was a success.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who is charged by Trump with leading follow-on negotiations, said the US hopes to achieve “major disarmament” by North Korea within the next two-and-a-half years.
Democratic lawmakers pointed out that North Korea had often made similar statements in the past about “denuclearization,” all the while developing nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles that could be capable of striking the US, Reuters reported.
“One trip and it’s ‘mission accomplished,’ Mr. President? North Korea still has all its nuclear missiles, and we only got a vague promise of future denuclearization from a regime that can’t be trusted,” said Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the US House of Representatives Intelligence Committee.
“North Korea is a real and present threat. So is a dangerously naive president,” he wrote on Twitter.
Senator Chris Van Hollen, also a Democrat, said of Trump’s tweet about North Korea no longer presenting a threat: “This is truly delusional.”
In a post-summit announcement, Trump said on Tuesday that the US will stop military exercises with South Korea while North Korea negotiated on denuclearization.
“We save a fortune by not doing war games, as long as we are negotiating in good faith – which both sides are!” he wrote on Twitter.
According to a Reuters/Ipsos poll, over half of Americans approve of how Trump has handled North Korea, but only a quarter think the summit will lead to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
– Contact us at [email protected]