The Times: No more games: President Trump gives Kim Jong-un path to peace13 June 2018 | 04:13 | FOCUS News Agency
At the end of their historic summit in Singapore Mr Kim accepted an invitation to visit the US, North Korean media said, and Mr Trump agreed to travel to Pyongyang “at a convenient time”. The meeting in the US would be held at the White House, the president had indicated.
The decision to suspend what Mr Trump called “provocative war games” came after he and the North Korean dictator declared a new era of co-operation at the first meeting between leaders of the two countries. They signed a four-point agreement that included an aspiration to remove nuclear weapons from the region. The two leaders agreed to:
• Put US-North Korea relations on a new footing geared towards peace and prosperity.
• Bring a formal end to the Korean war.
• Commit North Korea to working towards denuclearisation.
• Repatriate the remains of soldiers missing from the 1950-53 conflict.
The agreement closely resembled the document agreed between the two countries in 1993, which ultimately led nowhere. Mr Trump said, however, that his meeting had gone “better than anybody could imagine” and he believed Mr Kim would begin to dismantle his nuclear arsenal immediately.
Sanctions would remain in place but war games that regularly involve some of the 28,500 US troops in South Korea would be halted. The decision appeared to surprise the government in Seoul, which said that it was seeking urgent clarification of what Mr Trump meant.
The US military in South Korea said that it had not been warned but the Pentagon said that Jim Mattis, the defence secretary, was consulted. Mr Trump said that although the US troops in South Korea had not been discussed with Mr Kim, his ultimate aim was to remove them. “I’d like to bring them home, but that’s not part of the equation right now,” he said. “Under the circumstances that we’re negotiating a very comprehensive complete deal I think it’s inappropriate to have war games . . . It is something that [North Korea] very much appreciated.”
Critics said that with only a vague commitment secured from Mr Kim the halting of US military exercises represented a substantial concession.
Lindsey Graham, the hawkish Republican senator, said that he would never vote in favour of an agreement envisaging the withdrawal of US troops. “That’s what China wants. That doesn’t make the world more peaceful, it makes it more dangerous,” he said.
Mr Trump said that the two leaders had formed “a very special bond” as they met for five hours and had a working lunch. Mr Kim said: “We had a historic meeting. We have decided to leave the past behind, and we are about to sign a historic document. The world will see a major change.”
Mr Trump also said that Mr Kim had promised him that the North would suspend elements of its ballistic missile development. He said that North Korea’s denuclearisation process would be verified by inspectors and acknowledged that it could take 15 years, based on expert analyses.
President Moon of South Korea, who had hailed the meeting as the “summit of the century”, welcomed the progress but said that his government was seeking clarification on Mr Trump’s intentions regarding the military drills.
Michael Hayden, a former director of the CIA, called the halt of military exercises “a pretty significant concession” for which Mr Trump had gained nothing substantive in return.
Victor Cha, a national security council official under President George W Bush, said that “stopping the joint exercises has been a long-term goal for North Korea and China”.
© 2018 All rights reserved. Citing Focus Information Agency is mandatory!