President Trump returned on Wednesday from his historic summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore and issued what would be a remarkable statement — if it were true.
“Just landed,” Trump tweeted shortly after touching down at Joint Base Andrews. “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.”
While Trump and Kim concluded their summit in Singapore by signing a joint statement that promised “complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula,” it did not specify what that process would entail. According to the Washington Post, North Korea’s definition of “denuclearization” is different from Trump’s.
The United States did, however, commit to suspending joint military exercises with South Korea, Trump told reporters before departing the summit site. It’s unclear whether the president informed U.S. allies in the region of his plan to end the “war games,” as he called them, prior to his declaration.
“We save a fortune by not doing war games,” Trump tweeted Wednesday, “as long as we are negotiating in good faith — which both sides are!”
Trump described his meeting with Kim as “an interesting and very positive experience” and said North Korea “has great potential for the future.”
“Before taking office people were assuming that we were going to War with North Korea,” Trump added. “President Obama said that North Korea was our biggest and most dangerous problem. No longer — sleep well tonight!”
Not everyone is prepared to accept the president’s reassurances.
“What’s really disconcerting is that Trump announced unilaterally to the leader of North Korea that the United States is going to stop military exercises with our allies, without first telling our allies or even the Pentagon,” Michael Green, a senior vice president for Asia at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, told Yahoo News on Tuesday. “That’s astonishing.”
During his post-summit press conference, Trump admitted that he may be wrong about Kim’s willingness to denuclearize.
“I think he’s going to do these things,” Trump said. “I may be wrong. I mean, I may stand before you in six months and say, ‘Hey, I was wrong.’ I don’t know that I’ll ever admit that, but I’ll find some kind of an excuse.”
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