Pompeo: No sanctions relief for N Korea until denuclearisation

14 June, 2018, 14:02 | Author: Myra Gill
  • Trumplomacy: Time Travel on Air Force One

North Korean television presenter Ri Chun Hee has for years announced the biggest news in her own effusive style, and this week she returned to the airwaves to herald Kim Jong Un's historic meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump.

After almost five hours of unprecedented talks between Trump and Kim on Tuesday, the two leaders signed a document in which Kim "reaffirmed his firm and unwavering commitment to complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula" and the U.S. agreed to "provide security guarantees".

Several U.S. lawmakers expressed their approval of Trump's meeting with Kim, but said they were skeptical of the U.S. leader's declaration that North Korea no longer poses a nuclear threat.

"Heading back home from Singapore after a truly unbelievable visit", Trump tweeted.

Illustrative: US Army M1-A2 tanks fire during US-South Korea joint military live-fire drills at Seungjin Fire Training Field in Pocheon, South Korea, near the border with North Korea, April 26, 2017.

But the summit statement reference to North Korea committing to work toward the complete denuclearization of the peninsula has used been by North Korea in the past to include a USA nuclear umbrella in the region, and echoes promises it has failed to keep. But it "all depends on whether North Korea is serious about denuclearization". Immediately after the meeting in Singapore, North Korean state media claimed that the United States made a series of private commitments that went far further than Trump and his team have publicly revealed.

Kim Jong-Un, left, inspects the ballistic rocket Hwasong-12 in North Korea.

He said Pyongyang was committed to giving up its nuclear programme. -South Korean military exercises - long a demand of China and North Korea, and until this week a non-starter for Washington - without apparently consulting South Korea or the Pentagon.

Sherman, a special advisor to former President Bill Clinton and policy coordinator on North Korea said the two leaders were acting more in the interests of their leadership standing than efforts to denuclearise North Korea.


He said he was confident that the North Koreans "understand what we're prepared to do, [the] handful of things we're not likely to do".

The president said there was no tit-for-tat deal with Pyongyang where there is denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula in exchange for an end to US military exercises with South Korea.

About the so-called "war games", as President Trump referred to military exercises between the US and South Korea, Pompeo said the exercises will be suspended only as long as there are ongoing "productive, good-faith negotiations".

It did not include an explicit reference to "complete, verifiable, irreversible denuclearization" - something Pompeo had earlier insisted was the minimum condition for a deal.

Former South Korean foreign minister Yoon Young Kwan said Mr Trump's negotiation appears "very different" from past talks between the two countries because it's the first time a sitting United States president has taken a primarily political approach to the issue. -South Korean drills was met with concern.

North Korea's official news agency on Wednesday quoted Kim as saying it is "urgent" that both North Korea and the United States "make a bold decision on halting irritating and hostile military actions against each other", while mentioning Trump's pledge to halt the military exercises.

Yet even as US and South Korean officials sought to parlay the momentum from the dramatic summit into more progress on the nuclear issue, there were persistent questions about whether Trump had given away too much in return for too little.

"It is the only dialogue that matters", Trump wrote to Kim late last month.

On Wednesday, Japan's Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera pointedly said the drills played a "vital role in East Asia's security". The Korean War ended in 1953 without a peace treaty, leaving the two sides in a technical state of war. The exercises are meant to ensure that South Korean and USA troops are ready to respond to sudden North Korean aggression. Michael Green writes in Foreign Policy: "the president of the United States demonstrated that he has the authority to give unconditional pardons not only to felons at home, but also on the global stage".

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