How anti-Trump hysteria helps the president on North Korea

During Tuesday's summit in Singapore, US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un agreed to cooperate on recovering the remains of American soldiers killed or who went missing during the Korean War.

-South Korea drills that Trump - after meeting Kim - said would be terminated, Pompeo emphasized a key caveat: If the mercurial North Korean leader stops negotiating in good faith, the "war games" will be back on.

Kim agreed to the "complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula", a stock phrase favoured by Pyongyang that stopped short of long-standing United States demands for North Korea to give up its atomic arsenal in a "verifiable" and "irreversible" way. If Abe's visit to Pyongyang proves hard, Japan is eyeing another scenario for Abe to meet Kim on the sidelines of the Eastern Economic Forum to be held in September in Vladivostok, if the North Korean leader attends, the paper said. "North Korea has great potential for the future!", he wrote.

"It is something that (North Korea) very much appreciated".

North Korea is believed to possess more than 50 nuclear warheads, with its atomic program spread across more than 100 sites constructed over decades to evade worldwide inspections. A Democratic senator from Connecticut, Chris Murphy, said of the outcome of the Singapore summit: "Kim's gulags, public executions, planned starvation, are legitimized on the world stage..."

The likelihood of Kim Jong Un launching a first strike against the USA, thereby bringing on "fire and fury", was low. While nuclear experts believe some significant progress could be made during Trump's time in office, they've estimated that completely dismantling North Korea's nuclear weapons program could take ten to 15 years.

Of the world's eight known nuclear powers beyond North Korea, three - India, Pakistan and Israel - emerged outside a formal worldwide arms control framework.

The president praised North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in a Wednesday interview, calling the head of the totalitarian regime a "smart guy" and a "great negotiator".

"Given that they were able to sign this agreement, it will prove that USA remains to be a superpower and also this will give them the right, more leverage on how they will engage with North Korea diplomatically or economically", he said.

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The president had announced a halt in the drills after his meeting with Kim on Tuesday, a concession long sought by Pyongyang but generally opposed by Seoul and Tokyo.

There has been deep scepticism about the agreement, with observers saying it lacked detail on how North Korea would give up its nuclear weapons and how that process would be verified.

However, there was no mention of the previous United States aim of "complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization" from Pyongyang. The talks followed on from an inter-Korean summit in April at which Moon and Kim agreed to defuse tension and cease "hostile acts".

Trump returned to the United States on Wednesday and took to Twitter to hail the meeting, the first between a sitting USA president and a North Korean leader, as a major win for American security. US military has deployed four F-22 stealth fighter jets to the Korean Peninsula as another response to North Korea's nuclear and missile threats.

"Most certainly in the president's first term", he said, speaking to a pool of journalists in Seoul, South Korea, where he was meeting his South Korean and Japanese counterparts.

He is known to have stopped over at airbases in Guam and Hawaii to encourage US forces and is expected to arrive at the White House sometime Wednesday morning.

Trump had also wanted a commitment to ending the Korean War, which was stopped by an armistice, not a peace treaty, leaving the Korean Peninsula still technically in a state of war.

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. 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 worldwide stage".

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