Trump follows up summit with pledge to end military exercises

Donald Trump has followed up a promising but fairly sparse statement from his summit with Kim Yong Un – see Joint statement of Trump and Kim – ‘work toward complete denuclearization’ – with an offer to end military exercises in South Korea.

Reuters: Trump offers to end Korea war games after historic Kim summit

Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un held a largely symbolic summit on Tuesday, and the U.S. president offered an unexpected concession to the North, saying he would halt joint military exercises with South Korea.

The two men smiled and shook hands before pledging at their historic summit to work toward the “denuclearization” of the Korean Peninsula. The United States promised its Cold War foe security guarantees.

The meeting in Singapore, the first between a sitting U.S. president and a North Korean leader, was in stark contrast to a flurry of North Korean nuclear and missile tests and angry exchanges of insults between Trump and Kim last year that fueled global worries about war.

But in a joint statement afterward, the two men offered few specifics about the relationship would evolve.

At a news conference later, Trump made a surprise announcement that was sure to rattle South Korea and Japan, which rely on a U.S. security umbrella, saying he would halt the regular military exercises the United States holds with South Korea because they were expensive and “very provocative”. North Korea has long sought an end to the exercises.

That’s a useful concession from Trump, and a promising message that he wants to move forward with resolving tensions in Korea.

But there is still a lot of uncertainty at how this may play out.

The Trump administration said repeatedly before the summit that Washington was seeking steps by North Korea toward complete, verifiable and irreversible dismantling of a nuclear program that is advanced enough to pose a threat to the United States.

Several experts said the meeting failed to secure any concrete commitments by Pyongyang toward this. The statement also did not refer to human rights in one of the world’s most repressive nations.

It didn’t say anything about human rights in the US, nor in Guantanamo, nor in countries that the US is involved in militarily

Trump said at the news conference he expected the denuclearization process to start “very, very quickly” and it would be verified by “having a lot of people in North Korea”. He said Kim had announced that North Korea was destroying a major missile engine-testing site, but sanctions on North Korea would stay in place for now.

So progress perhaps, but a long way to go.

Another point on all of this – a lot is being made of grand statements like ‘peace in our time’ – but there was no actual war going on in Korea, apart from wars of words and military posturing. There was an uneasy peace, and it may be enhanced by what Trump, Kim (and South Korea and China) are doing, but it is hardly like a cessation of war.

If Trump really wants to earn credit for achieving peace he should try the Middle East – where his moving of the US embassy in Israel did the opposite.

41 Comments

  1. Gezza

     /  June 13, 2018

    The announcement has caught everybody by surprise according to Aljav TV reporters. The South Koreans and the Pentagon are both scrambling to find out what it means in practice.

    Trump’s description of the annual military exercises which are focussed entirely on maintaining 100% readiness to immediately repel an NK invasion of South Korea as “war games”, a term the North Koreans have been using when demaning that they cease, also has some analysts wondering why he used it.

    (My guess is that’s the limit of his knowledge about them.)

    The main take-out seemed to be Trump gave Kim a win with this throwaway concession.

    • Zedd

       /  June 13, 2018

      surely not.. Mr T said it was all: “AMAZING, SPECTACULAR, TREMENDOUS, WONDERFUL, FANTASTIC.. BEST EVER EVENT !’ same as everything else he is involved with.

      He also is talking about ‘investing in DPRK/Pyongyang’ real estate/Trump holiday resorts.. “they have such fantastic beaches.. between China & ROK”

      not wishing to sound toooo cynical, BUT typical of this turd; politics aside, whats in it for his back pocket ?? :/

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  June 13, 2018

        We should invite him to Northland. Our beaches are better and we need employment and development.

  2. Joe Bloggs

     /  June 13, 2018

    It turns out that the so-called “historic” document is nothing new. They agreed that there should be peace and that they will look for human remains of soldiers lost during the Korean war. The only relevant item was that the North Koreans reaffirmed an agreement with South Korea from April that “commits” to “work toward” denuclearization in the Korean Peninsula.

    This is actually a step backwards from earlier agreements such as the one reached in the six-party talks in 2005 in which the North Koreans actually agreed to give up “all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programs” and then didn’t do it.

    Moreover trump’s given up the war-gaming in SK without any concession from Kim.

    When all’s said and done Kim has merely ratified the document he signed with Moon in April and trump’s just there for the photo op.

    • High Flying Duck

       /  June 13, 2018

      Perhaps Joe, but NK did nothing after the last agreement.
      Whether the Trump deal can be considered a success is entirely down to what happens next.
      I assume Trump conceded the global recognition Jong Un sought as an opening gesture of goodwill and the ball is now in the NK court to take tangible steps to disarmament.
      Sanctions remain until this happens.
      The jury is well and truly out for now.

      • Joe Bloggs

         /  June 13, 2018

        “Perhaps Joe, but NK did nothing after the last agreement.”

        Precisely the point I made in my comment. Thank you for reinforcing and agreeing with the comment that I made.

        The jury is still out as far as Lindsay Graham is concerned that’s for sure:

        Not only do I want to see the details, I want to vote on them. So here’s what I would tell President Trump: I stand with you…but anything you negotiate with North Korea will have to come to the Congress for our approval…

        The one thing that I would violently disagree with is removing our troops. I can’t imagine I would vote for any agreement that requires us to withdraw our forces because that would destabilize Asia. That’s what China wants. That doesn’t make the world more peaceful, it makes it more dangerous.

        https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/graham-warns-that-trumps-deal-with-north-korea-needs-approval-from-congress/ar-AAyxLEa

        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  June 13, 2018

          Graham is a prize do-nothing dork with a big mouth. Nobody takes him seriously except the Democrat media who run to him whenever they want a dissenting Republican quote.

    • Corky

       /  June 13, 2018

      Talking of photo ops Joe, Dennis Rodman went to Obama a few years back to say Kim wanted to talk. Obama didn’t want to know.

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  June 13, 2018

      Please tell me that that’s someone being funny.

  3. Alan Wilkinson

     /  June 13, 2018

    Nothing is set in concrete. That can be good or bad. Depends on relationship and intent. Time will tell.

  4. High Flying Duck

     /  June 13, 2018

  5. Joe Bloggs

     /  June 13, 2018

    When trump’s own propaganda machine says trump got hosed by North Korea.

    Fox News on trump’s destruction of 60 years of US policy for a photo-op:

    The United States made concessions in exchange for no hard promises, stopping joint military exercises with South Korea while North Korea makes a vague commitment to work together towards denuclearization…

    Hands shaken, photos taken. During a private meeting, promises were apparently made. But who wanted what? Well, America demanded complete verifiable and irreversible denuclearization. There’s no guarantee of that. Not even words to that effect…

    But Kim Jong-un, he wanted the photos, the seat at the table. He wanted the legitimacy that came with the event, the handshake with America’s president. He wanted those military exercises with the Americans and the South Koreans that happened every year to stop.

    Kim Jong-un got it all — for actually doing nothing.

    Plus, he got a promise. Lacking specifics — granted — of security for the North Korean regime. A regime that has an estimated 120,000 political prisoners across the nation. A regime that tortures and murders its own citizens, imprisons children for the actions of parents and grandparents and a leader that has committed crimes against humanity.

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  June 13, 2018

      Don’t be pathetically ridiculous. If Kim doesn’t follow up in good faith the war exercises can be reinstated tomorrow.

      • Zedd

         /  June 13, 2018

        ‘Don’t be pathetically ridiculous. If Kim doesn’t follow up in good faith the war exercises can be reinstated tomorrow.’

        dont hold your breath Alan.. Mr T ranted about Mr K (all the usual nonsensical platitudes).. some commentators saying ‘they seem to have a lot in common’ (extreme wealth & POWER, being the operative words).. meanwhile the REAL politics goes on behind the scenes.. something we will likely never see ?

    • Zedd

       /  June 13, 2018

      I thought ‘Fox news’ was Mr Ts ‘best friends’ (media) they were almost laughing at him ?!

      • Kitty Catkin

         /  June 13, 2018

        The Colonel’s lady and Judy O’Grady
        Are sisters under the skin.

        (Kipling)

        The Korean Dear Leader and Donald J Trump
        Are brothers under the skin.

        (Kitting)

  6. Rickmann

     /  June 13, 2018

    Gee Joe, and Morning Report, this is just the start of what is usually a long, drawn out process. In a former life as a civil servant, I spent whole mornings in meetings with other ministries just getting agreement on the wording of press releases. Just getting to where they have got, given past attempts and failures, is worthy of respect, irrespective of how one might feel about the individuals concerned. The PC talking heads of our electronic media would be surprised how many of our revered leaders of the past wouldn’t meet their pristine moral standards, yet they contributed or were responsible for the freedoms we enjoy today.

    It would also be really helpful to have our own analysts who actually have experience in or knowledge of the subjects they cover. I note that most RNZ staff,such as nova O’Brian and Jack Tame, seem to do their OE in some Anglophone place such as London or New York, neither of which is exactly outside their comfort zone and, in the case of London, less and less relevant to this country’s fortunes and future. NZ media could try having correspondents in key parts of Asia instead, although I dare say this is a bit radical.

  7. Zedd

     /  June 13, 2018

    just when most thought the talk was about ‘denuking DPRK’.. we hear USA-ROK will be reducing their military (war-games etc.) commitments ? meanwhile MrK is likely laughing at it all.. he got what he wanted & MrT got a signature.. to what, nothing !

    wasn’t it Chamberlain (1939 ?) who visited Adolph & came back waving a piece of paper; ‘Peace in our time !’.. what happened next ?

    what is the OLD saying.. ‘if you dont learn from the mistakes of he past……’ oh dear 😦

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  June 13, 2018

      It was indeed Neville Chamberlain who took Adolf Hitler’s word for it.

      But remember that this was 20 years after the last hideous war and the thought of another one was appalling. If we’d had one of that magnitude in the 90s, we’d be hoping that another one could be avoided at almost any cost.

    • Blazer

       /  June 13, 2018

      The British declared war on Germany ,not the other way round.

      • Kitty Catkin

         /  June 13, 2018

        Yes, the Germans left them no option after they went back on the agreement signed by Herr Hitler.

        • Kitty Catkin

           /  June 13, 2018

          France did too. It was a complicated, messy thing.

  8. Zedd

     /  June 13, 2018

    There are also many comments, that MrT has just ‘given legitimacy’ to Mr Ks regime in DPRK; extreme bloody dictatorship ?!

    • Zedd

       /  June 13, 2018

      one has to wonder if MrT ‘admires’ MrKs ‘total power over his people’;
      maybe something MrT actually aspires to ? :/

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  June 13, 2018

        The Left are so desperate for this not to work it’s quite amusing to watch.

        • Blazer

           /  June 13, 2018

          its all been done before Al.Called posturing.

          • Kitty Catkin

             /  June 13, 2018

            He doesn’t admire it, Zedd.

            Envies is the word you want, I think 😀

            • Zedd

               /  June 13, 2018

              yes.. maybe.. sounds about right.. thx kitty :/

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  June 13, 2018

              It was my pleasure, Zedd, 🙂

        • Zedd

           /  June 13, 2018

          ‘The Left are so desperate for this not to work it’s quite amusing to watch.’ sez Alan

          Not so.. but it just looks like MrT is staging another ‘Reality TV’ show, rather than actual politics. Everytime the camera was on, he was constantly talking.. whilst Mr K just sat, smiling :/

          Did youz see him showing off ‘the beast’ (his limo) to MrK.. “look mines bigger than yours !!” again……. previously he stated he has a bigger “nuke launch button”.. how childish !

  9. Zedd

     /  June 13, 2018

    On AlJz someone commented’ MrT may have reduced the possibility of war with DPRK (though only speculation).. BUT has likely started a TRADE WAR with many others ?!! 😦

    • I think a lot of people need to get hold of a dictionary and check out the meaning of “negotiation”.