Both President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un claimed victory after they returned home from their historic summit in Singapore.
The American president met his North Korean counterpart at an unprecedented summit at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa Island. Trump and Kim engaged one another in dialogue, attempting to bridge the divide between their two countries. Kim said he and Trump were able to deepen “friendly feelings,” and the president proudly announced that he and the North Korean leader had formed a “special bond” at their landmark meeting. (RELATED: President Trump And Kim Jong Un Meet For The First Time At Singapore Summit)
Where the two leaders diverge is on their reports on concessions.
Trump highlighted Kim’s concessions while arguing that he is not yielding ground to the North Koreans.
“We really have gotten a lot,” Trump explained to Fox News’ Sean Hannity Tuesday. “You haven’t seen missiles going up in seven or eight months, you haven’t seen research, you haven’t seen nuclear tests, and we got our hostages back.” Trump also stressed that North Korea agreed to return the remains of fallen American soldiers and committed to the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
Kim’s “country has to be de-nuked and he understood that, he fully understood that, he didn’t fight it,” Trump said, revealing that he and Kim “got a lot more done today than I ever thought possible.”
“And, we didn’t pay for that,” the president added, referring to the Obama administration’s ransom payments to Iran in exchange for American hostages. “We haven’t given up anything,” Trump said at his post-summit press conference. “They got a meeting.”
North Korea said it got much more than a meeting from the meeting in Singapore.
“Trump expressed his intention to halt the U.S.-South Korea joint military exercises, which the DPRK side regards as provocation, over a period of good-will dialogue between the DPRK and the U.S., offer security guarantees to the DPRK and lift sanctions against it along with advance in improving the mutual relationship through dialogue and negotiation,” North Korea’s state-run Korean Central News Agency reported.
North Korea downplayed its reported concessions, particularly their leader’s commitment to denuclearization.
Kim, who is said to have invited Trump to Pyongyang, also reportedly secured an invitation to the U.S. Both state visits would likely elevate the young dictator’s status on the world stage. Trump has not yet commented on any potential state visits.
The president casts the decision to cancel the joint military drills with South Korea as a cost-saving measure rather than a concession. “We save a fortune by not doing war games, as long as we are negotiating in good faith – which both sides are!” Trump tweeted Wednesday morning. With regard to the sanctions, the president had previously said that he would not lift sanctions on North Korea until it officially began the denuclearization process.
Any concessions on the part of the U.S. are presumably in the interest of peace and de-escalation, or at least that is the impression Trump has given in his latest tweets. (RELATED: Trump Declares End To North Korean ‘Nuclear Threat’)
“There is no longer a Nuclear Threat from North Korea,” Trump tweeted Wednesday as he returned to the U.S. “President Obama said that North Korea was our biggest and most dangerous problem. No longer – sleep well tonight!”
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