US President Donald Trump has declared North Korea no longer poses a nuclear threat, even though there is no clearer definition of denuclearisation or a timeframe added for it to be done.
- Donald Trump announces ‘no longer a Nuclear Threat’ from North Korea
- Denuclearisation was only referenced in North Korean state media report twice
- Mr Trump offered security guarantees and would lift sanctions as relations improve, KCNA reported
“Everybody can now feel much safer than the day I took office,” Mr Trump said as he arrived back in the United States after his historic summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
“There is no longer a Nuclear Threat from North Korea.
“Meeting with Kim Jong-un was an interesting and very positive experience. North Korea has great potential for the future!”
Mr Trump said before he took office, “people were assuming that we were going to War with North Korea,” and president Barack Obama said North Korea was the nation’s biggest problem.
But he said that was no longer the case, and everyone can “sleep well tonight”.
Front page of the official newspaper Rodong Sinmum the day after the summit. (Supplied: Rodong Sinmun)
In North Korea, the state media has praised the summit between Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump as a resounding success, while downplaying the agreement to work toward complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula.
Tuesday’s summit in Singapore was front page news on Wednesday, with full-page spreads of photos of Mr Kim and Mr Trump and details about the meeting.
The Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported Mr Trump expressed his intention to halt US-South Korean joint military exercises, offer security guarantees to the North and lift sanctions against it as relations improve.
Mr Trump said during the press conference at the end of the summit that “the sanctions will come off when we are sure that the nukes are no longer a factor”.
“Sanctions played a big role, but they’ll come off at that point, I hope it’s going to be soon,” he said, adding he looked forward to taking them off.
The leaders also invited each other to their respective countries and both leaders “gladly accepted”, KCNA reported.
The summit, the first between a sitting US 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 Mr Trump and Mr Kim last year that fuelled worries about war.
While Mr Trump has confirmed Mr Kim has agreed to work toward complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula, it was only briefly referenced twice in the article.
“Kim Jong-un and Trump had the shared recognition to the effect that it is important to abide by the principle of step-by-step and simultaneous action in achieving peace, stability and denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula,” KCNA said.
The second reference stated: “Kim Jong-un said in order to achieve peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula and realise its denuclearisation, the two countries should commit themselves to refraining from antagonising with each other out of mutual understanding, and take legal and institutional steps to guarantee it.”
North Korea highlights concessions from Donald Trump on war games after summit. (Supplied: Rodong Sinmun)
Mr Trump also unexpectedly announced United States would not hold war games with South Korea while North Korea negotiated in good faith on denuclearisation.
The move, long requested by Pyongyang, has been seen as a major concession to North Korea and has left one former South Korean military leader “speechless”.
“We’re not going to be doing the war games as long as we’re negotiating in good faith,” Mr Trump told Fox News Channel in an interview in Singapore after the summit.
“So that’s good for a number of reasons, in addition to which we save a tremendous amount of money,” Mr Trump said.
“You know, those things, they cost. I hate to appear a businessman, but I kept saying, what’s it costing?”
US Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said Mr Trump’s cost reasoning for halting the exercises was “ridiculous”.
“It’s not a burden onto the American taxpayer to have a forward deployed force in South Korea,” Mr Graham told CNN.
“It brings stability. It’s a warning to China that you can’t just take over the whole region.
“So I reject that analysis that it costs too much, but I do accept the proposition, let’s stand down [on military exercises] and see if we can find a better way here.”