Immediately after his high-stakes summit with North Korean despot Kim Jong Un, President Donald Trump claimed the Korean Peninsula would rapidly “denuclearize,” however, he now seems to have changed his course.
....Russia has agreed to help with North Korea, where relationships with us are very good and the process is moving along. There is no rush, the sanctions remain! Big benefits and exciting future for North Korea at end of process!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 18, 2018
“We have no time limit. We have no speed limit,” Trump said at a meeting with members of Congress. “We’re just going through the process, but the relationships are very good.”
Critics long-doubted the “contract” signed at the summit since it did not hold any time constraints nor any clear language over the process of denuclearization. In fact, Trump’s recent guarantee that North Korea would actually follow through with the signed agreements was that the two leaders shook on it, so it will be done.
The guarantee hardly holds any weight.
I have confidence that Kim Jong Un will honor the contract we signed &, even more importantly, our handshake. We agreed to the denuclearization of North Korea. China, on the other hand, may be exerting negative pressure on a deal because of our posture on Chinese Trade-Hope Not!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 9, 2018
North Korea has shown no signs of denuclearization.
In fact, new satellite images show North Korea is rapidly upgrading its Yongbyon Nuclear Scientific Research Center, it’s only known nuclear reactor used to produce weapon-grade missile material, according to a report by 38 North, a North Korea monitoring group.
Trump’s recent statement came after White House national security adviser John Bolton claimed the “overwhelming bulk of their programs” could be dismantled within a year.
Although Trump’s statement show the U.S. has eased up on its demands. North Korea, on the other hand, recently accused the United States of “gangster-like” demands, directly contradicting comments made by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who said the old enemies had made progress on key issues.
However, there seems to be one front the United States and North Korea have actually progressed on: the return of the remains of U.S. military personnel killed in the Korean War. But that too came after North Korean officials initially ditched the first meeting to discuss the repatriation.
According to Stars and Stripes, a military newspaper, if successful, it would the first such event in almost 10 years. North Korea will reportedly initiate the transfer on July 27, the 65th anniversary of the armistice that ended the Korean War.
While the remains of troops maybe secured soon, Trump has already lied the U.S. has received 200 remains of fallen soldiers when nothing of the sort has happened.
Thumbnail/ Banner Credits: REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst