Published: Sun, June 10, 2018
Money | By Michele Stevens

A look back at Trump on North Korea

A look back at Trump on North Korea

Sporadic provocations by the North have continued while Pyongyang has made increasing advances in its nuclear arsenal, which it says it needs to defend against the risk of a USA invasion.

Although the Trump administration has said that America's 28,500 troops in South Korea aren't bargaining chips in Singapore, there are persistent concerns - fueled by Trump's own comments - that he may waver.

It's a technicality, but yes.

Three years of bloodshed ended on July 27, 1953, but the war technically continues today because instead of a difficult-to-negotiate peace treaty, military officers for the US -led United Nations, North Korea and China signed an armistice that halted the fighting. A Nobel Peace Prize for Trump may also be on the line.

Trump seems to want to.

In any case, raising the topic of North Korea's human rights abuses will be necessary as a practical matter. And there is a possibility of something like that.

A recent analysis by Stratfor, a geopolitical analytical group, based on talks with North Korean contacts found that "Pyongyang is genuinely serious about this dialogue".

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Kim may also be seeing the gamble in a light never considered by his autocratic father and grandfather because of "his determination to modernize North Korea", according to Ryan Haas, an Asia expert at the John L. Thornton China Center.

Washington is demanding the complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization (CVID) of the North, while Pyongyang has so far only made public pledges of its commitment to the denuclearization of the peninsula - a term open to wide interpretation - while seeking security guarantees.

In short, there might not be enough leaders in Singapore.

Still, it's a serious contrast to the days past year when choice insults - Trump's "little rocket man" and Kim's "dotard" - were flying between Washington and Pyongyang during the North's nuclear and missile tests.

South Korea and China, rattled by the ratcheting tensions, signed on to tougher and more restrictive USA -led sanctions.

South Korea seems ready, and there is media speculation in Seoul that Moon might travel to Singapore to stand alongside Kim and Trump and declare an end to the war.

After a flurry of contacts between the two Koreas, South Korean officials suggested to Trump in March that Kim would be willing to meet face-to-face.

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That makes him optimistic that the talks between Mr Trump and Mr Kim will produce lasting change.

In the days leading up to the summit, Mr. Trump predicted a successful trip, even saying that there's potential for Kim to visit the U.S.

"It's a fairly big process". I think they are starting to be committed to a much more fair trade situation for the United States, because it has been treated very, very unfairly.... Funds for military activities are obtained from remittances that come from the forced labor of North Koreans sent overseas, as well as forced labor domestically. I said maybe in the first minute. "Given the size of the North Korean program and the secrecy in which it is shrouded, the task of completely and verifiably eliminating the DPRK's nuclear and missile capabilities in a matter of a year or two is simply not feasible".

"Thank you for all the donations you have been making to North Korea, well, me".

The stakes are high, with American authorities warning that North Korea could soon have the ability to strike anywhere in the continental U.S.

A Chinese private jet that discreetly landed in North Korea has departed Sunday en route to Singapore about an hour after its arrival in the communist state, a flight route-tracking website showed.

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