Trump still confident Kim will denuclearize


Associated Press

WASHINGTON

President Donald Trump voiced confidence Monday that North Korea’s leader would “honor” his commitment to denuclearize, despite Pyongyang’s accusation that the U.S. is making “gangster-like” demands in negotiations.

It was Trump’s first public response since North Korea gave a harsh send-off to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo after he visited the authoritarian nation last week amid growing skepticism that the North intends to give up its nukes.

Pompeo was seeking progress on the joint statement issued by Trump and Kim at their historic summit in Singapore in June. Pompeo characterized his talks with North Korean officials as productive, but the North’s foreign ministry blasted the discussions, saying the visit – the third by the top U.S. diplomat since April – had been “regrettable.”

Trump responded to that setback with a tweet: “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!”

Robert Gallucci, who led the U.S in direct talks with North Korea beginning in mid-1993, said while the two statements contrasted he does not see Pyongyang’s statement as “devastating in any way” to future talks.

The U.S. and North Korea have actually yet to reach any agreement on the terms under which the North would relinquish its weapons programs, beyond the North’s commitment at the summit “to work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.”

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