UNITED STATES.- President Donald Trump on claimed North Korea has agreed to “denuclearization” before his potential meeting with Kim Jong Un.
But that’s not the case. North Korea said it would suspend nuclear tests and intercontinental ballistic missile launches ahead of summits with the U.S. and South Korea. Kim also said a nuclear test site would be closed and “dismantled” now that the country has learned how to make nuclear weapons and mount warheads on ballistic rockets.
But the North has stopped short of saying it has any intention of abandoning its nuclear arsenal, with Kim making clear that nukes remain a “treasured sword. ”Trump nonetheless tweeted Sunday that the North has “agreed to denuclearization (so great for World), site closure, & no more testing! ”Being committed to the concept of denuclearization, however, is not the same as agreeing to it, as Trump claims.
South Korea, which is set to meet with North Korea later this week, has said Kim has expressed genuine interest in dealing away his nuclear weapons. But the North for decades has been pushing a concept of “denuclearization” that bears no resemblance to the American definition, vowing to pursue nuclear development unless Washington removes its troops from the Korean Peninsula and the nuclear umbrella defending South Korea and Japan.
South Korea’s president has said Kim isn’t asking for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from the Korean Peninsula as a condition for abandoning his nuclear weapons.