June 22, 2018

Trump eyes security assurances for Kim Jong Un under nuclear deal

18 May 2018, 02:14 | Simon Arnold

South Korea says military drills will go on

A U.S. F-22 Raptor stealth fighter jet lands as South Korea and the United States conduct the Max Thunder joint military exercise at an air base in Gwangju South Korea Wednesday

North Korea threw the June 12 summit into doubt on Wednesday when it said it may not show up if the USA continues to demand "unilateral" nuclear disarmament. Trump said Thursday that a Libya model was not under consideration by the United States.

Following the news briefing, Trump said North Korea will get strong security protections and that the US will not use a Libyan-style denuclearization process toward North Korea.

"Look, the president is prepared and will be ready to meet, and we're continuing to move forward with the preparations, at this point", Sanders said.

"Seeing the announced statements and responses from North Korea and the United States, we see the two parties as having a honest and serious attitude (to stand in each other's shoes)", the official said.

We don't have a lot of details on what the willing to offer to get North Korea to make a deal. She added the annual exercises are long-planned, defensive in nature and meant to ensure the readiness of US and South Korean forces.

As for President Trump, so far, he has refrained from making a statement about the new developments leading up to the planned summit, either before the media or via his Twitter account.

"The president is ready if the meeting takes place".

In addition to brandishing threats over the slated meeting with Mr Trump, North Korea cancelled high-level talks due Wednesday with Seoul over the Max Thunder joint military exercises being held between the US and South Korea, denouncing the drills as a "rude and wicked provocation".

Mr Trump sought to distance himself from the comments of National Security Advisor John Bolton advocating the so-called Libya model, which saw former President Muammar Gaddafi give American and British inspectors full access to his country in 2003 and 2004.

That the references to the "Libyan model" sat poorly with the North Koreans is understandable, since Libya's own ruthless dictator met an equally ruthless demise back in 2011.

An end to US and South Korean military exercises and sanctions on the North, trade and investment, USA recognition of his regime, a peace treaty, and the eventual removal of USA bases and troops. But according to KCNA news agency, he also condemned as "misleading and dangerous" the idea that the North is only willing to denuclearize due to sanctions. "We decimated that country, we never said to Gaddafi, 'Oh we're going to give you protection, '" Trump said. We will see what happens.

The US president also suggested China was influencing North Korea's thinking regarding the summit, pointing to Kim's visit to China immediately before secretary of state Mike Pompeo visited Pyongyang last week to finalise the summit date and location.

The fate suffered by Libya shows "what will take place if we don't make a deal", the USA president warned.

Pyongyang warned the USA to call off the exercises or "think twice" about the fate of the Trump-Kim summit. "We went in and decimated him, and we did the same thing with Iraq".

China has called for the building of mutual trust through the suspension of large-scale US and South Korean war games in return for a halt of the North's nuclear weapons and ballistic missile tests.

Asahi Shimbun, citing "well-placed sources", says that if the North Koreans agree to USA demands, the United States is prepared to remove the regime from its list of state sponsors of terrorism. Reps. Ted Yoho, R-Fla., and Brad Sherman, D-Calif., the heads of the Foreign Affairs subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific, wrote to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on May 9 to ask for an update on North Korea sanctions and call for more. "He would be there, he would be running his country, his country would be very rich", Trump said. Trump added. "There was no deal to keep Gadhafi". "This would be really a South Korean model in terms of their industry, in terms of what they do", he asserted.

Mr. Trump and Mr. Kim are still scheduled to meet in Singapore on June 12, at least for the time being.

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