Trump declares North Korea ‘no longer a Nuclear Threat’

US offers 'unique' guarantees to North Korea on eve of summit

President Donald Trump started Wednesday morning by touting his biggest accomplishment in diplomacy with North Korea and its leader Kim Jong Un: all but eliminating the threat of nuclear war.

"Everybody can now feel much safer than the day I took office", Trump said on Twitter. At a press conference just before leaving Singapore, Trump said Kim will start dismantling his nuclear arsenal "very quickly"; he noted that he wants US troops out of South Korea "at some point"; he'll visit Pyongyang "at a certain time".

Last year's talking point was that Trump, with his "fire and fury" talk, was leading the US into a nuclear war with North Korea. "No longer - sleep well tonight!" Meanwhile, the world awaits the concrete outcomes of the detailed US-North Korea negotiations that will decide whether Trump's optimism was simply borne out of naiveté.

For weeks, Pompeo and other officials have insisted North Korea must agree to "complete, verifiable, irreversible denuclearization" before economic sanctions can be lifted.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrived in South Korea on Wednesday to discuss details of how denuclearisation could be achieved.

Kim Kyong Sun, who watched the news on a large screen outside Pyongyang's main train station, said she felt a "radical change" was underway in her country's relationship with the United States, which she said has been a hostile nation.

"The sanctions will come off when we are sure that the nukes are no longer a factor", Trump said at the briefing, adding, "I hope it's going to be soon".

Trump's chest-thumping tweets seemed reminiscent of the "Mission Accomplished" banner flown behind President George W. Bush in 2003 when he spoke aboard a Navy ship following the US invasion of Iraq. The US had sided with South Korea in the conflict.

In his tweets on Wednesday, Trump also defended a major concession made to North Korea while he was in Singapore: that the United States would halt joint military exercises with South Korean forces on the Korean Peninsula.

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In comments reported by Reuters, he said there was still "a great deal of work to do. a long way to go with North Korea".

"In coordination with our ROK [South Korean] partners, we will continue with our current military posture until we receive updated guidance from the Department of Defense and/or Indo-Pacific Command", the U.S. Forces-Korea statement said.

Trump received a 51 percent approval rating for his handling of North Korea and also led the list of leaders who should take the most credit for the summit and the joint pledge.

There are usually two sets of exercises every year, in spring and autumn, involving a massive number of troops and military hardware.

Rep. Adam B. Schiff, D-Calif., also mocked Trump, writing: "One trip and it's 'mission accomplished, ' Mr. President?"

It appears even Trump was unclear on whether there was any record of his 40-minute talk with Kim.

But there has been scepticism from both Democrats and Republicans about the lack of detail and surprise announcement about an end to joint drills with South Korea. "We're not engaged in any reduction of USA forces talks, and I think we all wait until after this settles and we go forward".

The Pentagon said Tuesday it was consulting with the White House and others, but was silent on whether the August exercise would proceed.

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