North Korea: Trump agreed to 'step-by-step' approach to denuclearization

North Korea: Trump agreed to 'step-by-step' approach to denuclearization

The four-point plan included "new U.S. -DPRK relations" as well as the North committing to "work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula".

Similar overtures had been made by Kim Jong Un's father, Kim Jong Il, in 2000 to leaders in the region and US President Bill Clinton, he said, but North Korea continued with its quest to become a nuclear power.

"President Trump believes that Kim Jong-un has an unprecedented opportunity to change the trajectory of our relationship and bring peace and prosperity to his country", he told reporters.

Some progressive Democratic lawmakers have offered cautious support for President Donald Trump's outreach to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, thereby parting ways with the party's congressional leaders, who have been unflinching in their criticism.

"We can see the summit as the first step in that process", Ross said, "even if he didn't mean it".

"It is perfectly reasonable to hope that we are seeing the beginning of a process that will lead to a complete, permanent, verifiable end to North Korea's nuclear capabilities".

The reported agreement, if confirmed by the United States, could be considered as a concession by Trump because USA officials had called for the North to take swift disarmament measures before getting major outside concessions and benefits.

Many said they welcomed the US and North Korea moving to narrow their differences, but remained cautious and skeptical.

Amid the growing mood for a thaw in relations between the two Koreas and between the US and the North, the talk of a reduction in the USFK has persisted.


Chung Lee, who is owner of Kim's Korean Restaurant in Spokane, moved to the US from South Korea more than 35 years ago. North Korea has either cheated on or disregarded the agreements in the past.

The remarks contradicted countless previous declarations by US political and military officials over the years that the drills are routine, defensive and absolutely critical.

On top of that, experts say it's unlikely the North Korean dictator would allow his regime to shift in the way they sometimes do when an economy opens.

Still, it's too early for Trump to declare the summit a victory.

"That would be a discussion between two democracies", the Pentagon chief said, referring to the US and Seoul, noting the issue is "not something other countries would have initial domain over".

US Forces Korea (USFK), which comprises about 28,500 troops permanently based in South Korea, received no fresh guidance on upcoming joint training exercises, including so-called Ulchi Freedom Guardian scheduled for later this year.

Trump even said he'd like to eventually close all USA military operations on the peninsula. "I think we just need to continue to be concerned about whether or not North Korea is going to stand by its word".

The statement seemed to surprise South Korean President Moon Jae-in.

According to the Washington Post, between 1996 and 2005, joint search teams recovered 229 sets of American remains in North Korea, but then tensions between the two countries escalated.

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