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Trump Says ‘There Is No Longer a Nuclear Threat’ after Kim Jong-un Meeting

The official Korean Central News Agency also reported that Mr. Trump promised to eventually lift sanctions against the North and cease military exercises with South Korea.

In one tweet on Wednesday, Mr. Trump pushed back against criticism that he had handed a victory to Mr. Kim by promising to end those exercises, which he described as “war games.”

A joint statement signed by the two leaders did not include a timeline for denuclearization or details about how the North would move forward. Instead, the document — which many had hoped would be a road map for a nuclear agreement — was filled with diplomatic language that had been used in previous statements over the past 20 years.

The president had no public events on his schedule for Wednesday, but was busy tweeting on a variety of topics, including praise for the United States, Mexico and Canada for winning the bid to host soccer’s 2026 World Cup.

Mr. Trump also touted his political influence in a House Republican primary race in South Carolina that ousted the incumbent, Representative Mark Sanford, in favor of a conservative challenger, Katie Arrington. On Tuesday afternoon, Mr. Trump had tweeted that Mr. Sanford, an outspoken critic of the president, is “nothing but trouble.”

And Mr. Trump attacked cable news networks and said the networks were trying to “downplay” the agreement with North Korea and said it looked like “war would break out,” during his early days in the Oval Office. He also said America’s biggest enemy is “Fake News.”

The danger posed by North Korea was considered among the “leading threat actors” by United States Intelligence agencies, according to its 2016 assessment, which was the most recent public assessment when Mr. Trump assumed office in January of 2017.

The 2018 threat assessment, released in February, also listed North Korea as a top threat, calling the North “among the most volatile and confrontational” weapons of mass destruction threat over the next year. A month before the threat assessment was released, Mr. Trump taunted Mr. Kim on Twitter and raised concerns about an escalating conflict.

“Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!” Mr. Trump wrote in a January tweet.

On Tuesday, at the end off the hourslong meetings in Singapore, Mr. Trump praised Mr. Kim as “talented.”

”Anybody that takes over a situation like he did at 26 years of age and is able to run it and run it tough — I don’t say it was nice, or I don’t say anything about it — he ran it,” Mr. Trump said, glossing over the decades of human rights abuses North Koreans have faced.

Mr. Kim is known for his brutal style, ordering the executions of at least 340 people since he took over power from his father in 2011.

Still, the president acknowledged that there no certainty that the North will get rid of its nuclear weapons.

“You can’t ensure anything. All I can say is they want to make a deal. That’s what I do. My whole life has been deals. I’ve done great at it, and that’s what I do,” Mr. Trump said in a news conference with reporters on Tuesday after the meetings.

“And I know when somebody wants to deal, and I know when somebody doesn’t,” Mr. Trump said. “A lot of politicians don’t. That’s not their thing, but it is my thing.”

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News credit : Nytimes

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