Trump: There Is No Longer a Nuclear Threat From North Korea

North Korea no longer the United States' 'biggest and most dangerous problem'

U.S. President Donald Trump shakes hands with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during their meeting at the Capella resort on Sentosa Island Tuesday, June 12, 2018, in Singapore.
Kevin Lim/AP

U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted early Wednesday morning: "Just landed - a long trip, but everybody can now feel much safer than the day I took office. There is no longer a Nuclear Threat from North Korea. Meeting with Kim Jong Un was an interesting and very positive experience. North Korea has great potential for the future!"

A joint statement issued after the summit said only North Korea "commits to work towards the complete denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula." Critics in the United States said Trump had given away too much at a meeting that gave Kim long-sought international standing. North Korea has committed to denuclearization in the past and not lived up to international agreements.

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North Korean state media lauded on Wednesday the summit between Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump as a resounding success, highlighting concessions by the U.S. president and the prospect of a new era of peace and prosperity on the Korean peninsula.

The Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported that Trump expressed his intention to halt U.S.-South Korea military exercises, offer security guarantees to the North and lift sanctions against it as relations improve.

The U.S. president told a news conference on Tuesday, after his summit with North Korea's leader in Singapore, he would like to lift sanctions against it but it would not happen immediately.

Kim and Trump invited each other to their respective countries and both leaders "gladly accepted", KCNA reported.

The summit was the first between a sitting U.S. president and a North Korean leader and followed a flurry of North Korean nuclear and missile tests and angry exchanges of insults and threats between Trump and Kim last year that fuelled fears of war.

"Kim Jong Un and Trump had the shared recognition to the effect that it is important to abide by the principle of step-by-step and simultaneous action in achieving peace, stability and denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula," KCNA said.

Trump confirmed the United States would stop military exercises with South Korea while North Korea negotiated on denuclearisation.

"We're not going to be doing the war games as long as we're negotiating in good faith," Trump told Fox News Channel in an interview in Singapore after the summit.

"So that's good for a number of reasons, in addition to which we save a tremendous amount of money," Trump said. "You know, those things, they cost. I hate to appear a businessman, but I kept saying, what's it costing?"

U.S. Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said Trump's reasoning for halting the exercises was "ridiculous".

"It's not a burden onto the American taxpayer to have a forward deployed force in South Korea," Graham told CNN.

"It brings stability. It's a warning to China that you can't just take over the whole region. So I reject that analysis that it costs too much, but I do accept the proposition, let's stand down (on military exercises) and see if we can find a better way here."

Speaking in Beijing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said he hoped all parties could "grasp the moment of positive changes" on the peninsula to take constructive steps towards a political resolution and promoting denuclearisation.

"At this time, everyone had seen that North Korea has halted missile and nuclear tests, and the United States and South Korea have to an extent restricted their military actions. This has de facto realised China's dual suspension proposal," he told a daily news briefing.

"When it comes to Trump's statement yesterday that he would halt South Korea and the United States' military drills, I can only say that China's proposal is indeed practical and reasonable, is in line with all sides interests and can resolve all sides concerns."

China, North Korea's main ally, last year proposed what it calls a "dual suspension", whereby North Korea suspend nuclear and missile tests, and South Korea and the United States suspend military drills.