Donald Trump has not shied away from sharing his newfound admiration for Kim Jong-Un after months of tweeting insults at the North Korean leader, saying that he now has a dedicated phone line for Kim to call whenever he needs to talk. Though there is a possibility of direct communication between Trump and Kim, it may not necessarily be made in the manner of a "direct phone call", the source added.
Instead, Trump made a huge concession up front - stopping joint US military exercises with South Korea, a key tool for keeping pressure on the North.
South Korea's vice foreign minister embarked on a trip to the United States on Sunday for talks with his USA counterparts that will likely focus on joint efforts to implement a denuclearization deal with North Korea.
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While en route home from the summit, Trump tweeted, "There is no longer a Nuclear Threat from North Korea", an assessment both Democratic and Republican lawmakers in Congress said amounted to hyperbole or wishful thinking, even as they as they mostly praised Trump's effort in meeting with Kim. In response to threatening comments exchanged between Trump and "Little Rocket Man" Kim, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists advanced their Doomsday Clock to two minutes before midnight, their assessment of the relative danger of nuclear war. If Mr. Kim complies, the U.S. president even promised to lift all trade sanctions, a move that will help strengthen North Korea's struggling economy.
It's unclear if Trump is referring to his White House staff or American constituents in general when he said "my people".
During an interview yesterday following the American's summit with Kim Jong-un, he reiterated both leaders have a "good chemistry".
Trump, who prides himself as a master deal-maker, feels the agreement represents a major step toward solving an intractable foreign policy problem.
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"There isn't any military solution on the Korean Peninsula", University of Chicago history professor Bruce Cumings, one of the world's leading Korea scholars, said on "Democracy Now!"
"It suggests that when he's in the mood, the president will cut deals with our adversaries involving the interests of our allies" without consulting them, said Michael J. Green, a former Asia adviser to President George W. Bush who is now at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.
US and South Korean forces have trained together for decades, and routinely rehearse everything from beach landings in the North to pre-emptive "decapitation" strikes targeting the North Korean regime.
"Senator Schumer in that letter is basically parroting the talking points of John Bolton", Khanna said, "that we should not engage in any diplomacy or make any concessions without complete denuclearization".
An Obama-era agreement with China aimed at curbing economic cyberespionage was reaffirmed by the Trump Administration past year. Beyond that, the U.S. will look to have North Korea reduce its nuclear inventory and to halt testing of long-range and mid-range missiles that threaten the USA and its allies, Japan and South Korea.
White House staff said Trump's seat-of-the-pants changes on the day of the summit undercut their plans to roll out the agreement. "I think it's great to give him credibility".
OK, even Trump admitted, it would not be an easy task to rid the North Koreans of their nuclear weapons.