Kim “great,” Korean Peninsula “well on way” to denuclearization – Trump

US President Donald Trump on Friday said North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is “great” and assured that “we’re well on our way to get denuclearization” of the Korean Peninsula.

In unscheduled remarks with reporters on the north lawn of the White House, Trump said of his Singapore summit with Kim last weekend, “I did a great job.” “I don’t want to see a nuclear weapon destroy you and your family,” Trump told reporters. “I want to have a good relationship with North Korea. I want to have a good relationship with many other countries.” “… When I came in, people thought we were probably going to war with North Korea,” he said. “If we did millions of people would have been killed… Seoul has 28 million people 30 miles off the border. You would have had 30, 40, 50 million people killed. Who knows what would have happened?” “I came in, that was what I inherited. I should have never inherited,” he said of the nuclear standoff between the US and North Korea. “That should have been solved long before I got there.” Past US presidents negotiated agreements with North Korea to curtail its nuclear ambitions, but all those deals ultimately unraveled. The document signed by Trump and Kim provides no timeline or specifics on how North Korea will dismantle its nuclear program, and experts agree that such an action could take up to 15 years and involve extensive and intrusive international inspections inside the largely closed and internationally isolated country.

Referring to his meeting with Kim, Trump said, “We had great chemistry. He gave us a lot. You haven’t had a missile test in seven months. You haven’t had a firing. You haven’t had a nuclear test in eight and a half months. You haven’t had missiles flying over Japan. He gave us the remains of our great heroes. … They’re giving them back. Nobody thought that was possible.” Trump was referring to the remains of US soldiers killed during the Korean War in the early 1950s.

“They’re (the North Koreans) doing so much for us, and now we’re well on our way to get denuclearization,” he said. “And the agreement says there will be total denuclearization.” “So the only thing I did was I met (with Kim),” Trump said. “I got along with him great. He is great. We have a great chemistry together. That’s the good thing, not a bad thing.” Asked about the fact that Kim has a reputation for killing many of his own citizens, Trump said, “I can’t speak to that. I can only speak to the fact that we signed an incredible agreement. It’s great. And it’s going to be great for them too, because now, North Korea can develop, and North Korea can become a great country economically. It can become whatever they want. But there won’t be nuclear weapons, and they won’t be aimed at you and your family.” Asked why he agreed to halt US military exercises with South Korea, and referred to those exercises as “war games,” which is the term used by North Korea to describe the exercises, Trump said that was his offer.

“I call them ‘war games,'” he said, “I hated them from the day I came in. I said, ‘Why aren’t we being reimbursed?” “We pay for it,” he said of the exercises. “We pay millions and millions of dollars for planes and all of this… I said I’d like to halt it, because it’s bad to be negotiating and doing it. It costs us a lot of money. I saved a lot of money. That’s a good thing for us.

Source: Kuwait News Agency