No Longer a 'Dotard,' Trump Wins Praise in North Korea

Sergio Cunningham
June 13, 2018

North Korea could begin giving up its weapons today if it wanted to, but it instead has insisted on staging performances of denuclearization rather than on inviting global inspectors to verify its progress.

Along with establishing himself as an equal and reinventing his persona overseas as a "normal" leader of a "normal" nation - he even took a selfie with Singapore's foreign minister that was posted on Twitter, which like all other social media is banned in the North - Kim's primary objective at the summit was to undermine support for worldwide trade sanctions that have long hindered his plans to develop North Korea's economy.

US President Donald Trump has declared North Korea no longer poses a nuclear threat, even though there is no clearer definition of denuclearisation or a timeframe added for it to be done.

But ordinary North Koreans are not confident improvement in US-North Korea relations will last long, defectors have said.

"Kim Jong Un invited Trump to visit Pyongyang at a convenient time and Trump invited Kim Jong Un to visit the USA", the state-run KCNA news agency said. "No longer - sleep well tonight!" the president wrote.

"Trump expressed his intention to halt the U.S".

North Korea's official news agency on Wednesday quoted Kim as saying it is "urgent" that both North Korea and the United States "make a bold decision on halting irritating and hostile military actions against each other", while mentioning Trump's pledge to halt the military exercises. No details of what those steps would be were given.

The paper also reported that Mr. Kim and Mr. Trump "gladly accepted each other's invitation" to visit Pyongyang and Washington, respectively, in follow-up meetings from the denuclearization summit.

If he was forced to negotiate by USA pressure, it certainly wasn't obvious. Under the provisions of the new deal, North Korea yet again agreed to dismantle its nuclear plant, and in exchange, it would get food and energy assistance, as also have its assets unfrozen.

At the summit, Trump emphasized what North Korea has to gain by giving up its nuclear weapons and rejoining the global community - a subject he returned to on Twitter.

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No sitting USA and North Korean leaders have visited each other's countries since the end of the 1950-53 Korean War. "I know a lot about's very expensive", he said at the post-summit news conference.

Of course, it's no surprise that North Korean outlets would paint a picture of Kim dictating to the American president, but the factual discrepancies in the two accounts are exactly why there were concerns about Trump and Kim talking one-on-one, with only their interpreters present.

"So that's good for a number of reasons, in addition to which we save a tremendous amount of money", Mr Trump said. "My meeting with Chairman Kim was honest, direct and productive".

In Pyongyang, the North Korean autocrat woke up to state media's enthusiastic claims of a victorious meeting with the US President; photos of him standing side-by-side with Trump on the world stage were splashed across newspapers. Others might say it's Moon who is probably more deserving, since he was pushing Trump and Kim toward peace when they were still both threatening nuclear war.

In February 2011, two months after Kim Jong-un succeeded his late father, Kim Jong-Il, North Korea signed a "Leap Day" agreement with the US.

"I think they are one of the great winners today", he said.

The North's state media framed Tuesday's summit as a win for Pyongyang, dubbing it "the meeting of the century" on the front page of its official party newspaper. Otto did not die in vain. That constitutes "more trust than it has in the US and South Korea", he said.

"Kim Jong Un invited Trump to visit Pyongyang at a convenient time and Trump invited Kim Jong Un to visit the USA", the state KCNA news agency said. A Chinese official already signaled the country may ask the United Nations to lift or adjust the penalties, the basis for the "maximum pressure" campaign Trump has used to push Kim toward disarmament. Kim also promised the world "would witness an important change". Trump appears to have resolved the immediate threat of war and cast himself as a peacemaker.

They first met Tuesday for about 40 minutes alone, except for their translators, before bringing in delegations from their respective sides for a working lunch.

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