President Donald Trump declared the Kim Jong Un summit a success on Tuesday that will lead to the denuclearization of North Korea, even as critics pointed out that their agreement lacks specifics and that Trump offered to curtail military support for South Korea.
“Today is the beginning of an arduous process — our eyes are wide open,” Trump said at a news conference following the unprecedented meeting with the North Korea dictator.
Trump also said he would not withdraw U.S. troops from South Korea as part of the agreement, though he would like to “get our soldiers home” at some point. Trump also said the U.S. would stop “war games” military exercises with South Korea, saying they are too expensive and “provocative.”
While there will be “vigorous negotiations” on denuclearization, Trump said he believes Kim is “very talented” and will follow through on his pledge to disarm in exchange for economic assistance. At another point, however, Trump say “I may be wrong” about his new negotiating partner.
“We’ll probably need another summit,” Trump said during the news conference that lasted more than an hour.
Trump spoke as numerous foreign policy analysts pointed out that Trump-Kim agreement cites only intentions to denuclearize, with no details about how to get that done. The agreement says nothing about verification or inspection systems to make sure North Korea actually gets rid of weapons.
“The summit was heavy on pomp and circumstance and low on details,” said Olivia Enos, policy analyst with the Asian Studies Center at The Heritage Foundation in Washington.
The pledge on denuclearization did not include the U.S. demands for a “complete, verifiable, irreversible dismantlement” of North Korea’s nuclear weapons programs, she pointed out.