Trump says North Korea 'no longer a nuclear threat'

Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un shake hands ahead of their meeting

The announcement caught not only allies Japan and South Korea off guard, it also took the U.S. military command in the South, U.S. Forces Korea, by surprise. On the flipside, critics said the welcome Trump was giving Kim in Singapore would legitimize one of the world's worst human rights offenders.

In Pyongyang, North Korean state media heralded claims of a victorious meeting with the USA president; photos of him standing side-by-side with Trump on the world stage were splashed across newspapers.

North Korea still has nuclear weapons.

Speaking briefly hours after Kim Jong Un and Trump held historic talks in Singapore, Abe also said he was pleased that the U.S. leader had raised the emotive issue of Japanese abducted by Pyongyang.

The Singapore agreement does not detail plans for North Korea to demolish a missile engine testing site, a concession Trump said he'd won, or Trump's promise to end military exercises in the South while negotiations between the US and the North continue. It also noted that Trump softly tapped Kim on the shoulder and seemed to engage in small talk with him.

Even as they offered measured praise for Trump's diplomatic efforts, congressional Republicans have emphasized the hard road that remains and pressed for more details of what exactly the president agreed to with Kim.

Duckworth said any discussion of withdrawing US forces from the Korean peninsula must be tied to concrete and verifiable changes in North Korea's behavior "and it must be done in close consultation with our allies". Beyond the impact on both leaders' political fortunes, the summit could shape the fate of countless people - the citizens of impoverished North Korea, the tens of millions living in the shadow of the North's nuclear threat, and millions more worldwide. Pompeo was slated to fly on to Beijing later Thursday.

Washington and Seoul are security allies, with 28,500 U.S. troops stationed in the South to defend it from its neighbour which invaded in 1950.

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The four-point document signed by the leaders on Tuesday would see North Korea work towards a "complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula" while Donald Trump promised to halt military drills with South Korea.

US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis's chief spokeswoman, Dana W White, told reporters he was "in full alignment" with Mr Trump.

President Donald J. Trump of the United States of America and Chairman Kim Jong Un of the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) held a first, historic summit in Singapore on June 12, 2018.

There is a precedent for cancelling joint exercises to encourage talks. The leaders also offered lofty promises, with the American president pledged to handle a "very unsafe problem" and Kim forecasting "major change for the world". The next scheduled major joint South Korean exercise, which typically involves tens of thousands of troops, is normally held in August. But on the eve of the summit, the White House unexpectedly announced Trump would depart Singapore by Tuesday evening, meaning his time with Kim would be fairly brief.

"I find that question insulting and ridiculous and frankly ludicrous", Pompeo said.

He would not say whether that included the possibility of withdrawing US troops from the Korean Peninsula, but said the context of the discussions was "radically different than ever before".

That would go against what the Trump administration has said so far.

Also, the US forces stationed at South Korea admitted that Department of Defense or the Indo-Pacific Command had given them "no updated guidance on the execution or cessation of training exercises" and hence will continue to coordinate with their Seoul counterparts and maintain their current positions until further notice. He said North Korea is likely to consider Trump's decision a temporary measure while it remains in negotiations with Washington.

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