A week later, President Trump is still defending North Korea agr - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

A week later, President Trump is still defending North Korea agreement

Posted: Updated: Jun 18, 2018 12:03 PM
President Trump and Kim Jong Un President Trump and Kim Jong Un
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WASHINGTON - A week after his unprecedented meeting with Kim Jong Un, President Trump is still defending his agreement with the North Korean leader in the face of criticism that the deal lacks specifics about denuclearization.

In Monday's installment on Twitter, Trump combined renewed attacks on the media with criticism of predecessor Barack Obama.

"If President Obama (who got nowhere with North Korea and would have had to go to war with many millions of people being killed) had gotten along with North Korea and made the initial steps toward a deal that I have, the Fake News would have named him a national hero!" Trump said.

Critics, including former members of the Obama administration, have said that while Kim pledged the "complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula," the short agreement said nothing about inspections or a verification process to make sure North Korea follows through. The country has made similar pledges in the past, to no avail, they noted.

Trump gave up joint military exercises in return for vague promises from Kim, who may be buying time to continue developing nuclear weapons programs.

Sung-Yoon Lee, professor of Korean Studies with the Fletcher School at Tufts University, noted that Trump and other world leaders are contemplating further meetings with the North Korean leader.

"Even as Kim stalls and takes no meaningful action whatsoever toward denuclearization, Kim has and will continue to buy time with further image-makeover summit pageantries and foreign forays," he said.

More: U.S.-North Korea summit: Trump, Kim Jong Un sign unspecified document after hours of talks

More: Trump says Kim Jong Un will follow through on denuclearization, despite skepticism

More: While Donald Trump declares a summit victory, others say not so fast

Gordon Chang, author of Nuclear Showdown: North Korea Takes On the World, said the agreement could set the stage for renewed U.S.-North Korean tensions down the line if Kim fails to detail how he will denuclearize his country.

Citing Trump's lavish praise of his Kim, Chang said the North Koreans may be "smelling weakness" in the president, and could look to "go on the offensive" in the months ahead.

"If you liked 'fire and fury' the first time, you'll love the future of the negotiations with the Kim regime," Chang said.

Trump, who has defended the agreement nearly every day since returning from the summit in Singapore, said he decided to hold back the "war games" with South Korea because they are expensive. Maintaining them would "set a bad light during a good faith negotiation."

Denying that he failed to extract concessions from North Korea, Trump noted that Kim's government returned American hostages and agreed to return the remains of U.S. soldiers who were killed in the Korean War.

In tweets and interviews, Trump said he is confident that Kim will eventually sign another agreement on denuclearization. If not, he said, the U.S. will put more economic sanctions on North Korea and resume military exercises with South Korea.

Shortly after landing back in the United States last week, Trump said, "everybody can now feel much safer than the day I took office" because "there is no longer a Nuclear Threat from North Korea."

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