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June 12, 2018

Much-Hyped Summit Ends With Vague Promises of Denuclearization by North Korea, and Vague Promises of Security Guarantees by the US

I would say that nothing much has been gained -- which is what I expected to happen -- but nothing much has been given away, either -- which is what I feared could happen.

Nearly five hours of unprecedented and surreal talks between US President Donald Trump and North Korea's Kim Jong Un culminated on Tuesday with fulsome declarations of a new friendship but just vague pledges of nuclear disarmament.

For Trump, that amounted to a triumphant outcome in his extraordinary gamble with the rogue kingdom's despotic leader. But there were scant details on what new commitments had been secured from Kim, even as Trump announced he would end the regular military exercises the US conducts with South Korea.

...

"We both want to do something. We both are going to do something. And we have developed a very special bond," Trump said at the conclusion of the landmark summit. "People are going to be very impressed. People are going to be very happy."

The document he and Kim signed said the North Korean leader "reaffirmed his firm and unwavering commitment to complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula." In exchange, Trump agreed to "provide security guarantees" to North Korea.

But there was no mentioning the previous US aim of "complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization." And Kim's commitments did not appear to go beyond what he already pledged to do in April when he met South Korean President Moon Jae-in along their countries' border.

Trump insisted during a news conference the agreement went further than many people expected. But he acknowledged the effort to rid North Korea of its nuclear arsenal was in its early stages.

It's at best a first step, and a fairly easy first step, which gives little reassurance that the more difficult second, third, and fourth steps will be undertaken.

I'll have more -- especially about the bellicose I'm-such-a-tough-guy posturing of the never-learning, NeverTrumper necons -- later, but I wanted to get this up.


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posted by Ace of Spades at 12:40 PM

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