Kim summit: Interpreters have massive role to play in talks like these

Hugh Fox
June 13, 2018

In follow-up talks on the establishment of new relations, the USA and North Korea will likely hold discussions on ending hostilities.

"When I watch some of those things, I'm kind of embarrassed for those people, as great things are going on", Melissa Francis, the co-host of "Outnumbered", said after the program aired a reel of journalists criticizing Trump's praise of Kim and the president's slapdash approach to the summit.

Commenting for the first time on the agenda, North Korea's state-run KCNA news agency said the two sides would exchange "wide-ranging and profound views" to re-set relations.

As discussions follow after the summit, they could arrange meetings among the Koreas, the USA and possibly China to discuss the matter.

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The US president meanwhile told reporters after the summit that he would suspend war games with South Korea, which he described as "expensive" and "provocative". North Korea also insists that the USA troop presence in the South, as well as its nuclear "umbrella" over allies Seoul and Tokyo, are part of America's "hostile" policy toward the North. Number one, we save money.

Trump's announcement that the US would stop military exercises, his description of those drills as "provocative" and his suggestion that he wants to pull USA troops out at some point are "all things that Trump is putting on the table as concessions, all in exchange for some vague promises by the North Koreans", said Paul Haenle, a former China director at the White House National Security Council in the Barack Obama and George W. Bush administrations.

In fact, Trump and Kim's agreement made no mention of North Korea's human rights abuses, and Trump said following the summit that Kim "loves his people".

"Now would not be the time to ease worldwide sanctions against North Korea".

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But analysts said with the easing of tensions, China and South Korea were not likely to continue fully enforcing the tough measures needed to make sure North Korea makes good on its latest promises.

"We have received no updated guidance on execution or cessation of training exercises - to include Ulchi Freedom Guardian. -South Korea defensive military drills".

The joint agreement states the USA and North Korea will commit to hold follow-up negotiations at the earliest possible date to carry out the agreement reached at the summit.

Trump and Kim's joint pledge to work toward "complete denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula" was widely interpreted as failing to convince North Korea to accept Washington's definition that calls for Pyongyang to get rid of its arsenal.

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