Trump Delighted After North Korea Pledges To Dismantle Key Missile Facilities

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has proven in the past that he would be willing to say anything to keep South Korea and the US at the bargaining table, even if he doesn’t intend to follow through. And just a few weeks after President Trump canceled a planned visit to North Korea by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Kim on Wednesday announced that he would allow international monitors to enter the country and observe the dismantling of the North’s nuclear reactor in Yongbyon, its primary source of nuclear fuel, amid a raft of other bilateral promises including plans for the North and South to field a joint team at the Tokyo Summer Olympics in 2020 while seeking a joint bid to host the 2032 Summer Olympics.

Kim

While Moon heralded this announcement as an important breakthrough in attaining a “nuclear-free” North Korea,it’s worth noting that the North has promised to close down Yongbyon before – going as far back as 2007, according to NPR.

In addition to Yongbyon, the North promised observed shutdowns of its missile engine testing site and launch pad in the Northwestern town of Dongchang-ri. However, the significance of shuttering these two facilities is not clear, according to Reuters, and suspicions remain that these shutdowns could be easily reversed.

Yongbyon

Satellite image of the North’s nuclear facility at Yongbyon (courtesy of TASS)

Experts who spoke with Reuters said the US shouldn’t read too much in to these gestures.

Seo Yu-suk, a research manager at the Institute of North Korean Studies in Seoul, said the facilities at Dongchang-ri and Yongbyon are “almost obsolete” and the North has mobile missile launchers that are easier to use and harder to detect, while there are likely covert sites elsewhere.

What’s more, satellite images and other evidence released in recent months have found evidence that North Korea has continued clandestine work on its nuclear program. Though the North promised it would reveal the locations of many of these hidden facilities and mobile launchers as part of the deal.

But that didn’t stop President Trump from chiming in on twitter to praise the agreement as “very exciting!”

During what was Moon’s third visit to the North since relations between the two warring neighbors began to thaw earlier this year, defense ministers for the North and South reached a sweeping agreement to suspend military flights near the heavily armed border between the two countries at the 38th Parallel, disarm border guards at the Panmujon border village and draw down some soldiers from the demilitarized zone. Both countries will establish “buffer zones” between the coastline and maritime borders to lower the risk of accidental military clashes. Moon is expected to remain in the North through Thursday.

Here’s more from RT:

As part of the military agreement, the neighbors will halt border drills from November 1, Yonhap reports. South Korean Defense Minister Song Young-moo and North Korea’s No Kwang-chol also agreed to stop military flights in the vicinity of the demarcation line. In addition, the agreement envisions setting up a buffer zone in the Yellow Sea and suspending maritime drills.

As a clear sign of mutual trust, the Pyongyang military agreement also calls for the withdrawal of soldiers from the demilitarized zone and disarming the servicemen keeping watch at Panmunjom border village. The nations also agreed that each would close eleven border guard posts by the end of 2018.

The Koreas’ armed forces will establish and operate a “joint military committee” to discuss the implementation of the military agreement on a “permanent basis,” Moon Jae-in noted.

Kim praised the agreement as an important step toward “lasting peace.”

Speaking to the press on the outcome of Moon’s visit to North Korea, Kim noted that the “agreement at Pyongyang summit will advance an era of peace, prosperity.” Kim especially noted that the military agreement will help to denuclearize the peninsula and reach a lasting peace.

Beyond Kim’s nuclear promises, the two countries have also agreed that Kim will soon travel to South Korea for what will be the first visit by a North Korean head of state to the South. Meanwhile, the White House has said that arrangements are underway for Kim to visit the US.

The Koreas also agreed to begin reconnecting railways and roads linking the two countries within this year. They also plan to restart work at a joint factory park in the North border city of Kaesong and tours to North Korea’s Mount Kumgang resort once certain conditions have been met to ensure that the North is working toward denuclearization.

According to Reuters, some worry these projects would violate UN sanctions – which would be a major benefit for Kim, we imagine, because it would signal that he can slowly wrest concessions from the West by standing his ground and continuing to express a “willingness” to negotiate. The North has a long history of making overtures for peace, only to resort back to hostility once it received international aide or some other carrot, per NPR.

Even so, lasting rapprochement between the two Koreas have proven elusive in the past, with hopes for peace degenerating into renewed recriminations and saber rattling following two previous summits in 2000 and 2007.

And while it’s still unclear what actions the US will take in response to this, that didn’t stop Moon from heralding this latest “breakthrough” as moving toward a “land of peace without nuclear weapons and nuclear threats”

But as the old saying goes, proof is in the pudding. Many analysts will remain wary of the North’s sincerity until the last nuke is removed from the country.

FOLLOW THE LINK FOR THE FULL REPORT – JR

https://www.infowars.com/trump-delighted-after-north-korea-pledges-to-dismantle-key-missile-facilities/

North Korea Accuses U.S. of Plotting Invasion

North Korea has accused the United States of planning an invasion amid souring relations between the two countries.

In a piece for Rodong Sinmun, the official newspaper of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea, Pyongyang alleges that recent U.S. troop movements indicate preperation for military conflict.

“Such acts prove that the U.S. is hatching a criminal plot to unleash a war against the DPRK and commit a crime which deserves merciless divine punishment in case the U.S. fails in the scenario of the DPRK’s unjust and brigandish ‘denuclearization first,’” the paper said.

FOLLOW THE LINK FOR THE FULL REPORT – JR

https://www.infowars.com/north-korea-accuses-u-s-of-plotting-invasion/

Trump sees ‘new future’ for North Korea, but path unclear

President Donald Trump wrapped up his five-hour nuclear summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un with surprisingly warm words and hope for “a bright new future” for Kim’s isolated and impoverished nation. Yet he immediately faced pointed questions at home about whether he got little and gave away much in his push to make a deal with the young autocrat — including an agreement to halt U.S. military exercises with South Korea.

Meeting with staged ceremony on a Singapore island, Trump and Kim signed a joint statement Tuesday agreeing to work toward a denuclearized Korean Peninsula, although the timeline and tactics were left unclear. Trump later promised to end “war games,” with ally South Korea, a concession to Kim that appeared to catch the Pentagon and Seoul government off guard and sowed confusion among Trump’s Republican supporters in Washington.

The head-scratching was a fitting end for a meeting marked by unpredictability. The face to face was unthinkable just months earlier as the two leaders traded insults and nuclear threats. In agreeing to the summit, Trump risked granting Kim his long-sought recognition on the world stage in hopes of ending the North’s nuclear program.

FOLLOW THE LINK FOR THE FULL REPORT – JR

https://apnews.com/2d80cb7d512c49978e69853a7daa4d5c

North Korea threatens to cancel Trump’s nuclear summit

President Trump ignored reporters asking for an update twice on Tuesday as he came and went from the White House to Walter Reed hospital, where his wife was recovering from a benign kidney surgery.

South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency had earlier reported that Pyongyang also canceled high-level talks with Seoul, scheduled for later in the day.

The North Koreans cited the military drills as the reason.

The meeting was to happen in the border town of Panmunjom, as a followup to Kim’s April meeting with his South Korean counterpart, Moon Jae-In.

The Trump administration has appeared to be making progress in recent weeks toward a new diplomatic framework with the hermit kingdom.

Tempers had cooled following months of belligerence on both sides – Trump called Kim ‘Little Rocket Man’ and Kim responded by branding him a ‘mentally deranged U.S. dotard.’

Last week Secretary of State Mike Pompeo traveled to Pyongyang on a mission to retrieve three Americans held prisoner in the communist nation.

He returned a day later with Kim Dong Chul, Kim Hak-song and Tony Kim on board his government jet. Trump, eager to reap the PR benefit of a public splash, went to Joint Base Andrews in Maryland at 2:00 in the morning to greet them personally.

The prisoner release was seen as a first step toward the planned summit, which Trump announced last week would take place June 12 in Singapore.

The North Korean statement got a jump on the U.S State Department

FOLLOW THE LINK FOR THE FULL REPORT – JR

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5732893/North-Korea-threatens-CANCEL-Trumps-nuclear-summit.html

U.S. checks reports three American detainees relocated in North Korea

The U.S. government is looking into reports that three Americans detained in North Korea were relocated from a labor camp to a hotel near Pyongyang, ahead of a planned summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, a U.S. official said.

The official, speaking on condition of anonymity on Wednesday, said there was no immediate confirmation of any change in the detainees’ status. Trump administration officials have pressed for their release as a show of goodwill by North Korea before the unprecedented U.S.-North Korea summit expected to take place in late May or early June.

“As everybody is aware, the past Administration has long been asking for three hostages to be released from a North Korean Labor camp, but to no avail. Stay tuned!” Trump said in a Twitter post late on Wednesday.

FOLLOW THE LINK FOR THE FULL REPORT – JR

https://ca.news.yahoo.com/u-checks-reports-three-american-detainees-relocated-north-012422440.html

PEACE! North and South Korea agree to ‘COMPLETE denuclearisation’ as Moon Jae-in vows ‘there will be no war’ with Kim Jong-un

The declaration included promises to pursue military arms reduction, cease “hostile acts,” turn their fortified border into a “peace zone,” and seek multilateral talks with other countries, such as the United States.

In his first ever press conference in front of the world’s media Kim Jong-un said:“We are one nation we cannot be separated. We share the same blood.

“We are living with each other. We are brothers.”

The Koreas said they hope the parties will be able to declare an official end to the war by the end of this year.


What’s happened so far:

  • Kim Jong-un met with South Korean President Moon Jae-in on the southern side of the demilitarised zone in the border truce village of Panmunjom
  • He made history as the first North Korean leader to cross into the South since the Korean War ended in 1953
  • The leaders displayed signs of unity and peace as they shook hands on both sides of the border line
  • Kim signed a guest book at the Peace House, in which he wrote: “A new history begins now”
  • Referring to missile tests, Kim joked “[we] won’t interrupt your early morning sleep anymore”
  • Kim offered to visit South Korean presidential mansion after Moon suggested more summits
  • The pair have planted a commemorative pine tree from 1953 – the year the Korean War armistice was signed – at the border truce village.
  • The countries have agreed to the the complete denuclearisation of the peninsula and hope to declare the war officially over by the end of this year.

FOLLOW THE LINK FOR THE FULL REPORT – JR

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/6154655/north-south-korea-agree-denuclearisation-kim-jong-un-moon-jae-in/

Secret, direct talks underway between US and North Korea

The United States and North Korea have been holding secret, direct talks to prepare for a summit between President Donald Trump and North Korea leader Kim Jong Un, a sign that planning for the highly anticipated meeting is progressing, several administration officials familiar with the discussions tell CNN.

Central Intelligence Agency Director Mike Pompeo and a team at the CIA have been working through intelligence back-channels to make preparations for the summit, the officials said. American and North Korean intelligence officials have spoken several times and have even met in a third country, with a focus on nailing down a location for the talks.
Although the North Korean regime has not publicly declared its invitation by Kim Jong Un to meet with Trump, which was conveyed last month by a South Korean envoy, several officials say North Korea has since acknowledged Trump’s acceptance, and Pyongyang has reaffirmed Kim is willing to discuss the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula

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https://www.cnn.com/2018/04/07/politics/north-korea-us-talks/index.html

CNN, MSNBC Journalists Give Trump Glowing Praise for North Korea Move as Obama Flacks Lose It

It was quite a sight on the Thursday editions of CNN’s Erin Burnett OutFront and MSNBC’s Hardball as liberal journalists heaped effusive praise on President Trump for his “remarkable,” “significant,” and “stunning” willingness to meet soon with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un. All the while, each network’s former Obama administration officials experienced weapons-grade meltdowns.

Since this site is dedicated to the media, let’s go first to the journalists. CNN’s Erin Burnett led the way, seemingly flabbergasted after the announcement as she told viewers “[t]hat was a stunning statement” by the South Korean national security adviser.

FOLLOW THE LINK FOR THE FULL REPORT – JR

https://www.newsbusters.org/blogs/nb/curtis-houck/2018/03/08/cnn-msnbc-journalists-give-trump-glowing-praise-north-korea-move

North Korea Is Willing to Discuss Giving Up Nuclear Weapons

North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, has told South Korean envoys that his country is willing to begin negotiations with the United States on abandoning its nuclear weapons and that it would suspend all nuclear and missile tests while it is engaged in such talks, South Korean officials said on Tuesday.

During the envoys’ two-day visit to Pyongyang, the North’s capital, which ended on Tuesday, the two Koreas also agreed to hold a summit meeting between Mr. Kim and President Moon Jae-in of South Korea on the countries’ border in late April, Mr. Moon’s office said in a statement.

“The North Korean side clearly stated its willingness to denuclearize,” the statement said. “It made it clear that it would have no reason to keep nuclear weapons if the military threat to the North was eliminated and its security guaranteed.”

If the statement is corroborated by North Korea, it would be the first time Mr. Kim has indicated that his government is willing to discuss giving up nuclear weapons in return for security guarantees from the United States. Until now, North Korea has said its nuclear weapons were not for bargaining away.

FOLLOW THE LINK FOR THE FULL REPORT – JR

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/06/world/asia/north-korea-south-nuclear-weapons.html

South Korea dog meat restaurants refuse to stop serving for Olympics

Almost all the dog meat restaurants in South Korea’s Pyeongchang county, where the Winter Olympics opening ceremony will be held on Friday, have defied a government request to stop serving the food, an official admitted Thursday.

South Koreans are believed to consume about one million dogs a year as a summertime delicacy, with the greasy red meat — which is invariably boiled for tenderness — believed to increase energy.

Activists have stepped up campaigns to ban dog consumption, with online petitions urging boycotts of the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics over the issue, and protests in Seoul.

FOLLOW THE LINK FOR THE FULL REPORT – JR

https://www.yahoo.com/news/korea-dog-meat-restaurants-refuse-stop-serving-olympics-104237290–oly.html