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Biggest obstacle to Trump dealing with North Korea is his political foes at home

10 1 14

If Trump stands by that commitment then it will be key to a successful resolution of the decades-old conflict, with the specific result of North Korea fulfilling its vow to scrap nuclear weapons.

Significantly, following his meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, Trump referred to the annual joint military exercises between US and South Korean forces as “provocative” and “inappropriate” in the new context of peaceful exchange.

Until recently, the Trump administration – like previous US administrations – had refused to consider a reciprocal move over suspending its war maneuvers on the Korean Peninsula in return for North Korea’s nuclear disarmament.

Trump appeared to abandon that policy in a personal and spontaneous token of goodwill to Chairman Kim when the two leaders held historic face-to-face talks on Singapore’s Sentosa Island this week.

Even the Pentagon seemed to be caught by surprise, as were US allies Japan and South Korea.

Trump’s Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has followed up with visits to his South Korean and Japanese counterparts to “assure” them that US defense pacts are “ironclad”.

Notably, however, Pompeo did not resile from Trump’s announcement of cancelling the joint military drills due to take place later this year.

In a follow-on trip to Beijing, Pompeo accepted Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s stated position that “security guarantees” to North Korea were essential for delivering on a denuclearization process for the Korean Peninsula.

What this comes down is that the Trump administration has, in effect, adopted the formula prescribed by both China and Russia of a “freeze-freeze” trade-off.

Over the past year, Beijing and Moscow have been consistently calling for a step-by-step process of diplomatic engagement between the US and North Korea,........

© RT.com