News ID: 213742
Published: 0309 GMT April 22, 2018

Trump says 'long way' to go on North Korea crisis

Trump says 'long way' to go on North Korea crisis
US President Donald Trump

US President Donald Trump on Sunday said the North Korean nuclear crisis is far from conclusion, striking a cautious note a day after the North’s pledge to end its nuclear tests raised hopes before planned summits with South Korea and the United States.

“We are a long way from conclusion on North Korea, maybe things will work out, and maybe they won’t – only time will tell,” Trump said on Twitter, Reuters reported.

North Korea said on Saturday it was suspending nuclear and missile tests and scrapping its nuclear test site, and instead pursuing economic growth and peace.

World leaders welcomed the announcement, which came before the first North Korea-South Korea summit in more than a decade on Friday.

In a tweet minutes before sounding a more cautious tone, Trump interpreted the North’s statement as a pledge to denuclearize: “Wow, we haven’t given up anything & they have agreed to denuclearization (so great for World), site closure, & no more testing!”

However, the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s announcement did not include a commitment to scrap existing nuclear weapons and missiles, and there are doubts he would ever give up the nuclear arsenal his country has been developing for decades, the Reuters report added.

Kim said North Korea no longer needed to test nuclear bombs or intercontinental ballistic missiles now that his country had the weapons, and he would gear all efforts toward economic development.

Some have expressed doubts about the North’s intentions and South Korean President Moon Jae-in will be under intense international scrutiny when he meets Kim on Friday.

In Washington, Bob Corker, the Republican chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said the US government viewed Kim’s pledge with skepticism.

Kim is expected to meet Trump in late May or early June, the first meeting between sitting leaders of the two countries. CIA director Mike Pompeo, Trump’s nominee to become the next secretary of state, secretly visited North Korea and met with Kim to discuss the summit three weeks ago.

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