Trump Sees End to North Korea Nuclear Threat Despite Unclear Path

“Sleep well tonight!” President Trump reassured Americans after returning from the summit meeting. “What planet is the president on?” replied Senator Chuck Schumer.


Comments: 191

  1. As with all policies, the devil is in the details, execution, and unanticipated consequences, not the tweets, claims, or contemporaneous punditry.

    Perhaps the "success" of this meeting is based not on the fact of Trump's alleged deal-making ability but, rather, that Kim is not the person portrayed all along by our government and media. Perhaps what he appears to be now is precisely who he has been all along. It is extremely unlikely that an essentially absolute ruler who is the incompetent, egomaniacal buffoon portrayed over the years by our government and media would have been able to successfully organize and preside over a nuke and missile program that many countries with greater financial and material resources can only dream about.

    Kim's brutal regime exists, and to the extent and way we deal with him it is very helpful to deal with the reality and not a simplistic and unlikely cartoon characterization. Perhaps we are so surprised because we have been kidding ourselves for years, because our government came to believe its own spin on North Korean reality.

    I don't know how this all started, whether successive administrations chose to believe self-serving analyses from an intelligence community that no President has held accountable, or that good intelligence was superseded by political self-delusion, or something else. It is now imperative that out government and media consider the possibility that Kim may have been a very capable and savvy leader all along.

  2. Surely he is not a cartoon, but the brutality for which he is responsible is very real. And this information does not come from our government but rather from North Korean defectors who survived to talk about it. As someone who has read a good number of memoirs by these defectors, I can assure you that the horrors taking place in North Korea are not exaggerated.

  3. Trump needed to convey a win for his political career. But who will check whether we, the world, are truly safer? Who is to monitor and accurately report the progress (or non-progress)? Trump, Pompeo & Surrogates? It will be difficult for our Western allies to get passed those gatekeepers. And so insight is gained into Trump's recent rantings about Trudeau and G7. The MO: Discredit, demonize, alienate anyone anything that can expose the truth, stand in the way. Even if the G7 got passed the gatekeepers, who would listen to Western allies, after all, our Western allies are the demons who are not looking out for our best interests. Ah, Putin's boy (or dupe-history will show which) has done Putin's bidding well.

  4. Actually, North Korea can denuclearization without any verification of authentication by us. But they won't.

  5. Both Kim and Tramp may actually fake complete denuclearization. NK could dissassemble 30% of their arsenal, allow inspection in selected sites and Trump would play along. Hey, who wouldn’t love to bask in the light of world savior and Nobel laureate? With the complete Trump control over the government any CIA information to the contrary would be supressed.

  6. None of this incredibly loose "agreement" sounds as clear and verifiable as the Iran deal Trump recently threw out because he claimed it wasn't strong enough.

  7. Highly unlikely. Why would they ? Trump has already given away the store. They will string this out for all it is worth - that is the track history.

  8. Trump and Pompeo have been OUT foxed by Kim. IF pushed Kim will opt for HIS version of what is in the agreement: Like Grandfather grandson does the same. I find it unremarkable the two older white men did NOT do more reading on the Kim family history.

  9. That is just brainless. To say that a country cannot denuclearize without verifying is to make up your own language and dictionary. To rid yourself of something is different from taking steps to ensure others that you have done so. In fact, as many have observed, verification was the real issue, not denuclearizing itself, at this summit. And there was neither mention nor apparently even agreement, about it.

  10. The tree is falling in the woods Mickey. And making quite the sound (maybe.)

  11. It occurred to me today that the whole schtick with Kim was basically one of his pep rallies with his stream of consciouness or unconsiousness verbalizations. The only.thing missing was the mob with MAGA hats. Giess there wasn't sufficient room.

  12. The practice by both sides of spinning the meeting 'results' through conflicting individual statements and tweets suggests to me that this all may end badly and soon. On the other hand, this just may be a continuing part of the public theater both sides engage in and the posturing for a domestic audience is expected and accepted and will not be seen by the other side as a problem. I suspect some folks without a direct role in the process may have more sensible things to say.

  13. Riiiight. This says it so much better than I could. I'll have to make some substitutions for language too foul for the NYTimes (though Trumpistan would have no trouble aiming it the other way):

    "Not many people could figure out a way to portray Justin Trudeau as a thug and Kim Jong Un as a rock star, but Donald Trump found a way."

    From Rick Wilson (Republican strategist):

    "nothing says Presidential Stature like your juvenile [preening] and insults attacking the heads of state of the G7 nations [and] for deploying your clown-car motorcade of loudmouth, shock-jock aides to make the damage worse."

    "you spent more time at the G7 summit doing Vladimir Putin’s bidding than you did strengthening the ties between the United States and our closest allies."

    "all the bad guys have to do is kiss your ample [posterior] & shower you with enough superficial praise and they can play you like the trifling intellectual lightweight you most certainly are."

    "You got your on-camera handshake with a man who orders the deaths of children. You got your lunch with one of the few remaining dictators on this earth and put the Leader of the Free World on the same level as a hereditary thug who killed his half-brother with chemical weapons."

    "You’ve cut the sinews of a strategic alliance with Japan and South Korea that has contained North Korea, and kept a brake on Chinese power in the Western Pacific."

    https://www.thedailybeast.com/trumps-negotiating-style-is-pure-art-of-th...

  14. And don't forget.

    The North Koreans were making a virtue of necessity.

    That test site was kaput, damaged, gone. That's why they thought it would be a good idea to demolish it and pretend it was a gesture of goodwill.

  15. And yet Trump has something like at 75% or higher approval rating with Republicans.

  16. The thing is, it's clear Trump knows he's out matched and out classed by Trudeau and the rest of the G7. He only likes situations where he can maintain a facade of being the star of the show, even if it's only in his tiny little mind.

  17. "When a reporter pressed and asked for more details about how it would be verified, Mr. Pompeo grew testy. “I find that question insulting and ridiculous and, frankly, ludicrous,” he said."

    Translation: I have no idea.

  18. Testy soul he is. You are right, he like Trump get annoyed when they can't answer a question. As you said, he hasn't a clue. "something like that" from Pompeo and "we'll see" are the favorites.

  19. The most egregious part of this entire dog-and-pony show (surely the most expensive photo-op in history) is that those who still support Trump will believe anything he says about what happened. Trump can say NK has denuked as a nuke explodes overhead and they would still be cheering "lock her up".

  20. This dog-and-pony show may be just the biginning of the fake denuclearization with Trump playing along. Given the control Trump has over CIA, and ability to supress any information, he could pulled that off.

  21. A smart as Pompeo is he is acting a bit like this is his first rodeo.

    I don't care for his religious ideology and certain social stances but he is a very intelligent man that will have to shepherd this relationship with North Korea ostensibly because his boss is simply a profound mental midget and incompetent buffoon.

  22. Don't worry, America: Donald definitely isn't lying this time. Plus, we can feel secure knowing that the DPRK trusts America, just like Iran.

  23. Trump says “we should sleep well tonight”. How is that even possible in the Trump / GOP nightmare?

  24. Yes of course in 2 1/2 years. "Vote for me Donald Trump in November 2020 and you'll have a nuclear-free North Korea in December 2020."

  25. Show me the beef!!!!!!!!

  26. Only verifiable De-nuclearization via IAEA and American scientists works Mr President , Fox news does not count.

  27. Compare the "brilliant deal maker's" (Trumps') agreement with North Korea with the "worst agreement ever" - the Iran deal President Obama struck along with the EU and Russia to prevent Iran from getting nuclear weapons. Kim made the same promises his father and grandfather have made and broken for decades. He made unverifiable claims to close a nuclear testing and a missile-testing site. In return he: is keeping his nuclear weapons and missiles; has gained world-wide recognition; broken the economic sanctions that took years to create and were finally biting; and got the U.S. to stop military exercises with our South Korean allies. In the Iran deal, Iran: decommissioned thousands of centrifuges used to enrich fissionable materials that could be used for a nuclear bomb; agreed to not proceed with creating a bomb for at least a decade; accepted international observers and monitoring equipment to VERIFY that it was complying with the deal; and sent highly enriched uranium out of the country. Inspectors have consistently found Iran in full compliance. In return the U.S. and Europeans were to lift sanctions [which would have benefitted all participants' economies] and return Iranian funds that had been frozen to Iran. The U.S. did not fully lift sanctions and withdrew from the deal and is trying to re-impose sanctions even after bashing our European allies. Iran no longer is obligated to not develop nuclear weapons. Great wins by Trump.

  28. Yeah, right, and then the Condo's and hotels will be built on the coast, call me when it's done.

  29. Two and one-half years. Gee, just in time for the 2020 election.

  30. If the final deal is as comprehensive as the Iran deal was, I'll applaud it while still wondering why we had to renege on the Iran deal.

    Until then, nothing has been accomplished besides two liars lying to each other and their people back home.

  31. There may be many definitions of "success. " It certainly is easier to claim success when the President and Sec. Pompeo haven't a clue to what they have just agreed to if anything. The two thuds you hear are Trump and Pompeo falling off the turnip wagon on the way to Sinapore. Compared to the careful and detailed agreement with Iran that Trump tore up this is much worse because it is so nebulous.
    Pompeo is so phonetically close to Pompeii- the place where everyone died because they refused to heed the signs of Vesuvius erupting. Same deal here for Mike, no? Anyone who calls a legit question "insulting, ridiculous, and frankly ludicrous" doesn't know, and doesn't want to know, the answer.

  32. Let’s hope that Kim really does want to denuclearize, instead of pleading for time in order to rebuild a nuclear test site.

    In any event, Trump did not really have to concede by abandoning military exercises, because Kim currently has few cards to play due to the unexpected collapse of the test site (other than having China protect him) , but Trump wanted the ‘win’ so badly that he did. This is also called diplomacy, that dirty word he criticizes Obama for practicing.

  33. Dear Trumps puppet, dream on!

  34. Also: Trump’s puppets, dream on.

  35. Is it possible, that Trump offered Kim the deal of a life time? To build Trump Towers throughout North Korea, if Kim would agree to not nuke them? It's all about real-estate with Donald, how else to build an empire. I loved the video, can't wait too see the sequel.

  36. You go Mikey P. You know better, everyone knows better. Kim knows better. He played you all. All for a handshake photo-op for your ridiculous boss. a photo-op that cost us millions in expenses.

    Why would Kim and his very militant Military leaders give up their only bargaining chip? We don't even a clue what NK has stored away, either in NK, or someplace else! Not a clue!

    They could hand over anything, and it could be, likely is, but a nibble off a larger stockpile.

    But you go Mikey...you keep up the fronting...keep up the outlandish claims, and now support Trumps new agenda of Making China Greater!

    Trump = MCG. Making China Greater!

  37. I'm not so worried about verifying what Kim does as verifying what Trump tells us.

  38. What ludicrous times we are currently living through with truth being drowned out by the volume of lies and the fallacy of false hope. Where every photo-op a "tremendous" victory and every handshake a "special bond".

  39. All I need to read is South Korea's statement on this to know that a positive, albeit small, step forward was taken.

    Honestly it really frustrates me that a good portion of the left is allowing their bias to get in the way of something good. The party whose platform is largely made up of protecting our dear home, Earth, and human rights should be championing the progress that is being made.

    Something must change in order for the 25 million people living in North Korea to be allowed basic human rights. Nothing before was working. Any haphazard agreement is a win at this point. Please, for the love of God people, we must realize that short of invading that country, overthrowing Kim, and forcing democracy upon their people, diplomacy in this vein is about the best that we can hope for. Maybe, just maybe, something will come of it going forward.

  40. I can't get past your "any haphazard agreement is a win at this point".
    Really?

  41. The same promises were made twenty years ago--are the North Korans any better off than they were then?

  42. Donald Trump is absolutely correct when he says that North Korea is no longer "our biggest and most dangerous problem." Donald Trump is.

  43. I can't imagine Trump handling any hiccups along the way.

    If he can't handle Rosie, DeNiro, Streep. What will happen if Kim doesn't budge and makes all of Trump's claims invalid?

    What will happen when Trump will be made to look like a fool? He can tweet about the G7, heck, he didn't even want to go and look what happened.

    In this case, Singapore was all his doing. Now imagine it doesn't work out. That scenario, with all the might of the US military at his disposal, that doesn't make me feel very good.

  44. I read in THE GLOBE AND MAIL today.what happened at the G7 meeting. Apparently trump told Prime Minister Trudeau that the demand for a 5 year sumset clause for NAFTA was being removed. Trump left, made the speech that indicated the demand for the sunset clause was still there. Mr. Trudeau made his speech defending Canadian interests which provoked trump and his flunkies vicious attacks. Sure does not bode well for any agreement with trump. But of course viewing trump's lifelong history of business dealings...chronically stiffing contractors etc. it is par for the course for him.

  45. I hope that Kim makes DJT look like a complete rube, a mark to be exploited.

  46. Well I know of three countries where he will be most welcome.

  47. Too bad Sec. Pompeo didn't say, "President Trump has divine powers." Then he would have gotten a really good N.Y. Times headline.

  48. Diplomatic amateurs; consummate grifters.

  49. Donald Trump is correct that North Korea is no longer our "biggest and most dangerous problem." Donald Trump is.

  50. Make that ALL Republicans.
    Remember November!

  51. The only thing that has changed is Kim Jong-Un now knows he can play the President of the United States like a cheap fiddle. Kim Jon-Un got everything he wanted, and more, while POTUS got nothing in return other than the same unbelievable lines that the DPRK has been using for years now. POTUS was more interested in the photo op and something to tweet about and less interested in some actual substance and results.
    And once again the USA loses.

  52. Oh good Lord. Now all we need is for Trump or one of his minions to come bounding down an airplane ramp waving a piece of paper while boasting about how we've achieved peace in our time. If I were a South Korean, I'd immediately do two things: petition my government to start a nuclear weapons program of its own and apply for passports to get my family out of the Korean peninsula as soon as possible. Trump is the process of selling out yet another of our allies to what is arguably the worst government in the world. And that means that South Korea and Japan will have to rearm.

  53. Not many months ago, hundreds of anti-Trump readers on the Comment boards where purportedly panicking that Trump would thrust the country into a full nuclear war with North Korea. Now those same readers are claiming that Trump never should have met with a human rights-abusing dictator (as if that ever stopped President Obama from meeting Raul Castro) and gave away too much in agreeing to discontinue joint military exercises (anything but an irrevocable concession), all with the objective of denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula. Absolutely Kafkaesque.

  54. Maybe you should check out all the videos that show GOP members and Fox hosts (Hannity) that trashed Obama for even saying he would be willing to meet with the likes of a Castro, Putin or Kim Jong-un. Look at all these hypocrites now praising trump. All he did was give NK a gift (cancelling or war games) and we got a big fat goose egg.

  55. Not Kafkaesque at all. It is perfectly consistent to point out that Trump overdid it with the belligerent rhetoric and then negotiated very badly.

  56. So Trump knew what he was doing when he chose Pompeo to head State, another smoke and mirrors guy who fits right in with the manipulator-in-chief's aversion to verifiable reality.

  57. Exactly. And I don't think it was a coincidence that he started his tour of duty at CIA, so he could get a peek at secrets that could be useful for attacking Donnie's enemies.

  58. When a reporter pressed and asked for more details about how it would be verified, Mr. Pompeo grew testy. “I find that question insulting and ridiculous and, frankly, ludicrous,” he said.

    Translation: "Don't ask me questions for which I have no good answer."

  59. I no longer expect anything useful or truthful from Trump. But I expect much better from our Secretary of State, a Senate-vetted service academy graduate.

  60. In other words, "pay no attention to that man behind the curtain."

  61. And Pompeo added/sneered that verification was "implied".

    Great. So the next time I go to the bank for a loan, I'll tell them that there's no need to have a formal loan agreement, because my repayment is implied. Let's see how far I get with that.

  62. I was not paying attention. I thought the first signed thing was just a warm up and that they would have further talks this week. Really this is all they got out of the meeting??? Better than nothing, but seriously this isn't anything we haven't seen before.

    Thus far Trump has not managed to get as far as Bill Clinton did. Dropping military exercise was good though. I think if Trump removed some sanctions that would be good. If the country can develop further I think everything will speed up. Keeping it poor and backwards will just delay progress.

  63. Dropping military exercises? These exercises are to train the new enlistees when the former military personnel completes their tour. Training the turnover so to speak. Without these military exercises, new enlisted personnel are not learning what they signed up to do- protection of America. This of course is a surprise to South Korea and everyone. "dropping military exercise" is not good.

  64. And all it took was a movie trailer, who knew?

  65. A brief closed door meeting by two heads of State, both compulsive liars with no notes or witnesses.
    What can possibly go wrong?
    I guess that's what Trump calls "The Art of the Deal".

  66. Pompeos insulting, ridiculous and ludicrous response to a reporters question showed how little preparation went into the extravaganza in Singapore. He does'nt know how NKs denuclearization would be verified. Really?

  67. So I am a bit confused. Whatever happened to Reagans negotiation with verification? I think all America will get out of this is a four minute video in Korean & English but no t-shirt. Oh, but there will be a Trump Tower in Pyongyang . Along with Ivanka branded items in China. Oh ,let's not forget the saving of jobs at XTE. It looks like Trump will do anything,ANYTHING , to win. Watch out Melania. America's been sold out.

  68. Ahahahahaha. Sure, Mike. Sure

  69. Is there any chance at all that Trump would send Hannity and the "cast" of Fox and Friends to North Korea?

    Just hoping...

  70. Is there any chance at all that Trump would send Hannity and the "cast" of Fox and Friends to North Korea?
    Thanks, Now that's really a deal I can believe in.

  71. My god! What a great idea!

  72. “... the next two and a half years, something like that.”

    Sorry, Mr. Secretary, that won’t cut it. President Barack Obama’s deal with Iran had timetables, an agreement, please recall, that you criticized with vigor when you were a Tea Party foot soldier in the House from Kansas.

    Now that you’re in the big leagues, you’re trying to palm off on the American people a C-League timetable for a major league proposal. And why do you find “insulting, frankly,” a query from the working press about necessary verification and the disarmament of nuclear warheads and the destruction of uranium-producing and enriching sites? President Obama saw to these complexities—and more—but when you’re asked what this means, you puff up your ruffles and become defensive. Why not, sir, just admit what the entire world—including North Korea—knows: you have no idea what’s in the thin page-and-a-half communique.

    If President Obama’s deal with Iran had been as sloppy as this one, you’d have called for his impeachment yesterday. And you know it.

  73. The message at least should be clear to South Korea. Plan for military parity in every type of weaponry and military personnel with North Korea. Rely on your own intelligence aparatus to keep you informed. Yankee go home has been replaced by Yankee going home.
    Hey guys, you have the means to do it. Do you have the will? Otherwise!
    Western Europeans take heed as well.

  74. For narccisists there is a simple rule: everything anyone else does is not as good as you could have done, and everything you do is better than anyone else could do. Thiis is a universal rule, applcable always, regardless of the details.

  75. Please note that, as a result of bringing North Korea to the conference table, two Norwegian legislators have nominated President Trump for the Nobel Peace Prize.

    This is quite a contrast to President Obama's Nobel Peace Prize, which was awarded to him after 6 months in office not because of any accomplishments but because of the prospect that he might achieve some advancement in peace.

  76. How convenient. Right after the next presidential election. Do you have any condos built on quicksand for sale?

  77. Sure, by the next election. The Art of the Hype. Unfortunately, the honorable Rocket Man doesn't have to worry about those pesky elections, nor does China, Russia and Saudi Arabia, our other new Trump era friends.

  78. Seeing is believing.

  79. Unfortunately, with a lot of Trump's supporters, believing is seeing.

  80. Once again, a NYT front page headline is extremely misleading.

    What are the odds that the disarmament Pompeo "sees" will ever come to be?

  81. Sure, and I see myself winning the Powerball Lottery within 2.5 years. Or maybe the MegaMillions. This is a grand spectacle for the rubes, just in time for the Midterms. Seriously ridiculous AND deplorable.

  82. Oh dear, what a cynic we are!
    Still, all probably true.

  83. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he expected “major disarmament” in North Korea within two and a half years.

    Pompeo should take off his rose colored glasses.

  84. How much do you want to bet, that come the next military parade, in Pyongyang, you will see new missiles and other weaponry paraded by?

    Kim Jong-Un is a lot of things, by stupid is not one of them. A "nuclear free" Korea means no nuclear weapons, and US troops, in the south. Nor, nuclear capable ships, or submarines, anywhere stationed near South Korea. And, remember, Abe, of Japan, wants US troops off Okinawa.

    If I were living in Seoul, I would be considering migration to somewhere else. North Korea is very capable of bombing Seoul, with conventional weapons.

    The end game, Kim wants to unite Korea under Pyongyang. He gets that economy, infrastructure, technical knowhow, food sources and hard currency that he wants. And, this has been the goal of the North, since the end of what we call the Korean War. That is, one Korea, one people philosophy. By the way, the south have the same idea, but the country would be under south control, and Kim ousted.

    If there are no US troops in the area, it comes down to who will have the the bigger, and well trained forces, armed forces.

    If Trump is willing to give up a US presence in east Asia (selling out South Korea), he may be ceded South Korea to the North. Well, it is good for Russia and China to have direct connections to a united Korea, with no US troops whatsoever. Considering China is flexing it muscle, in a larger and larger area of east Asia, getting the US out of South Korea and Japan works for their long term goals.

  85. Unfair. What standard did I use? Pres. Nixon’s 1972 visit to China
    which resulted in the Shanghai Communique. The language was extremely vague as well. But the media applauded the “constructive ambiguity”. The U.S. "gave away" a lot, although I personally thought we did the right thing — acknowledging the one-China policy and agreeing to cut back military installment in Taiwan. The document expressed wish to expand economic and cultural contacts between the two nations, although NO concrete steps were mentioned. What did China give the U.S? Nothing. However, the media was unanimous in praising the result of that visit. Be fair. You are destroying our trust in media.

  86. China big.

    North Korea small.

    No comparison.

  87. No they are not. They reported nothing that is not true.

    They just don't view things through creamsicle-colored glasses as do you and those of your ilk.

  88. While few will dispute that Nixon was reprehensible in almost every way, it is recognized that Nixon was a very intelligent man. This cannot be said of DJT. I also ask how much preparation was done prior to the meetings with China? How many experts did Nixon consult to prepare for his meetings? How long was the actual meeting and how many were there? My sense is that these two processes were completely different and trying to compare them is disorder at best. And we all know what happened to Nixon. What does that portend for Trump?

  89. Among the many reasons why major disarmament is vanishingly unlikely, here's the key one having to do with Trump: he's already declared that there is "no longer" a nuclear threat from NK. He's laid down a marker: "The great Donald has achieved the impossible, and it was easy."

    That marker will now become the overwhelming focus of Trump's interest, if that's what you can call it, in NK. Those who question it will become the target of his twitter rage. Those who work for the President, and don't rally to it ("The President's claim that there is no nuclear threat will not be questioned") will find their employment suddenly highly insecure and anxious, and that includes Mike Pompeo. To the extent that Pompeo lets any work he's doing on actual disarmament go public--not to mention any difficulties he's having--he puts a bullseye on himself.

    Trump's the used-car salesman who put a cheap coat of paint on a ancient wreck and now claims it's practically new and in perfect condition. If his lackeys try to replace the bald tires or fix the broken engine, they give his con the lie. It's just not going to happen.

  90. I certainly would be happy if this were to really happen. Unfortunately, my experience following Mr. Trump discourages me from believing anything he or his administration has to say. Instead, I expect to hear a lot of bragging about non substantive agreements. President Obama got Iran to agree to inspections, will we be expected to trust the North Koreans because they promise Mr. Trump a good beachside hotel location? Verify, verify, verify, the Koreans, Mr. Trump and his staff.

  91. One should expect vague Trump administration happy talk about progress toward Korean denuclearization to extend through the November midterm elections. Playing peacemaker has given Trump a political bounce and, if he can sustain it a few more months, a decent shot at maintaining Republican control of Congress. If the strategy succeeds, the Mueller investigation can be jettisoned without immediate political risk right after the election.

    From the standpoint of Trump and the Republicans, a favorable November electoral outcome in itself will be sufficient to regard the Singapore Spectacle as a rousing success. Any benefits accruing from it beyond that would simply be frosting on the cake.

  92. If this sham of a peace conference is all it takes to fool people into thinking Trump is actually doing anything useful..we have a far larger problem on our hands that may lead to the demise of our democracy; poorly educated folks who cannot think objectively and depend on Faux news to govern their decision making.

  93. Pompeo said anyone questioning Trump's N. Korea statements is "insulting and ridiculous and, frankly, ludicrous.” So now we add Pompeo to the list of our government dishonest shills. Could someone please be honest?

    We are to believe that in one minute Trump sized up his new best friend Kim, and that upon signing the agreement, we are all now safe from N. Korea's threat.

    It will take years to get rid of N. Korea's nuclear program (which Kim knows is all that got him this meeting in the first place.)

    We, on the other hand, can now add S. Korea and Japan to the list of insulted allies along with Canada and the European Union. Quite a week for our president!

    Or maybe we should add N. Korea solved to Trump's other unfulfilled promises: his taxes, a wonderful and cheaper health plan for everyone, decreasing our war commitments globally and...oh, yes, giving up his business interests so he could work full time for our nation and golfing less than Obama.

    But Trump did say one truthful thing: if it doesn't work out he will find some excuse (blaming everyone else.)

    Good photo op and Trump believes N Korea is now safe for all with a loving leader who will do right by his people, is funny and a good bud of Trump.

  94. To all those foreign policy pundits who have commented here, it is absurd to think that the initial meeting would result in a detailed agreement. This is only the first of many steps to follow.

    Please note that two Norwegian legislators have nominated President Trump for bringing North Korea to the conference table, a considerable accomplishment that deserves recognition.

    We Democrats must get beyond bashing Trump all the time; all those supposedly stupid voters in fly-over country realize that the Democrats are spending their energy in vicious and often vulgar attacks on Trump, his associates and his family, rather than developing strong Democratic candidates and trying to meet the needs and concerns of those who voted for--and are likely again to vote for--Trump.

    Vitriol is no substitute for a sound platform--do we Democrats have anything to offer voters besides Robert de Niro's and Samantha Bee's foul mouths? I'm not so sure we do.

  95. Why does Pompeous react in that way? Obviously the details re nowhere near ready. He is no diplomat that is for sure. How about, we are in negotiations bla bla bla and working towards achieving the goals bla bla. We all know and understand that process, but I guess Trump devotees can only grasp hyperbole and Trump speak.

    Very disappointing that no mention of human rights in the statement.

  96. To all those foreign policy pundits who have commented here, it is absurd to think that the initial meeting between the US and North Korea would result in a detailed agreement. This is only the first of many steps to follow.

    Please note that two Norwegian legislators have nominated President Trump for bringing North Korea to the conference table, a considerable accomplishment that deserves recognition.

    We Democrats must get beyond bashing Trump all the time; all those supposedly stupid voters in fly-over country realize that the Democrats are spending their energy in vicious and often vulgar attacks on Trump, his associates and his family, rather than developing strong Democratic candidates and trying to meet the needs and concerns of those who voted for--and are likely again to vote for--Trump.

    Vitriol is no substitute for a sound platform--do we Democrats have anything to offer voters besides the foul mouths of Robert de Niro, Samantha Bee and Kathy Griffin? I'm not so sure we do.

  97. Well, they all see Mueller winding up his investigation by September 1, as well. Break out the tin foil hats

  98. NYTimes: Do Not repeat Trumpian statements in headlines as if they were true. Better:
    "Pompeo issues hypothetical and unverifiable speculations within uncertain time frame"
    Better yet: report on what happened, not what Trumpians say.

  99. Although I am not privy to any facts, I think this administration is in the same situation because they have never disarm a country from it's nukes. Be testy. It shows you don't know where to begin. First step, how many missiles with warheads does NK have? Ahh, does that one under the mattress count? Does the US have the ability to go anywhere in NK's country and what does the US say when they find NK's dirty laundry? To keep it on the light side, I'm reminded of a song - something like, 'We've Only Just Begun ...".

  100. Just talked to Kim. He said "I just completed denuclearization. It was the biggest denuclearization ever, believe me. Nobody does denuclearization better than me. I will show my denuclearization if crooked Hillary shows her emails. BTW, there was NO COLLUSION between Trump and me, only with Obama, who is a weak and meek Muslim from Kenya, I have been told on Tuesday."

  101. Hmmm 2.5 years? Why, that puts us awfully close to Election Day 2020! Surprise!

  102. Reminds me of Nixon's secret plan to end the Vietnam war, right before his reelection in 1972; abandon Vietnam and run away.

  103. Despite Mike Pompeo's prescience regarding a de-nuclearized North Korea, many deals (since 1985) have been struck in the past with North Korea that never came to fruition. As late as 2012 diplomats for North Korea and the U.S. reached a deal in Beijing. President President Obama was prepared to send tons of food to North Korea in exchange for the beginning (yet again) of denuclearization by that country. It never happened.
    With two narcissistic, mercurial personalities involved in the photo-op on Tuesday, and Kim Jong-un already declaring that he more or less bested the U.S. in that meeting, I remain cynical that North Korea will honor any agreement it made to de-nuclearize. ( I also imagine that Trump was not exactly happy about Kim Jong-un's boast.) Further, was there a signed treaty of any sort? Will inspectors be allowed in North Korea? Is there any sort of draft for a timetable for disarmament? Has Trump promised to start ending sanctions against North Korea before there has been any good faith showing by North Korea that it is starting to disarm? I can imagine North Korea stalling if any sanctions are lifted. Or did Kim Jong-un get what he wanted? That is, being recognized as a world leader by Trump and the suspension of joint military exercises with South Korea (which was a surprise to South Korea and our own military).

  104. The latter is spot on. Game, set, match to Kim.

  105. The only way North Korea gives up its nukes is to hand over all operational control to China. In essence, North Korea becomes a Chinese Feudal Fifedom free to do what it wants internally but to pose no threat externally. China may even buy the whole Fifedom for $1T. They got ( our ) cash to do it.

    So the best course of action is to build up a huge international armada in china’s Eastern flank and force the acquisition.

  106. It's going to take 2.5 years? What? Trump already announced it was over. that it was ok to sleep at night. That the threat of nuclear war was over; that he signed a major deal already with Kim and NK. Is Pompeo now saying that is not true? Please tell us Trump is not lying again. Please tell us that this was not all a show with empty rhetoric and promises.

  107. Pompeo': "insulting and ridiculous and, frankly, ludicrous,” What an apt summary of the entire Trump administration!

  108. 'He said on Tuesday that Mr. Kim had promised to dismantle a facility for testing missile engines. In an interview with ABC News, Mr. Trump also said North Korea planned to “get rid of certain ballistic missile sites and various other things.” As of Wednesday, there had been no announcement from North Korea about removing such facilities.'

    Let's turn off the propaganda spout:

    - In April, Kim said he has no more use for testing sites because the test proved that his missiles have already proven they can do their job-annihilate his targets. Shuttering them does not slow him down in any way.

    - In Singapore, Trump wouldn't allow White House negotiators to specify timing, concessions and deal points because they would scuttle his real estate deals. So Trump was actually the only one 'negotiating', but he doesn't even know what these 'things' are called.

  109. If Mike Pompeo were in charge of North Korea, this would still warrant something in writing to be considered more than hot air. Unfortunately, Mike is only in charge of Donnie Boy's re-election committee, so the timing and empty promises, well, they just ring a bit hollow.

  110. The spin doctors! Pompeo, unlike Tillerson is a Trump acolyte with no desire to end up in the White House dustbin. Pompeo should never have allowed the private meeting - Trump appears to have given away the candy store. What did Trump get to be the starry eyed friend - maybe they talked condos on the beach -

  111. Doesn't anyone SEE what's going on..???? What is the only thing stopping Trump from bombing North Korea right now? 28 million U.S. service members and their families stationed in South Korea. Trump doesn't care about the well being of the South Koreans- he's willing to "fake" a peace accord - withdraw the thousands of troops and then sit back and wait for Kim to do something stupid then... KABOOM! Even with the troops stationed in Japan - Trump is willing to gamble those lives - He's convinced he can win with one super strike. .. That's at least what I see...

  112. It's only 28,000 troops. I don't think he's that stupid. And I do think he's stupid.

  113. Beware shills bearing false promises!

  114. Large real estate deals can be likened to romances.

    Trump knows real estate deals. He is the high level guy who meets with the other high level guy and, if they like each other, they shake hands and tell their subordinates to work on the details. Singapore was basically their first date after a pen pal relationship.

    What Trump and Kim agreed to in writing is basically a non-binding letter of intent, in which the two big shots agree to have their subordinates draw up a comprehensive agreement. They are dating.

    They are basically now in the Bromance stage. Soon, they will be engaged. When they start arguing over the time and place for the wedding, the relationship may fray.

    Neither party wants to define denuclearization. That would be getting bogged down in details. That is for the subordinates to work out, if they can.

    Trump pulled out of the military games as basically a good faith deposit. Not sure if Kim did anything similar. Maybe blowing up the test site after removing the important equipment was Kim’s good faith deposit.

    So, now let’s see if Pompeo the Pompeous and his N. Korean counterpart can put together something workable, for both countries and their allies.

    If history is any guide, the vague understanding reached in Singapore will fall apart once the details become apparent.

    To keep the Bromance metaphor going, it is way too early to throw the rice.

  115. I used to work for one of the powerhouse New York commercial real estate brokerage firms and I like your comparison of these peace negotiations to a real estate deal, but I would like to point out that the first phase of the negotiations really occurred when Korea boasted that they could strike the United States with it's nuclear armed missiles and Trump retaliated by threatening to annihilate their country. Only when North Korean believed we were preparing for war did they shift strategies allowing South Korea's President to begin peace overtures.
    You were dead on that the paper they sign was a "letter of Intent" and in a real estate negotiation that come when the major business points are agreed to. What Trump did by using this "letter of Intent" tactic was to nail down the key conditions for normalizing relations; complete denuclearization. That was the only objective at this stage of the negotiations, all the other points, as you pointed out, will be handled by lawyers and other negotiators. This agreement also demonstrates how much North Korea needs this deal.
    I would also suggest that the relationship between the two men is not so much a "Bromance", but the kind of "look me in the eye" face to face assessment that tells each side what they are really willing to offer to make this deal. And of course you're right, it's too early to "throw the rice".

  116. Mmmm, like your analogy...kind of like reality show speed dating. Right up Trump's alley. Sad part is, for those of us who can't stand reality shows, we're like in a 1984 nightmare where telescreens are always present. We cannot look away from this disaster.
    And if Obama had done this?

  117. Plus Trump´s RE dealmaking ended years ago when people and banks and contractors figured out his contracts are not worth the paper they are written on.

  118. So, there is a special place in hell for Justin Trudeau but Kim is an honorable man who has a good sense of humor and can be trusted. We'll see how well this style of diplomacy works out.

  119. Good luck with that, Mr. Pompeo.

  120. 2 1/2 years....um...late in 2020...um....better have the "deal maker" in charge...looks like we have to re-elect Trump....

    Is that the message ?

  121. Trump says we can "sleep better now" but I wasn't losing any sleep over N Korea in the first place... at least not because of their potential nuclear-tipped missiles, which are a very 1960's fear not updated to the past 20+ years and certainly not for an NK attack on America, which had and has a likelihood of essentially zero. (I won't get into the details of the "new warfare reality" that threatens America.)

    I lose sleep over the presence of Trump and his band of fellow liars, thugs and thieves and their foreign and domestic allies and advisers.... the truly evil bad guys. Not that Kim is not a good guy either but he has China as his big brother watching his back and offering its full support, protection and "guidance". China does not want war of this type... it's going to win long term anyway and is well along this path to success.

    Saying that a major disarmament will take 2.5 years is totally motivated by election dates and is far enough in the future that you can be sure it will happen in a lesser form at some point (or in no form at all), and people will forget the "due date" within weeks. You can also be sure of plenty of grandstanding and, of course, "misunderstandings" along the way... a lot of he-said-he-said and some name calling. Trump's supporters will see it as "the check is in the mail" and fully believe it's on the way... no problem. But they like fantasy and their views are reinforced by Trump, his people and their chosen media. It's all very dangerous.

  122. Another 'Big Man' with a horn!

  123. our lunatic president has just been had by a much smarter dictator.nobel,nobel,no....

  124. Mr Trump is now the new bearer of the sobriquet "peace in our time". The faux video is the most tawdry piece of so called diplomacy ever perpetrated by any person.

    The are some real takeaways from the summit.

    1. China coached Mr Kim well in game theory-knowing Trump has no game theory expertise and will not listen to advisors. By promising sanctions relief Trump violated rules of games theory and lost the game. Mr Kim will now say that unless they get immediate sanctions relief there will be no nuclear weapons disposition. There probably was never any intention to give up the nuclear arsenal-it would be insanity for Mr Kim to do so.

    2. The winner of all this was China who can now begin to trade with NK. The co-winner was NK. The loser was US. The really big loser was SK. Perhaps Mr Moon has learned about the perils of licking the boots of Trump.

    3. Trump never understood that the NK problem is an Asian problem but he will understand it better now.

    4. Mr Pompeo either is stupid-feels the need to support a failing president-or intentionally misleads the country about the future of NK. Whatever the case, American public needs to know that America lost the game and China won the game.

  125. Sure I'll sleep better tonight but will need to ignore how Trump can mess up relations with our Allies, punish children by taking them away from their parents, removing insurance "pre-existing conditions", take away health insurance from millions, allowing the Russians to interfere in our elections, the guilty pleas and indictments from the Mueller investigations, a president that absolute no morals and lies like a rug and has affairs and treats women like dirt, bullies everyone that disagrees with him. His words that really make me comfortable? "hopes to complete", "something like that", grand ego of "safer than the day I took office", "no longer a nuclear threat", "suspend military exercises" that are needed for the enlistees that complete their tour of duty and the newbies need training- thus military exercises. Trump will never have my respect and I'll do my part in the elections -voting against any or all Republicans. All of this reeks of non-commitment. Trump- move to China, Russia or North Korea since you seem to be more involved and even approve of their agenda. What's in it for you? Another ego trip or a hotel in North Korea?

  126. Curious time-frame. He couldn't get it done before the next presidential elections, eh?

  127. This 'agreement' has all the attributes of an elaborate PR stunt and none of the attributes of a genuine effort to make a deal with North Korea that sticks. With two and half years of a 'step by step' denuclearization process, the details of which cannot be discussed because to do so would be 'insulting', the agreement looks soft and vague, designed to enable assertions by the president that 'major' disarmament is happening all the way through to the next presidential election in November 2020 without any way to substantiate the truth or otherwise of those claims. It's a con.

  128. Remember Nixon's"secret plan" to end the VietNam War? Pompeo's statement is cut from the same cloth.

  129. Looks like Trump and Pompeo are timing disarmament to the 2020 election.

  130. Yeah, that's what I was thinking... "Elect Trump so we can finish the job we started in Singapore!"

  131. A simple question to Pompeo about the mechanics of verification, and he immediately goes to the Trump playbook, Chapter 1, dismissive insults. I guess an employer who's a liar and a bully hires employees who are liars and bullies.

  132. We shall see. But considering that the Kims have spent decades and tens of billions of dollars, impoverished and starved their own people, 60 years of dissing the West, based their world image and global standing on the development of their nuclear arsenal, is it reasonable to expect that Kim will give it all up within *two years*?? I think the odds are long.

  133. This is all good news, except for the part where Trump and Pompeo lie. Other than that, everything is peachy keen.

    Don't forget to vote this November.

  134. Yes. Every registered voter, please vote this November. Let's run every Republican U.S. Senator and House Representative out of Washington DC. Their spineless complacency, ignoring their own responsibilties at leaders, and instead, they are obeying the tyranical behavior of this president. The GOP is appropriately now called the Trump Party

  135. Vote in November? You betcha! I'll be there.

  136. I can hardly wait until trump allows Kim Jong-un to visit the White House. I see Kim Jong-un as someone who could be the leader of a MS13 gang, he has committed similar crimes against his own people and family members. I recalled trump said the MS-13 gang members were animals. So looking forward to America's House being opened to murderous thugs. Thank you #45.

  137. It will be Mar-A-Lago, and Trump will charge American taxpayers quadruple for the visit.

  138. Bamboozled

  139. Any statement from either regime carries with it no value as truth.

  140. What a joke. And a disgrace. Peace in our time!

    Trump was totally played. Imagine if Obama had come back with a handshake and a piece of paper. Fox News would be apoplectic; Republicans would scream for his impeachment.

    Republicans must and will be held responsible for installing this lying, crooked sociopath in the White House. ALL OF THEM. They all knew what he was about and they all knew what he was doing with the Russians. And then: commissions, hearings, investigations, indictments, trials and jail for Republican traitors and criminals.

    ALL OF THEM.

  141. All of the things you wish upon those who have participated, encouraged or just permitted the present rot in America are admirable. Not one of them will happen unless what appears to be a majority of Americans opposed to this insanity get out and vote. You haven’t done so well in the last several House and Senate elections. Just saying, from here in Canada where we also have a lot riding on November.

  142. Yep. Every single One.

  143. NYTimes. enough is enough. Your parroting of this administrations' lies and fantasies into concrete headlines is playing right into his strategy of using you as a Trumpaphone.

    Let's get back to real, confirmed factual news and save the propaganda for Fox.

  144. Agree! That headline "Trump Sees End to North Korean Nuclear Threat" is journalistic malpractice. NYTimes has no idea what Trump "sees" only what he claims and the claim is obviously a lie. But, of course, the NYTimes can't use the word "lie." You helped put the monster in the White House and now are protecting him while he marches our nation to ruin.

  145. Talk is cheap. Results speak volumes.

    The benefits for Trump personally, Kim for North Korea, Xi for China, and Putin for Russia and their respective political friends and personal wealth will have no limits.

    Let's see what good will happen to the rest of us in the US

  146. Pompeo seems to be a smart guy, but he's a fool to have tied himself to Trump, an ignoramus, pathological liar, and deluded fool. Just imagine if Obama had said that Baby Kim was honorable, trustworthy, talented, blah, blah, blah. Obama already would have been impeached by the mad-dog Republicans in the House of Representatives, who can't seem to find their tongues now that their own Dear Leader has said those very things (and other offensive absurdities) about a murderous tyrant.

  147. If this summit works it is a huge win for humanity. If it doesn't work, it could lead us to nuclear war. Trump seems oblivious to the historic relationships that are inherent in this interaction. His summit communique says nothing about the Soviet Union, China, Japan, or even south Korea. it says nothing about how the two nations may proceed. It lacks any definition about the final goals of the process that was started by this summit. In a word, this four point "plan" is vacuous. There is no there, there.

  148. Why do people asking, even rhetorically, "if the summit works?" It isn't. You only feed the troll (the greatest, bestest troll ever, believe me) by even fancifully suggesting this nonsense has the remotest chance of being true. It isn't.

    Meanwhile we have the sycophant GOP members (in Congress and the public at large) who throw all logic aside (as well as comparable complaints made toward Obama with far less substance) and disregard their self-appointed 'common sense' by believing Kim will disarm... for what again exactly? Oh, that's right, because macho Don told them too, and his enormous personality and threatening words had them trembling into compliance, right? It is to laugh, if it weren't so serious that is. I have seen numerous Trump supporters trot out 'cognitive dissonance' (oh boy, big words!) to explain the supposed suffering of liberals over Trump allowing us all to sleep well, solving the Korean problem in one easy visit. Wow. Perhaps they shoud look up the term again, and take a look in the mirror. There I go again, presuming they will apply logic and reason.

    There is no logic, no reason, behind any of this; it borders on the surreal, or perhaps insane. It reminds of the old Bogart film, "The Caine Mutiny." I fully expect Trump to be muttering 'sleep well tonight... the strawberries, that's where I got Kim!' Unfortunately, I fear we will never get that moment, his toadie handlers ensuring we never get that vindication.

  149. Liberals believe for certain that Reagan starts WWIII with one night bombing of Libya.
    Liberals hail peace after Obama’s months long bombing of Libya.

  150. Amen to that, Patrick. This all-icing & no-cake agreement could remain a nothing-burger for awhile; or maybe we'll start seeing some meat and bones as diplomats work this out. As Trump says, "We'll see." As Kev says, "or we won't".

  151. "Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Wednesday that the Trump administration hopes to complete “major disarmament” of North Korea within the next 2½ years, even as conflicting accounts of discussions between the two sides left unclear what had actually been agreed to."

    I think we all know none of that will matter. Two and a half years puts Trump just into his second term (which is unfortunately a very real prospect.) Besides, if the administration delivers nothing real, it will just lie.

  152. I can tell if a deal is bogus after one minute.

  153. Just another boondoggle like the tax cut. Smoke and mirrors, mirrors and smoke.

    Nothing has been done to combat the opioid crisis, fight income inequality or push back on China. In 2.5 or 6.5 (barf) years, Donald Trump’s supporters will be no better off and neither will the rest of us.

  154. This is just midterm propaganda. None of this has any bearing on reality. I'm sure this is not what the North Koreans are thinking they agreed to, even if Kim Jong-Un intends to operate in good faith. More likely, he is using this opportunity to play his violin internationally when Trump's next tantrum unilaterally derails negotiations.

  155. Secretary of State Pompeo surely jests! He believes, incorrectly, that DJT is going to complete his first term. After what we've witnessed of his petulant behavior with the G7 last week and with Kim Jong-un this week in Singapore, it is not only best for America but also for the rest of the world that he not finish his four year term.

    We should not lose sight of the fact that his sole reason for being president - albeit in name only - is to enhance his brand and make a lot of money for family and friends. Simply witness what money - $147,000,000 - Ivanka and Jared made alone last year. It is an illusion that he has duped his so-called base into believing he's "good for the country" - joke!

    While impeachment is always a possibility, forcing him to resign under severe scrutiny for obstruction of justice, collusion with the Russians, etc., is the best answer to this current problem with him.

  156. forcing him to resign as opposed to impeachment seems a difficult prospect, what scrutiny would one find sufficient for the task?

  157. Has anyone mentioned the fact that about 6 months ago Putin called for the US to stop military exercises with S. Korea? We go no concessions whatsoever despite Pompeo's statement, but we are the ones pulling back our forces. The only one in this game who is disarming is the US, at the behest of Putin.

  158. Pompeo has been handed a very tough job. Expect Trump to made the possible impossible.

  159. Why 2 1/2 years, seems like a strange duration?

    Oh yeah. That's AFTER the 2020 elections. So no need to be accountable on this silly promise until post-election. Got it.

  160. Sec. Pompeo doesn't need to worry. In a few days everyone will be talking about something else. Who will Donald Trump insult next? What will be the next revelation from Special Council Robert S. Mueller III? Or will Stormy Daniel's attorney hog our TV screens? Talk about North Korea will be long gone. Let's just hope Trump won't start calling Kim Jong-un "little rocket man" again. Let's hope Trump takes a nice long rest. That will be best for the world.

  161. This is the problem with having a president who has absolutely no credibility because he constantly lies to the American people.

    Unfortunately, we can't believe anything coming from this administration.

  162. The predictions are all coming true. When Trump has lied now nearly 4000 times, reversed statements of his team members and team members issue conflicting statements from each other, we have no idea who is telling the truth or even in charge.

    To think this is occurring with nuclear issues in the world's most repressive regime is beyond belief and without justification. Any justification.

  163. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters who questioned him about the vague language in the Trump-Kim joint statement released after their Singapore meeting that any such concerns about the loose language was "insulting and ridiculous and frankly ludicrous."

    Well, I certainly don't want insult the ridiculous and frankly ludicrous non-promises in that joint statement — but let me, if you would, gently clarify Point Three of the Trump-Kim statement.

    As written, it says that " ... the DPRK commits to work towards complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula."

    A minor edit, however, would better elucidate Kim's actual intent in making that declaration. Here y'go: " ... the DPRK commits to work towards looking into the possibility of beginning to explore the concept of initial efforts to investigate the feasibility of the potential to consider the practicality of researching a course of action to initiate planning of a possible program to establish prospective strategies to review the development of a blueprint for investigating the practicability of conducting an investigation into a reasonable procedure of preparing for the potential of the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula."

    Or would Pompeo consider that language to be unnecessarily "insulting and ridiculous and frankly ludicrous?"

  164. I guess as far as distraction goes, this one at least has some relationship to the job description for Trump. But one photo and video-op doesn't negate the messes, government-wide, that his administration is creating for the next sane officeholder.

    A reality TV trailer seems like the only preparation his 'team' could produce. So now we can add trivializing threats of nuclear war (along with the usual garden variety offending of non-white-anglo cultures where people tend to speak in complete sentences and expect civility and mutual respect) to Trump's scrolling rap sheet. And how convenient that this will all play out--like a bad reality TV show--just around the time of the 2020 elections.

    At least Bush rode on some pilot's lap onto an aircraft carrier when he wanted high theater.

  165. "But the contours of the vague agreement remained unclear and open to divergent interpretations."

    You can't have a real agreement without a meeting of the minds. And you particularly can't have an agreement between sovereign nations about nuclear disarmament without both sides having the same deep understanding of the terms. (By contrast, the Iran nuclear deal was extremely detailed, hammered out over a long period of time, and was perfectly understood by all parties.) The notion that the little piece of paper being waved around by Trump constitutes an "agreement" is an absolute joke. The only good news is that the Nobel Committee will never, ever give Trump a prize for anything -- and certainly not this pathetic display of "diplomacy."

    Of note, an expert whose job for two decades was to inspect nuclear sites in North Korea was interviewed on NPR today. He said it would take 10-15 years to "denuclearize" North Korea. So the notion of "major disarmament" in 2.5 years, touted by Trump and his lackeys, is laughable.

    Trump has succeeded only in giving Kim a big break (no military exercises with South Korea), and gotten precisely zero in return. Not to mention that he's reneged (what a surprise) on his insistence that the U.S. would not lift sanctions on NK until it is nuclear weapons free.

    Actually, Trump has accomplished waaaay less than zero, because his kissing of Kim's derriere has elevated Kim's status on the world stage.

  166. Mostly the comments here consist of wisecracks and confusion. Many reflect a cold war mentality in which China and N. Korea are the bad guys and we (of course) are the good guys. I wouldn't be so quick to assume that any accommodation of a historic "enemy's" position means we're being played for a sucker. The press buys into that viewpoint all too readily. True, the present administration has done nothing to inspire confidence, but naive enthusiasm may turn out to be more effective than saber rattling at lowering temperatures.

  167. Excuse me? China and North Korea can't be lumped into the same group, for one thing; secondly this isn't a Cold War reaction - it's a reaction to the fact that Kim Jong Un is a ruthless, oppressive dictator and our president* has no regard for human rights at all, and also the Kim dynasty has played several administrations, promising to give up nukes then developing better nukes.

  168. Wow,what a deal maker!

    It certainly looks to me that the chubby 32-year-old dictator neatly outmaneuvered our great nincompoop-in -chief, mainly by saying nothing of consequence & maintaining his signature Buddha like smile.

    That’s all he had to do; and let the great deal maker babble on and on and finally blurt out that we would kindly cancel our longstanding military exercises with our ally (well at least is was our ally until a couple of days ago).

    Oh the unscripted stuff was great! An amateurish video & a look inside the thinly disguised tank that our President rides in.

  169. No worries. Whatever Trump accomplished with Kim in Singapore Trump will be denied on twitter in short order. Trump will do his usual position flop.

  170. That is the second time in the last few weeks that Pompeo has called a perfectly reasonable and obvious question ludicrous, insulting and unworthy of an answer. It’s kind of strange, since words have no meaning to Trump, and now apparently Pompeo so why not answer such questions straight up. If tomorrow it has to be denied or reversed, just another day in Trump world.

  171. Do you know exactly what the question was? Only Pompeo's reply is directly quoted in this article and it's probably not his entire reply either. Questions for the Trump administration frequently include sarcastic asides and insulting inferences that are not mentioned in the reporting.

  172. What makes Pompeo think trump will serve out his first term.

  173. He has Pence's ear.

  174. Or Pompeo either.

  175. Nothing has been said about the 100,000 artillery pieces and thousands of North Korean soldiers just across the 38th parallel. That is, and always has been, the greatest threat to Seoul. They were completely overrun early in war, before the UN forces reclaimed much of South Korea and reversed the tide.

    As usual, the Trump administration only thinks of itself, in reflection of the leadership's only true qualities. Selfishness, the shining symbol of America today.

  176. Trump did not achieve any peace deal that would end the war between North and South Korea, and Trump did not achieve anything to improve life for civilians in North Korea. Kim Jong-Un "won" because his nuclear weapons gave him this meeting with the President of USA that he no use as a propaganda victory, and North Korea will still always know how to restart production of nuclear weapons and intercontinental ballistic missiles even if they destroy every hardware they now have! North Korea desperately needs money, lifted sanctions, more than anything else, so they will say and do anything to achieve this! Without a peace agreement between North and South Korea this deal is worth nothing, North Korea do not need nuclear weapons to invade, annex, South Korea, especially not if USA agree to withdraw troops...!
    So far Kim Jong-Un is the clear winner, while Trump/USA looks like a fool!

  177. Not sure the small number of US troops in South Korea are much of a deterrant. They would last about 3 minutes in an invasion.

  178. Sec Pompeo may have been no 1 in his class at West Point, but something must have gone seriously awry once he commenced. He now has all the intelligence and savvy of the preverbal class goat. Or is having the title of Sec. of State more important than wisdom, patriotism, and honesty?

    When it comes to international diplomacy and the affirmation of old and true alliances, Pompeo and trump were played like the two-bit tin horns they are. Perhaps former Sec of State Rex Tillerson could just pass on his Order of Lenin to Pompeo and save Putin the bother of having to scrounge up a new one.

    What an embarrassment to West Point, to US diplomacy, and to the people of the United States. Time to fly the Stars and Stripes upside down.

  179. Re: cbd212

    Pompeo was first in his class at West Point. He majored in mechanical engineering, which qualifies him to build bridges—real bridges, not to serve as Secretary of State. If you read other things he’s said, you will see the level of his general ignorance. A educational credential doesn’t mean that the holder is really educated in everything under the sun, any more than degrees in the humanities qualify one to build bridges.

  180. I do think West Point needs to clean up its act. Traitors like Gen. Flynn, racists and misogynists like Gen. Kelly, emotional weaklings like Gen. Petraeus should all have washed out in their first year for not having the "right stuff". By that I mean not having any character, any sense of ethics or morality, or patriotism for that matter.

  181. Whatever happened to the mantra "give peace a chance?" Trump's pulling out of the Iran deal was a terrible mistake but didn't Obama try to deal with the terror-supporting mullahs to make the world a safer place? Trump is trying the same approach with a terrible dictator and has already achieved some positive results. I know we have to see what happens in the long run but can't we support an effort to make the world nuke free? Soon, I hope, we can back to the table with Iran too.

  182. That is a nice thought. It is also wishful. From what we have seen so far the president is chaotic. I would love to give him a chance but he blew it so many times it is hard to hang gone to wish.

  183. Sad but true. 68 years ago a war started on the Korean peninsula because the Secretary of State made a speech and a prominent general desire to removed US armed forces to Japan. This cause North Korea to invade South Korea with the plodding of Joseph Stalin. North Korea misinterpreted the speech of the Secretary of State as a signal that America would not support South Korea and with the plodding of Stalin. North Korea invaded South Korea within couple months and countless people lose their lives; especially our troops who fought bravely. Yet during WWII, less than a decade ago of the Korean Conflict Stalin was a member of the Big Three, FDR, Winston Churchill fighting against the Axis powers in the European theater who were determined to make a new world order. It was recognized by the government of our nation and armed forces because of the Korean Conflict that it would be wise and within reason for the safety of our nation to have people knowledgeable in diplomacy in certain areas of potential conflicts. It is said," Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it". It seems to me that someone forgot how the first Korean conflict started with some misguided and know-all folks. It also seems to me that Stalin is back in the person of Putin. Also the republican party had the interest of the nation at heart. Also during WWII, there was a slogan that loose lips sink ships. I wonder what LIES will do?

  184. I guess it doesn’t matter if the secretive meeting between Trump and Kim resulted in written agreements. That way Trump will not be too embarrassed when Kim or Trump make seat of the pants decisions that we’re not in any agreements. I wonder if it took Trump a full minute to determine if Kim was a good guy or not.

    I wonder if Trump got any pointers from Kim about how to be a “tough” authoritarian?

  185. As usual, Trump expects credit for doing very little work.

    They couldn't spend another day getting a few more words straightened out for their grand signing spectacle? Words like 'verified' and 'irreversible' they supposedly agreed to in principle? Or a hard nosed timetable?

    This looks more like a giant scam by both parties. Tensions have been reduced because the South Koreans stepped in to facilitate better relations with their northern neighbors, and also because the North was willing to engage. Trump had little choice but to hitch himself to their process and then try to keep himself front and center. But happy words aren't remotely an agreement, and they are far from the detailed and demanding caliber of the Iran nuclear deal.

    I'm just surprised Trump didn't land on an aircraft carrier with a mission accomplished banner.

  186. Trump in a flight suit is a frightening thought.
    However I personally think he'd look fantastic in an orange prison jumpsuit, especially with his spray-on complexion

  187. C'mon, North Korea isn't going to give up its weapons. If that North Korean nuclear test center was dismantled last month, why were reporters not allowed to bring geiger counters into the area? They were confiscated at the airport, right?

  188. The President of the United States is trying to prevent a nuclear war. He has said that it might take several visits with Kim Jong-un in order to get the results the President wants.

    For those of you who think this is all a joke or time to make fun of the President, I suggest you read about the nuclear bomb attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki during World War II. Those cities were totally destroyed.

    The President is trying very hard to prevent nuclear missiles from North Korea from hitting cities in the United States.

  189. "Trying" is not going to cut it. We deserve results and Trump is failing. Its time for a changing of the guard, starting with an ineffectual Congress. The Republicans have been in charge since 2010 and "enough is enough". We need fresh blood to get something done about this impending threat to our God-given way of life.

  190. Re: Sarah

    Read about Hiroshima and Nagasaki?

    These events were war crimes. The only reason they are not described as such in the US media and history books is because the US won the war. They were unnecessary since Japan was on the verge of surrendering, We can thank Truman for laying the foundation of the national security state.

    The US was never in any danger of an unprovoked nuclear attack from North Korea. A better translation of what Trump tweeted is something like ‘we’re not going to visit fire and fury on them in a first strike,’ as if that had ever been a real option.

  191. Within a week's time, Trump not only isolated and angered our Western allies at the G-7, but also did the same to our closest East Asia allies, South Korea and Japan.

    The only countries thst are happy about Trump's foreign policy during the last week are China, Russia and North Korea.

    Up is down, down is up.