U.S. President Donald Trump admitted Tuesday that if he is wrong about North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's commitment to the "complete denuclearization" of the Korean peninsula, he will never admit to it.
At least one group of former North Koreans now living in Canada say Trump's new willingness to foster closer ties with Kim are risky, and criticized the president for focusing on denuclearization rather than seeking answers about human rights in the country.
But Toronto chef and writer Sang Kim struck a more hopeful note, saying the talks with Trump build upon a key meeting with the South Korean president earlier in the year.
"We hope that the outcomes of the US-DPRK Summit will be implemented, thus paving the way for lasting peace and stability in the Korean Peninsula", the Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement following the summit.
Trump's vow to end military drills with Seoul stuns a region
Trump said he wanted to remove the U.S. military presence from South Korea, though he provided no timeline. "He didn't fight it". But on Tuesday morning Pentagon officials said they're still awaiting more detail from the White House.
He refused to go into details.
Pyongyang has demanded the end of what it calls a "hostile policy" towards it, but in public has only pledged to pursue the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula - a euphemism open to wide differences of interpretation.
The KCNA news agency says Mr Trump made the promise after pledging to end joint military exercises with South Korea. He said the United States is working on the issue with South Korea, and Japan-as well as with China, but "to a lesser extent". North Korea also wants an end to what it considers America's "hostile policy" and a security guarantee that the US will not seek to remove the regime. And on January 1, Kim shifted his approach to the outside world: He went from flouting worldwide rules and leaders to engaging in a flurry of diplomatic overtures.
Following their historic summit on Tuesday, Trump had said he would like to visit the North Korean capital Pyongyang "at the appropriate time", and that Kim would "absolutely" would be invited to the White House.
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If confirmed, the reported deal could be seen as a concession by Trump since US officials - and the president himself - had called for the North to take swift and clear disarmament measures before receiving any rewards.
There was even a touch of warmth over the side-by-side stroll by Trump and Kim on the grounds of the hotel used for the summit venue. Given that North Korea has halted missile and nuclear tests, that amounted to the dialogue and "suspension-for-suspension" model that China has advocated for years.
A spokesman with Moon's office, who asked not to be identified to discuss internal deliberations, said the government was still trying to understand Trump's "exact meaning or intentions" with the military freeze.
"North Korea is a small and weak country surrounded by big powers and that has made North Koreans paranoid about their own national security and develop nuclear weapons, " said Yoon, speaking on Bloomberg Television. "It was a awful thing, it was brutal, but a lot of people started to focus on what was going on, including North Korea".
But the South Carolina Republican said Trump would face opposition to any move to withdraw American forces from South Korea.
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