The Latest: Trump’s claim of no nuke threat seen as dubious

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People look at the extra edition of Japanese newspaper Mainichi Shimbun reporting the summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore, at Shimbashi Station in Tokyo, Tuesday, June 12, 2018. The headline reads: North Korea promises to denuclearize. (Suo Takekuma/Kyodo News via AP)

The Latest on the summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (all times local):

11:30 a.m.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says he’s confident that U.S. talks with North Korea will resume “sometime in the next week.”

Pompeo says he doesn’t know the exact timing. Speaking in Seoul, he says he expects it to happen fairly quickly after he and the North Koreans return to their nations. Pompeo returns late Thursday to the U.S.

He says President Donald Trump is “in the lead” but that “I will be the person who takes the role of driving this process forward.”

He says much more work has been done by the U.S. and North Korean that couldn’t be encapsulated in the Trump-Kim Jong Un statement. So he says teams will now work to make more progress on those items.


11:20 a.m.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says the United States wants North Korea to take major nuclear disarmament steps within the next two years.

Pompeo is laying out an ambitious timeline for denuclearization following President Donald Trump’s meeting with Kim Jong Un. He says he won’t disclose specific timelines but that the administration is hopeful that “major, major disarmament” steps can occur before the end of Trump’s first term. The term ends in January 2021.

Pompeo is also urging skepticism after North Korean official media said Trump had agreed to a step-by-step approach to denuclearization. Pompeo isn’t being specific but says that “one should heavily discount some things that are written in other places.”

Pompeo spoke to reporters from Seoul, South Korea.


11:15 a.m.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un understands that “there will be in-depth verification” of nuclear commitments in any deal with the U.S.

Pompeo is pushing back on criticism that the joint agreement signed by Kim and President Donald Trump includes no mention of verifying North Korean nuclear disarmament. Ahead of Trump’s summit with Kim, the U.S. had said disarmament must be “complete, verifiable and irreversible.”

But Pompeo tells reporters that it’s silly to focus on the lack of the word “verifiable.” He says that’s because the agreement does refer to “complete” denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. Pompeo says that “in the minds of everyone concerned,” the word “complete” encompasses “verifiable.”

Pompeo says: “I am equally confident they understand that there will be in-depth verification.”


11:10 a.m.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says joint U.S.-South Korea military exercises will resume if North Korea stops negotiating in good faith over its nuclear program.

Pompeo is in South Korea a day after President Donald Trump met with Kim Jong Un and announced the U.S. would freeze what he called “war games” with North Korea.

Pompeo says he was there when Trump talked about it with Kim. He says Trump “made very clear” that the condition for the freeze was that good-faith talks continue. He says if the U.S. concludes they no longer are in good faith, the freeze “will no longer be in effect.”

Pompeo says Trump was “unambiguous” in conveying that to Kim.


11 a.m.

House Speaker Paul Ryan says President Donald Trump should be “applauded” for his meeting with North Korea leader Kim Jong Un. But Ryan is cautioning on Wednesday that the next steps toward an agreement won’t go fast.

The Wisconsin Republican, who is retiring this year, told reporters that “The president needed to disrupt the status quo, and the president has disrupted the status quo” with the historic meeting in Singapore. He said “the president should be applauded….Now let’s go get an agreement.”

Trump and Kim signed a joint statement that contained a repeat of past promises to work toward a denuclearized Korean Peninsula, but the details haven’t been nailed down.

He cautioned that no one should expect that process to go quickly. “Time,” he said, “will tell how this ends.”


10 a.m.

President Donald Trump is challenging skeptical media coverage of his historic summit with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un. He says “Fake News” is the nation’s “biggest enemy.”

Trump writes on Twitter that “the Fake News, especially NBC and CNN” are “fighting hard to downplay the deal with North Korea.”

Trump says that “500 days ago they would have ‘begged’ for this deal-looked like war would break out.”

The president says the country’s “biggest enemy is the Fake News so easily promulgated by fools!”

Trump has been tweeting about his talks with Kim since Air Force One returned to the United States early Wednesday morning, arguing that the talks with North Korea have made the U.S. safer. Trump’s claim is dubious considering Pyongyang’s significant weapons arsenal.


7:25 a.m.

President Donald Trump is defending his calls to end military exercises with South Korea that allies have said is important to security in the Asia Pacific region.

Trump says on Twitter after returning from his Singapore summit that “we save a fortune by not doing war games, as long as we are negotiating in good faith.”

Trump has said the U.S. and South Korea should stop their joint military exercises as long as both sides are negotiating in good faith, which the president says is happening.

Back in the United States, Trump is tweeting about his historic summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. He says there is no longer a nuclear threat from North Korea even though experts estimate that Kim’s government has enough fissile material for 20 to 60 bombs.


6:15 a.m.

President Donald Trump says on Twitter, “There is no longer a Nuclear Threat from North Korea,” as he returns to the United States after his historic summit with North Korea leader Kim Jong Un.

Trump says on Twitter that “everybody can now feel much safer than the day I took office.”

He says before he took office, “people were assuming that we were going to War with North Korea,” and President Barack Obama said North Korea was the nation’s biggest problem.

Trump and Kim signed an agreement to work toward denuclearization, but it appears weaker than past deals that failed. Independent experts estimate North Korea now has enough fissile material for 20 to 60 bombs, and it has tested missiles that could potentially deliver a nuclear weapon to the U.S. mainland.


5:37 a.m.

President Donald Trump has arrived back in Washington from his historic nuclear summit with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un in Singapore.

Air Force One touched down at Joint Base Andrews early Wednesday morning, completing the president’s marathon trip to Asia for talks with the North Korean leader. The president made refueling stops in Guam and Hawaii on his return to Washington.

While his aircraft refueled in Hawaii, Trump thanked Kim for “taking the first bold step toward a bright new future for his people,” saying their summit on Tuesday “proves that real change is possible!”

During his return, Trump spoke with South Korean Prime Minister Moon Jae-in and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.


6:25 p.m.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has landed at Osan Air Base south of Seoul ahead of meetings with America’s allies in the aftermath of the summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

He’s expected to meet privately in the evening with Gen. Vincent Brooks, commander of U.S. Forces Korea.

Pompeo will meet President Moon Jae-in on Thursday morning to discuss the summit.

Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono is also heading to Seoul and is due to meet with Pompeo and his South Korean counterpart. Pompeo, the former CIA director, then plans to fly to Beijing to update the Chinese government on the talks.


5:05 p.m.

Russia is welcoming the outcome of the summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov says “one can only welcome the fact that such a meeting took place and that direct dialogue was begun.”

Peskov tells reporters in Moscow on Wednesday that the meeting helps de-escalate tensions and push the situation away “from the critical point where it was just a few months ago.”

Peskov says the meeting confirms Russian President Vladimir Putin’s view that “there is no alternative to political and diplomatic means in solving the problem of the Korean Peninsula.”

Peskov adds, however, that given how complicated the situation is around North Korea, the Kremlin isn’t expecting a quick resolution.


3:20 p.m.

A spokesman of South Korean President Moon Jae-in says Washington and Seoul need to consider a “variety of ways to further facilitate dialogue” while they are engaged in nuclear negotiations with Pyongyang.

Kim Eui-kyeom made the comments on Wednesday when asked to respond to President Donald Trump, who following his summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said that the United States and South Korea should stop their joint military exercises “as long as we are negotiating in good faith.”

Kim, Moon’s spokesman, says Seoul is still trying to figure out the exact meaning and intent of Trump’s comments.


10:50 a.m.

The U.S. top diplomat is jetting to South Korea to brief the country’s president as Asian allies try to parse the implications of the extraordinary nuclear summit in Singapore between President Donald Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un.

South Korea’s presidential office says U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will meet President Moon Jae-in Thursday morning to discuss the meeting, which made history as the first between sitting leaders of the U.S. and North Korea.

Trump and Kim reached a broad agreement that offered few specifics but included promises of U.S. security guarantees and a reiteration from Kim of his country’s commitment to “complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.”

Trump however seems to have caught allies off guard by saying he would stop U.S.-South Korean war games.

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