Trump’s North Korea Summit Was a Bust

Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un just completed the first ever meeting between a sitting U.S. president and a leader from North Korea and to Trump’s (and mostly to South Korean President Moon‘s) credit, they pulled off a first-of-its-kind summit.

But after the world had a chance to get past the spectacle, and look at the substance, it was a major bust.

The end of the summit culminated in a document signed by Trump and Un that promises a lot, and isn’t clear on how.

For example the agreement does not elaborate on what steps North Korea will take to denuclearize, no new commitments, no timetables, no definitions, all very important items for an international agreement. There were no real breakthroughs other than two leaders shaking hands.

This was the most bare-minimum statements our two countries could hope for, and right-wing news is already promoting it as the biggest event in human history.

The reality is the only actual positive good for world peace the agreement commits to is holding further negotiations led by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and a “relevant” North Korean official at “the earliest date possible.”

More diplomacy is always better than no diplomacy, but make no mistake what happened in Singapore was nothing but a photo op, as Fox News would say, between two dictators.

While Fox News made a slip of the tongue, we’re not. Trump has clear authoritarian tendencies that were on full display on foreign soil, such as:

All of Trump’s actions and behavior, especially after leaving a contentious G7 meeting, push us farther away from our democratic Western allies and closer to autocratic rules, like Un, Sisi, Duterte, Putin, Jinping, and Erdogan.

And as a sign of our newly found friendship with foreign dictators, Trump really went out of his way for appeasement and to make a good impression by not pushing hard on any of his stated goals, while giving up major concessions.

What North Korea Got

Agreed to “denuclearization of the entire Korean Peninsula,” this is language favored by North Korea for more than a quarter century.

Got America to agree to no demands for “verifiable” or “irreversible” denuclearization. A break from CVID (complete, verifiable, irreversible denuclearization) agreements in the past, such as the Iran deal that Trump ripped up for being “too weak.”

An end to “inappropriate” and “provocative” U.S.-South Korea military exercises before North Korean denuclearization.

The draw-down of U.S. troops in South Korea before North Korean denuclearization.

A vague promise about the U.S. providing personal security for the dictator Kim Jong Un. (See: Muammar Gaddafi after he gave up his nukes.)

Recognition on the world stage, something the Uns have desperately wanted since Kim’s grandfather.

A U.S. crafted North Korea propaganda video for their state television.

What America Got

The recovery of remains of Americans lost or killed during the Korean War.

No iron-clad denuclearization that Trump promised.

No peace treaty that Trump promised. (Remember calls for the Nobel Prize?)

No mention of human-rights abuses.

No mention of sanctions.

No mention of long-range missiles.

No time frame.

Future talks at some future date, but to truly understand just how little we walked away with, we’ll need a little context.

North Korea’s Track Record on Denuclearization

In 1985 North Korea signed the 1968 Nuclear non-Proliferation Treaty, they broke it.

In 1992 North and South Korea signed a joint agreement of denuclearization, to not “test, manufacture, produce, receive, possess, store, deploy or use nuclear weapons.’’ North Korea broke this agreement and since done all but use them on an adversary.

Also in 1992, North Korea signed a deal with the International Atomic Energy Agency to accept inspectors and safeguards. They broke it.

In 1993, North Korea entered into bilateral talks with the United States, and promised to abandon the “threat and use of force, including nuclear weapons.”

In 1994, North Korea accepted the U.S.-DPRK Agreed Framework/Six-Party Talks, under which Pyongyang offered to freeze its plutonium producing reactors and “eventually” dismantle them. They broke it.

In 2000, North Korea released a U.S.-DPRK joint communique in 2000 pledging a freeze of work on long-range missiles “of all kinds.” They broke it.

In 2005, North Korea agreed to six-party talks and to the “verifiable denuclearization of the Korean peninsula in a peaceful manner.” A year later they detonated their first nuclear bomb.

In 2007, North Korea agreed to normalizing relations and to an Action Plan to “shut down and seal” the plutonium-producing reactors at Yongbyon, with a view to its “eventual abandonment.” They didn’t.

Later in 2007, North Korea entered into a second round of implementation plans with the U.S., pledging to “disable” all of its nuclear facilities, again with a view to later “abandonment.” They now have a nuclear weapon they can put on a missile that can hit America.

Why we got screwed

Donald Trump fashions himself this great deal-maker, but by almost any count we came away with nothing concrete on the side of North Korea and gave them concession after concession after concession.

Of course the recovery of American remains is important, especially to the families of our fallen, which we’ll be sure to see plastered all over Fox News for a few weeks to boost Trump’s historically low approval ratings.

But at the end of the day if Kim Jong Un still has nukes that can hit Denver, we’re not checking his promises, we’re not interested in inspecting his facilities, we’re asking for North Korea to be honest and just volunteer how much nuclear material they have, and there are less U.S. troops stationed in the Korean DMZ and we’re no longer coordinating with our allies in the region, these are all dangerous recipes for future families asking for the remains of their brothers and sisters, sons and daughters.

At least Trump got a nice photo op.

Trump campaign manager repeats call for Acosta’s credentials be suspended: ‘An absolute disgrace’

President Trump‘s 2020 campaign manager is repeating his call for Jim Acosta’s press credentials to be suspended, saying CNN’s chief White House correspondent is “an absolute disgrace” for interrupting a signing ceremony during the summit between President Trump and North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un.

“Jim @Acosta should immediately have his press credentials suspended. He is an absolute disgrace!” wrote Brad Parscale to his 100,000 Twitter followers on Tuesday afternoon.

report from the conservative Daily Wire apparently sparked Parscale’s ire. It said that Acosta shouted questions during the ceremony in Singapore, where Trump and Kim signed a general agreement to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula in exchange for unspecified “security measures” from the United States.

“Mr. President, did we agree to denuclearize?” Acosta asked as Trump was signing a document.

”Starting that process very quickly, very, very quickly. Absolutely,” Trump replied.

Acosta followed up with another question, asking, “Did you talk about Otto Warmbier, sir?”

Warmbier was a college student who was imprisoned by North Korea and died shortly after he returned to the U.S. last year

Acosta on Tuesday mocked a Fox News report critical of him for asking the questions during the ceremony.

“Democracy… drink it in people,” he tweeted.

Parscale also called for Acosta’s credentials to be suspended earlier this year.

“Maybe it is time for Jim Acosta to get a suspension for breaking protocol. He continues to embarrass himself and @CNN. Pull his credentials for each incident,” he tweeted on April 2 after Acosta shouted questions at the president during the annual White House Easter Egg Roll.

Acosta responded to Parscale at the time on Twitter.

“Just doing my job,” he tweeted. “Which is protected by the First Amendment of The Constitution. You might want to give it a read.”

Acosta, who regularly tangles with White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders during the daily press briefing, was promoted to chief White House correspondent by CNN back in January.

[The Hill]

Trump: I Won’t Admit It if the Kim Summit Turns Out to Be a Mistake, ‘I’ll Find Some Kind of an Excuse’

In what might’ve been an unusually frank moment with reporters, President Donald Trump said today that he’ll never admit it if it turns out his meeting with Kim Jong Un was a bad idea.

After Trump concluded his private meetings with Kim, he held a press conference in which he heaped praise on the “very talented” North Korean dictator. Trump also touted the document he and Kim signed regarding the future of their respective countries, even though the agreement doesn’t outline any specific framework for North Korea’s eventual denuclearization.

As Trump talked about why he trusts Kim to cooperate and disarm his country, he eventually made a candid admission — volunteering that even if he turns out to be wrong, he won’t say so.

“I may be wrong. I may stand before you in six months and say, ‘Hey, I was wrong.’ I don’t know that I’ll ever admit that, but I’ll find some kind of an excuse.”

[Mediaite]

Media

Trump Slams Trudeau From North Korea Summit: His Mistakes Will ‘Cost Him a Lot of Money

President Donald Trump is standing by his criticism of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau — warning Trudeau that his remarks at the G7 summit will “cost him a lot of money.”

Last Friday, Trump — feeling slighted by Trudeau, who took a tough stance toward U.S. tariffs by saying he wouldn’t tolerate being “pushed around” — launched an attack via Twitter, calling the leader “dishonest” and “weak.”

In an interview with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos which aired Tuesday, immediately following the president’s meeting in Singapore with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, Trump appeared to take a softer tone toward Trudeau, admitting he likes him, but suggesting he wants to punish him for his remarks.

“I actually like Justin,” Trump said. “I think he’s good. I like him. But he shouldn’t have done that. That was a mistake. That’s gonna cost him a lot of money”

According to Trump’s account of the moment, G7 attendees were content following the conclusion of the meetings until Trudeau took his stand.

“Everybody was happy, and then he gave out a little bit of an obnoxious thing,” Trump said of the prime minister.

The president repeated his threats to make Canada pay during a press conference in Singapore after his visit with Kim ended

“I have a good relationship with Justin Trudeau,” Trump told the crowd. “I really did. Other than he had a news conference that he had cause he assumed I was in an airplane and I wasn’t watching. He learned, that’s going to cost a lot of money to the people of Canada.”

[Mediaite]

Media

Trump: North Koreans love Kim

President Trump on Tuesday said the people of North Korea “love” the country’s leader Kim Jong Un despite previously condemning the regime’s human rights abuses.

“His country does love him,” Trump said in an interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos following the historic summit between Trump and Kim in Singapore.

Trump said “you see the fervor” the North Koreans have for their leader.

“They’re gonna put it together, and I think they’re going to end up with a very strong country, and a country which has people  — that they’re so hard working, so industrious,” Trump said.

Stephanopoulos, however, pressed Trump’s reversal from his previous criticism over the oppressive regime that’s been accused of multiple human rights abuses.

“You say his people love him,” Stephanopoulos retorted. “Just a few months ago you accused him of starving his people.”

Trump said in January during the State of the Union address that North Korea has “more brutally oppressed its people than any regime on Earth.”

Stephanopoulos pressed the issue, saying Kim is a brutal dictator who runs a police state with labor camps and forced starvation.

“He’s assassinated members of his own family,” Stephanopoulos added. “How do you trust a killer like that?”

Trump said he can only judge Kim based on his interactions with him.

“I mean, this is what we have, and this is where we are, and I can only tell you from my experience, and I met him, I’ve spoken with him, and I’ve met him,” Trump said.

Trump also noted that things can change in the relationship, saying, “Will I come back to you in a year and you’ll be interviewing me and I’ll say, ‘Gee, I made a mistake?’ That’s always possible.”

Trump said Kim “wants to do the right thing” and that begins with denuclearization.

“I mean, this is what we have, and this is where we are, and I can only tell you from my experience, and I met him, I’ve spoken with him, and I’ve met him,” Trump said.

Trump also noted that things can change in the relationship, saying, “Will I come back to you in a year and you’ll be interviewing me and I’ll say, ‘Gee, I made a mistake?’ That’s always possible.”

Trump said Kim “wants to do the right thing” and that begins with denuclearization.

“Now, with all of that being said, I can’t talk about — it doesn’t matter,” Trump added.

Trump said at a press conference following the summit that human rights abuses happen “in a lot of places” when he was asked if he would reverse his previous criticism of Kim’s regime.

“I believe it’s a rough situation over there,” Trump told reporters. “It’s rough in a lot of places, by the way, not just there.”

Trump blasts ‘haters & losers’ in typo-filled tweet from Singapore

President Trump addressed the “haters & losers” in a typo-filled tweet from Singapore ahead of his historic summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

“The fact that I am having a meeting is a major loss for the U.S., say the haters & losers,” Trump tweeted on Monday evening, just hours before the scheduled summit.

The president then addressed his successes with the rogue nuclear nation, proclaiming that the arrangement was a win for the US.

“We have our hostages, testing, research and all missle launches have stoped [sic],” he added. “And these pundits, who have called me wrong from the beginning, have nothing else they can say!”

Critics have charged that Trump meeting a dictator could send the wrong message on human rights and other issues — especially after the president’s contentious meeting at the G7 in Canada.

But Trump concluded, “We will be fine!”

[New York Post]

Trump mocks press at North Korea summit

President Trump took a jab at the media on Tuesday in Singapore as he and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un headed into their historic meeting.

“The press, they never stop,” Trump told Kim, as reporters yelled out questions to the two leaders.

Trump and Kim met in person for the first time Monday after months of back-and-forth, in the first meeting in history between a North Korean leader and a sitting U.S. president.

Trump has long criticized the media, even laying into American reporters while out of the country. At the Group of Seven summit in Quebec last week, Trump responded to a CNN reporter’s question by calling his network “fake news.”

The Associated Press reported that the Trump administration restricted journalists’ access to multiple portions of the summit, including photo ops, breaking longstanding traditions on covering the commander in chief overseas.

“AP is troubled by the decision to curb media access at the Singapore summit,” said the news outlet’s director of media relations, Lauren Easton. “It is a disservice to the public, which deserves prompt, accurate and complete reporting on what may be one of the president’s most consequential meetings.”

Trump and Kim shook hands and briefly sat down in front of reporters before heading into their one-on-one meeting.

“We’re going to have a great discussion and I think tremendous success,” Trump said. “We’re going to be tremendously successful, and it’s my honor, and we will have a terrific relationship.”

Kim, through a translator, spoke of the “obstacles” that had to be overcome to reach the day of the summit.

“I’ll tell you when they’re out,” Trump said to Kim, apparently referring to the press in the room.

Later, ahead of a working lunch with Kim and both men’s advisers, Trump told photographers and cameramen from Singapore’s “Host TV” to be sure they captured the attendees’ good side.

“Getting a good picture everybody?” Trump asked. “So we look nice and handsome and thin? Perfect.”

[The Hill]

Trump rips Canada, NATO in Singapore tweetstorm

President Donald Trump started his day in Singapore on Monday blasting the Canadian Prime Minister and slamming NATO just after meeting with the U.S. allies at the G-7 meeting in Quebec.

“Fair Trade is now to be called Fool Trade if it is not Reciprocal,” Trump tweeted Monday morning in Singapore. “According to a Canada release, they make almost 100 Billion Dollars in Trade with U.S. (guess they were bragging and got caught!). Minimum is 17B. Tax Dairy from us at 270%. Then Justin acts hurt when called out!”

Trump was referring to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in the tweet.

The president has accused Canada of taking advantage of American workers through their trade practices.

According to the U.S. trade representative, however, there was an $8.4 billion U.S. trade surplus with Canada on goods and services in 2017.

Trump also took aim at NATO for relying too heavily on the U.S. for their security.

“The U.S. pays close to the entire cost of NATO-protecting many of these same countries that rip us off on Trade (they pay only a fraction of the cost-and laugh!),” Trump tweeted. “The European Union had a $151 Billion Surplus-should pay much more for Military!”

The U.S. pays 22% of NATO’s budget — higher than any other nation.

The U.S. has pushed NATO member nations to spend at least 2 percent of their GDP — a benchmark some have been unable to meet.

Trump was in Singapore preparing for his meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

“Great to be in Singapore, excitement in the air!” Trump wrote.

[New York Post]