President Donald Trump said it was “possible that a deal he claimed ended the nuclear threat posed by North Korea would not “work out”.
The president made this statement after it was reported that Pyongyang has increased its production of enriched uranium at secret sites, Fox Business broadcast an interview with Trump.
Trump was pressed on whether he trusted Kim Jong-un, whom he met last month in Singapore and with whom he said he had “a great chemistry”, to make good on promises to destroy Pyongyang’s nuclear program.
“I made a deal with him, I shook hands with him, I really believe he means it,” said Trump. “Now, is it possible? Have I been in deals, have you been in things where, people didn’t work out? It’s possible.”
Trump’s words reversed his declaration upon his return from Singapore that North Korea had ended its nuclear ambitions.
“Just landed – a long trip, but everybody can now feel much safer than the day I took office,” the president tweeted on 13 June. “There is no longer a Nuclear Threat from North Korea. Meeting with Kim Jong Un was an interesting and very positive experience. North Korea has great potential for the future!”
Just landed – a long trip, but everybody can now feel much safer than the day I took office. There is no longer a Nuclear Threat from North Korea. Meeting with Kim Jong Un was an interesting and very positive experience. North Korea has great potential for the future!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 13, 2018
Speaking to Fox, “We gave nothing,” he said. “Think of this. What did I do, really, when you think of it? I went there. So the papers say, ‘He went’, oh, meaning I went to Singapore. So we had a meeting. We didn’t do anything.”
In fact, Trump agreed to end a range of joint military exercises with South Korea, meant to act as a deterrent against the North. In the interview with Fox, he said the exercises, “which I call war games”, were too expensive.
“They’re dropping bombs all over the place every six months,” he said, “it’s unbelievably expensive to do that. The planes fly in from Guam, these massive bombers. It’s crazy.”
Trump downplays possibility that North Korea won't actually denuclearize, instead touts getting hostages back and return of Korean War veterans' remains.
"I made a deal with [Kim Jong Un]. I shook hands with him. I really believe he means it."
Then pivots to threatening Iran. pic.twitter.com/7on247m6Th
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) July 1, 2018