'Without the Rhetoric' Against Kim, the Summit May Never Have Happened

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U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un issued a joint statement after their Singapore meeting that reaffirmed the North's commitment to "work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula" and gave U.S. guarantees of security to North Korea.

At his press conference in the South Korean capital Pompeo defended Trump's stance, saying the joint drills could be brought back if negotiations with the North deteriorated. Some 17,500 American and 50,000 South Korean troops participated past year.

For weeks, Pompeo and other officials have insisted North Korea must agree to "complete, verifiable, irreversible denuclearization" before economic sanctions can be lifted.

President Trump and his media allies have asserted that Kim came to the negotiating table "on his knees" due to the ramping up of sanctions against the North.

The President also added that North Korea's promise to complete denuclearization "will be verified", though the document the two leaders signed did not lay out details of that process.

"It's important that we don't lose sight of the fact that Kim Jong Un is a butcher and he is a butcher of his own people", Senator John Kennedy, a Louisiana Republican, said Tuesday.

President Trump meets with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Sentosa Island in Singapore.

The summit in Singapore did mark a reduction in tensions - a sea change from last fall, when North Korea was conducting nuclear and missile tests and Trump and Kim were trading threats and insults that stoked fears of war.

Representatives of the European Union, Japan, China, and Russian Federation were among those commending the historic summit-the first between the leaders of the United States and North Korea-where the communist dictatorship reaffirmed a commitment to give up nuclear weapons.

Pompeo's comments came after North Korean state media reported on Wednesday that Trump had agreed to a "step-by-step" process, suggesting that North Korea would gain concessions from the USA at the same time.

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"The United States is our ally, so the joint military drills are still necessary to maintain our relationship with the USA", said Lee Jae Sung, from Incheon. The president raised more questions after declaring upon his return to the U.S. that there was "no longer a Nuclear Threat from North Korea".

On Fox News' "America's Newsroom" Wednesday, Senator Marco Rubio, R-Fl., commented on the role of Congress after President Trump's North Korea summit.

And he sought reassurance that the US military presence in Japan would not be reduced, after Trump indicated that he would like to withdraw all or some of the more than 28,000 troops in South Korea at some point, as both a cost saving measure, and to reduce a perceived overextended USA military presence overseas.

Later, a Pentagon spokesman said Defense Secretary Jim Mattis was "not surprised" by Trump's concession ending the war games and had been consulted, including discussions with Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

"Before taking office people were assuming that we were going to War with North Korea", he continued.

US officials said it was unclear what type of training involving USA and South Korean troops might now be stopped because of Trump's order to end the "war games", but the massive annual exercises that bring in nuclear-capable ships and warplanes from Guam and other US bases in the region will likely end.

North Korean viewers had to wait nearly 20 minutes into the program for Trump's first appearance.

Tokyo is working on arranging a meeting between Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Kim, with one possibility being an Abe visit to Pyongyang around August, the Yomiuri newspaper reported.

A Japanese government source familiar with the matter told Reuters officials aimed to discuss a summit with North Korean officials at a regional security conference in Mongolia on Thursday and Friday. "These are nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles that have the capability of reaching the United States", Rubio said.

"We believe that Kim Jog-un understands the urgency. that we must do this quickly", he said on Thursday of the effort to have North Korea abandon its nuclear weapons.

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