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North Korea nuclear crisis

Donald Trump says North Korea talks ‘going well’, war averted thanks to him

‘All of Asia is thrilled’, Trump declares in a tweet

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 03 July, 2018, 7:41pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 04 July, 2018, 4:20am

US President Donald Trump said Tuesday that talks with North Korea were making progress despite reports that Kim Jong-un’s regime had stepped up its nuclear programme after the two leaders held a historic summit.

“Many good conversations with North Korea-it is going well!” he tweeted. “In the meantime, no Rocket Launches or Nuclear Testing in 8 months.

“All of Asia is thrilled. Only the Opposition Party, which includes the Fake News, is complaining. If not for me, we would now be at War with North Korea!”

Trump’s comments came as his Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was to head back to North Korea on Thursday to flesh out the bare bones nuclear agreement signed by the two leaders during their summit meeting in Singapore last month.

Trump has boasted that the statement resolved the old foes’ nuclear stand-off, but Pompeo has been tasked with nailing down details.

There have been reports that Kim’s regime has failed to honour its denuclearisation pledge after the June 12 meeting.

The Washington Post on Sunday quoted four unnamed US officials who were briefed on intelligence findings that point to preparations for deceiving the United States, while NBC news has said Pyongyang is increasing its nuclear fuel production.

Citing satellite imagery, a respected monitoring group last month said operations and infrastructure works were continuing at the North’s main Yongbyon nuclear site, while the Trump administration itself has cited “an unusual and extraordinary threat” from North Korea’s nuclear arsenal to extend decade-long sanctions.

A report in Axios on Monday suggested that if talks went well, Trump could invite Kim to New York in September to continue the dialogue as the UN General Assembly gets under way.

Separately, the US State Department confirmed that Pompeo had spoken by telephone to his Russian counterpart, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

Pompeo is due in North Korea for talks on a nuclear deal later this week, and his spokeswoman, Heather Nauert, said the issue came up in his conversation with Lavrov, along with the war in Syria and preparations for Trump’s summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin.