A day before leaving for a second summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, President Donald Trump on Sunday once more publicly urged the Pyongyang regime to accept a plan to give up the country’s nuclear weapons arsenal, arguing such a move would guarantee a path to economic prosperity for the future.
"Chairman Kim realizes, perhaps better than anyone else, that without nuclear weapons, his country could fast become one of the great economic powers anywhere in the World," the President wrote in a series of posts on Twitter.
"As part of a bold new diplomacy, we continue our historic push for peace on the Korean Peninsula," the President said as part of a White House push in the days before the second Trump-Kim meeting.
"This summit aims to make further progress on the commitments the two leaders made in Singapore: transformed relations, a lasting and stable peace, and the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula," the White House stated in a release to reporters.
Chairman Kim realizes, perhaps better than anyone else, that without nuclear weapons, his country could fast become one of the great economic powers anywhere in the World. Because of its location and people (and him), it has more potential for rapid growth than any other nation!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 24, 2019
Very productive talks yesterday with China on Trade. Will continue today! I will be leaving for Hanoi, Vietnam, early tomorrow for a Summit with Kim Jong Un of North Korea, where we both expect a continuation of the progress made at first Summit in Singapore. Denuclearization?— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 24, 2019
It's unclear what this second meeting between the two leaders will produce - the first Trump-Kim summit, last June in Singapore, brought about a promise by North Korea to denuclearize, but U.S. Intelligence officials say there has been no evidence that Kim is dismantling his nuclear arsenal.
"North Korean leaders view nuclear arms as critical to regime survival," said Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats at a recent Senate hearing - an observation which reportedly netted him criticism from the President, and rumors that Coats might be on his way out for not expressing a different point of view more in line with the President's.
But the intelligence assessment about Kim and North Korea is shared at all levels of the military, as evidenced by other hearings in Congress in recent weeks:
KEEPING ITS NUKES: Pressed by @SenBlumenthal D-NY about whether NKorea has begun denuclearization, Gen. Abrams told SASC “We have not observed activity that's consistent with a full-court press on denuclearization —I'd say the activity we see is inconsistent with that.” pic.twitter.com/8g5IjPkbw4— Jamie McIntyre (@jamiejmcintyre) February 12, 2019
Asked by reporters last week about the seeming lack of progress with his stated goal of ending the North Korean nuclear program, the President bristled at those suggestions.
"The Singapore (summit) was a tremendous success," Mr. Trump told reporters. "Only the fake news likes to portray it otherwise."
So funny to watch people who have failed for years, they got NOTHING, telling me how to negotiate with North Korea. But thanks anyway!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 24, 2019
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