Immediately following the much-anticipated Trump-Kim summit, critics were quick to pick apart the deal struck between the US and North Korea regarding nuclear disarmament.
While the media was clearly grasping at straws trying to find something to criticize about the clearly historical meeting between the two leaders, there were some valid concerns raised as to how, exactly, the US will be able to hold North Korea accountable to their end of the deal.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who went right to work in Pyongyang following the summit, is assuring reporters that he feels very hopeful about denuclearization and that the specifics of the deal are being adequately addressed.
The Washington Times reports:
Mr. Pompeo, who arrived in South Korea on Wednesday before heading to Japan and China for briefings on the summit, said he was confident that the North Korean delegation fully understood in private conversations leading up to the joint statement that Pyongyang has to verifiably and entirely destroy and abandon its program and must quickly show progress on the commitment.
Critics have seized on the absence of the words “verifiable” and “irrevocable” from the Trump-Kim statement to argue that the North Koreans got the better deal out of the summit.
During an at-times testy exchange with reporters traveling with him, Mr. Pompeo called it “insulting and ridiculous, and frankly ludicrous” that private analysts and the news media homed in on the wording in the joint statement. He also downplayed concerns about the lack of a public timeline for specific actions by Pyongyang.
“A lot has been made of the fact that the word ‘verifiable’ didn’t appear in the agreement,” Mr. Pompeo said. “Let me assure you that the [word] ‘complete’ encompasses ‘verifiable’ in the minds of everyone concerned. One can’t completely denuclearize without validating, authenticating — you pick the word.”
The US is certainly walking a fine line between, as the media will tell you, “legitimizing” the brutal dictator of a nation that has been driven back to the dark ages through the reign of his family dynasty, and effective foreign policy that will successfully prompt said brutal dictator to give up his weapons and re-join the rest of the world in the modern age.
Trump is no ordinary politician, however. He’s a businessman, a deal maker, and he is well-known for praising people he literally just smeared when they conceded to the terms of this deal. This is who Trump is, and it’s who we elected, and his actions seem to speak far more than his oft-uncensored words.
If the North Korea deal plays out like the majority of his policy so far, then Pompeo has every reason to be hopeful, and Trump will truly have achieved the unimaginable.
And then the press will have to find something else to complain about.
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