Trump Says ‘There Is No Longer a Nuclear Threat’ after Kim Meeting
Posted June 13, 2018 10:47 a.m. EDT
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump returned to the United States early Wednesday praising his diplomatic prowess after his meeting with the North Korean leader and declaring, “There is no longer a Nuclear Threat” from Pyongyang.
In a series of Twitter posts at dawn, the president projected confidence as Air Force One landed outside Washington. After his summit meeting with Kim Jong Un, the North Korean leader, in Singapore, Trump appeared to be taking a victory lap even as critics cautioned that the nuclear threat from North Korea is far from over.
“Just landed - a long trip, but everybody can now feel much safer than the day I took office,” he wrote. “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!”
“Before taking office people were assuming that we were going to War with North Korea,” he wrote in another post. “President Obama said that North Korea was our biggest and most dangerous problem. No longer - sleep well tonight!”
And the president pushed back against criticism that he had handed a victory to Kim by promising to cease military exercises that Trump described as “war games.”
“We save a fortune by not doing war games, as long as we are negotiating in good faith - which both sides are!” he wrote.
Trump also touted his political influence in a House Republican primary race in South Carolina that ousted the incumbent, Rep. Mark Sanford, in favor of a conservative challenger, Katie Arrington. On Tuesday afternoon, Trump had tweeted that Sanford is “nothing but trouble.”
“My political representatives didn’t want me to get involved in the Mark Sanford primary thinking that Sanford would easily win - but with a few hours left I felt that Katie was such a good candidate, and Sanford was so bad, I had to give it a shot,” he wrote Wednesday. “Congrats to Katie Arrington!”
The president’s schedule, as released by the White House, listed no public events Wednesday. But he issued 10 posts on Twitter before 8 a.m., including his declaration that the threat from North Korea had been eliminated, and praise for the United States, Mexico and Canada for winning the bid to host soccer’s 2026 World Cup.
As Trump returned to the White House, questions remained about whether the United States gave up more than it gained at what had been a much-anticipated meeting between Trump and Kim.
A joint statement signed by the two leaders did not include a timeline for denuclearization or details about how the North would move forward. Instead, the document — which many had hoped would be a road map for a nuclear agreement — was filled with diplomatic language that had been used in previous statements over the past 20 years.
At the end of the hourslong meetings, Trump praised Kim as “talented.”
“Anybody that takes over a situation like he did at 26 years of age and is able to run it and run it tough — I don’t say it was nice, or I don’t say anything about it — he ran it,” Trump said, glossing over the decades of human rights abuses North Koreans have faced.
Kim is known for his brutal style, ordering the executions of at least 340 people since he took over power from his father in 2011.
Still, the president acknowledged that there is no certainty that the North will get rid of its nuclear weapons.
“You can’t ensure anything. All I can say is they want to make a deal. That’s what I do. My whole life has been deals. I’ve done great at it and that’s what I do,” Trump said in a news conference with reporters Tuesday after the meetings.
“And I know when somebody wants to deal and I know when somebody doesn’t,” Trump said. “A lot of politicians don’t. That’s not their thing, but it is my thing.”