Merkley: Trump-Kim summit a 'colossal disappointment'

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Democrats were openly sceptical, saying Trump had already given up some American leverage by committing to halting United States military exercises with treaty ally South Korea. Trump described his meeting with Kim as "better than anyone could have expected".

"I strongly believe that the president's maximum pressure campaign must remain in place until North Korea truly changes course and ends its risky nuclear weapons program".

On May 24th, Trump cancelled his planned summit with Kim on June 12th, sending the S&P 500 down 2% over the following days.

Richardson, who helped negotiate the release of the first American civilian to be held captive in North Korea, said Trump also made an inappropriate move by suggesting an end to joint drills with South Korea.

Rodman spoke in glowing terms about Kim, as he has done before, and glossed over the young leader's troubling human rights record.

At the United Nations, meanwhile, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called the summit "an important milestone in the advancement of sustainable peace and the complete and verifiable denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula". "But despite that, once you start the process it means it's pretty much over".

He added that he can understand why Trump was so eager for even a meaningless joint statement and a photograph heading into the midterm elections, given that he will now sell it as a great victory. He said that the US would put an end to what he called "war games", a term for the joint exercises preferred by the Pyongyang regime, which characterizes them as rehearsals for invasion. He explained that they're too expensive anyway and, besides, they are quite provocative to North Korea. "If the prepared to make this promise to a brutal dictator, then how trustworthy is he going to be in maintaining a security commitment to his allies?" "We should all be applauding President Trump".

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Nice and handsome and thin and perfect

Trump relayed that Kim reacted to discussing human rights "very well" but said they "were talking about the denuclearization 90% of the time".

While China opposes North Korea's nuclear weapons, it also wants to prevent a collapse of Kim's regime or war on the Korean Peninsula.

Still, he left open the possibility of restarting the exercises should denuclearization talks with North Korea stall.

Critics were quick to point out that agreement, in its current form, includes no guardrails to verify how or when North Korea would give up its nuclear weapons. The agreement's language on North Korea's nuclear program was similar to what the leaders of North and South Korea came up with at their own summit in April. But the one-page document contains few specifics on how that goal would be achieved. I thought it was interesting enough to show. The U.S. president brushed off questions about his public embrace of the autocrat whose people have been oppressed for decades. Soaring music boomed over the speakers, and the reporters were bombarded with a montage portraying North Korea as some sort of paradise.

The first U.S. responses to the dramatic meeting came as Trump and Kim headed home from Singapore.

The North has faced crippling diplomatic and economic sanctions as it has advanced development of its nuclear and ballistic missile programmes. The formal document signing followed a series of meetings at a luxury Singapore resort.

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