- President Donald Trump tweeted on Thursday a flattering letter from North Korean leader Kim Jong Un that followed up on June’s historic summit in Singapore.
- The letter was heavy on flattering language but offered nothing towards denuclearization, which has been the US’s stated purpose in engaging with North Korea.
- Kim called Trump “Your Excellency” four times and said he’s looking forward to their next meeting.
- Meanwhile evidence is piling up that North Korea is still working on its nuclear weapons.
President Donald Trump tweeted on Thursday a flattering letter from North Korean leader Kim Jong Un that followed up on June’s historic summit in Singapore.
“A very nice note from Chairman Kim of North Korea. Great progress being made!” Trump tweeted accompanying a Korean and English version of the note from Kim.
In the note, Kim calls Trump “Your Excellency” four times, once in each paragraph. Kim praises the significance of their meeting and the joint statement they put out, but the letter doesn’t do much to support Trump’s claim that progress is being made in his stated goal of denuclearizing North Korea.
“I deeply appreciate the energetic and extraordinary efforts made by Your Excellency Mr. president for the improvement of relations between the two countries and the faithful implementation of the joint statement,” Kim wrote.
Kim wrote of a “new future” possible between the two nations, and another meeting with Trump will further improve relations.
But while improving relations and decreasing hostility has certainly been a benefit of Trump’s diplomatic push on North Korea, it’s been a means to the end of denuclearization.
For decades, the US would not talk to North Korea, which has killed foreign and US citizens while maintaining one of the worst human rights regimes on earth, without a concrete path towards dismantling the country’s nuclear weapons.
Though Kim’s letter mentions sticking to the joint statement released in Singapore, which does mention denuclearization, North Korea has consistently resisted efforts to verifably disarm.
North Korea may actually be backsliding and continuing work on its nuclear arsenal. Furthermore, since the summit, Trump’s one great success in dealing with Pyongyang, getting China to enforce sanctions, has unwound as ships are now frequently seen trading between the two countries.
Furthermore, a recent trip to North Korea from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with swift rebuke from North Korea, that called the US negotiatiors “ganster-like,” and their attitudes “regrettable.”
Here’s the letter in full:
A very nice note from Chairman Kim of North Korea. Great progress being made! pic.twitter.com/6NI6AqL0xt
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 12, 2018