NATIONAL

Trump lashes back at media concerns over NK decision on nuke program

By Choi He-suk
  • Published : Apr 23, 2018 - 16:38
  • Updated : Apr 23, 2018 - 16:38

US President Donald Trump hit back against concerns over North Korea’s recent announcement of ending its nuclear program.

On Sunday evening by Korean time, Trump tweeted that the US has made no concessions, and refuted media concerns that Pyongyang appears to be gaining more from engaging the US and its allies. 

US President Donald Trump. Yonhap

“Sleepy Eyes Chuck Todd of Fake News NBC just stated that we have given up so much in our negotiations with North Korea, and they have given up nothing. Wow, we haven’t given up anything & they have agreed to denuclearization (so great for World), site closure, & no more testing!” Trump’s tweet read.

Trump added that the issue of denuclearizing North Korea is far from resolved, and that he is working to resolve a long-outstanding issue.

The US leader was referring to Todd’s comments on NBC’s “Today” show that North Korea appears to be gaining more out of the planned talks than the US.

Saying that the North’s announcement was a diplomatic overture, the rejection of which would lead to the US looking “terrible,” Todd said Pyongyang had yet to make any promises on denuclearization.

On Saturday, North Korea announced that it would halt all long-range missile and nuclear weapons tests, and that the Punggye-ri test site in the northeast of the country would be closed down.

With the announcement coming less than a week ahead of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, Trump and Seoul’s presidential office welcomed the development. The inter-Korean summit is set for Friday, and the US-North Korea summit is expected to follow by early June.

Soon after the announcement, Cheong Wa Dae labeled it “meaningful progress,” while Trump tweeted that it was “very good news for North Korea and the World - big progress!”

The wording of North Korea‘s decision, however, has been taken by some experts as North Korea declaring itself a nuclear-armed state, rather than an end to its nuclear ambitions.

North Korea said that it no longer has any need to conduct nuclear and missile tests as “weaponization of nuclear arms has been verified” and the nuclear weapons testing facility had “completed its mission.”

Saying the country’s “byongjin route has been completed as a great victory,” the statement went on to say that economic development would be the new focus of the North Korean regime.

The term “byongjin policy” refers to Kim’s policy of developing nuclear arms and the economy at the same time.

By Choi He-suk (cheesuk@heraldcorp.com)