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North Korea made clear Wednesday it viewed the commitments that President Trump and ruler Kim Jong Un made about denuclearization and sanctions during their summit in strikingly different terms than the White House, suggesting trouble going forward.
After the two leaders signed a joint statement Tuesday that said North Korea would “work toward” denuclearization, the country’s official media said that Trump and Kim had the “shared recognition” that the process would be “step-by-step and simultaneous action,” language not in the leaders’ statement.
The Korean Central News Agency report repeated North Korea’s position that denuclearization must involve the entire Korean peninsula, and not just the northern half. It also emphasized that the U.S. would “lift sanctions” as part of the process, although the official statement does not mention sanctions.
The article goes on to state the following:
The signed agreement, which was released by the White House, says North Korea will “work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.” It does not offer the pledge of “complete, verifiable, irreversible denuclearization” that Pompeo had insisted was the U.S. objective.
A verifiable and permanent disarmament agreement would require North Korea to let international inspectors in to collect records, monitor sites and ensure it does not cheat. Pyongyang expelled United Nations nuclear inspectors nearly a decade ago and Tuesday’s agreement does not mention bringing them back.
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