Trump Reveals Major Concession to North Korea: Full Verifiable Denuclearization No Longer US Position
Donald Trump‘s press conference announcing the early end of his summit with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un produced a lot of news, but none more important or underreported than the major negotiation concession he revealed.
Trump’s much-criticized remarks about Otto Warmbier, his rant about former fixer Michael Cohen, and the fact that the summit fell apart early have overshadowed the most significant revelation that Trump made during that press conference.
After repeated insistence from Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that they wanted “more” from Kim in exchange for lifting all sanctions, Trump was directly asked about the long-held U.S. demand for complete verifiable denuclearization.
“I just wanted to clarify, when you talk about what you would willing to give up all of the sanctions for, are you still thinking that you want North Korea to give up everything to do complete, verifiable denuclearization before you lift sanctions?” Trump was asked.
“It’s a good question,” Trump replied. “I don’t want to say that to you because I don’t want to put myself in that position, from the standpoint of negotiation. But, you know, we want a lot to be given up.”
Trump’s answer represents a significant weakening of the U.S. negotiating position, which, since the Bush administration, has been the “complete, verifiable, irreversible denuclearization” of North Korea.
The Trump administration had already weakened that position during the last Trump-Kim summit, where the two world leaders signed an agreement that did not include the words “irreversible” or “verifiable.”
Now, Trump’s bargaining position is that the United States needs to get “a lot” in exchange for lifting all sanctions. And that change in the negotiating position does not appear to have been made in exchange for any similar concession from Kim Jong Un.
Watch the clip above, via The White House.
[Image via screengrab]
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