Trump faces backlash after saluting North Korean general

Trump and Kin

Mr Trump also announced a halt to wargames between the United States and South Korea and expressed a desire to bring U.S. troops home, which left a former South Korean general "speechless". Bush took a tougher stance toward North Korea, and the 1994 nuclear deal collapsed because of suspicions that the North was running a secret uranium program.

Pompeo has since said it is "silly" to think that the document's wording, which calls for "complete" denuclearization but includes no deadline, does not meet the test he had set.

The US secretary of state added that "we're going to get denuclearisation" and "only then will there be relief from sanctions".

Harris reiterated that sanctions should not be loosened until North Korea makes progress, but he declined to say when in that process sanctions relief should happen.

Mr Kim pledged to work towards the complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula at the summits held with South Korean President Moon Jae-in in April and US President Donald Trump in Singapore on Tuesday.

During the one-on-one, Mr Trump defended his previous approach in handling Kim, which saw the U.S. president ridicule the North Korean leader for having a smaller "nuclear button" than him.

Others pointed out that with North and South Korea still technically at war (a formal peace treaty was never signed), it was inappropriate for Mr Trump to salute the general of an adversary.

For his part, Wang said China has a "firm commitment" to denuclearisation but that North Korea's "legitimate" concerns must be addressed.

Speaking at a news conference in Seoul alongside South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-hwa and Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono, the USA secretary of state said the Trump administration would not repeat the mistakes made by past presidents that rewarded Pyongyang for denuclearization promises.

"China has reaffirmed its commitment to honoring the U.N. Security Council resolutions. There is no longer a Nuclear Threat from North Korea".

In particular, the report notes that the joint statement signed by the two countries contains language that is weaker than agreements that North Korea has signed in the past.

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"Suspending U.S. -South Korea joint military exercises is a mistake".

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, left, speaks with China's President Xi Jinping during a meetingat the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Thursday, June 14, 2018.

In Wormuth's view, Trump's stated concern about the cost of such exercises, combined with his talk of eventually bringing all USA troops home from South Korea, is likely to create doubt in Seoul and Tokyo about American steadfastness.

Trump in 2012 tweeted about Obama's interaction with Abdullah, writing: "do we still want a President who bows to Saudis and lets OPEC rip us off?" The president made the comments after his meeting with Kim.

On South Korea-US joint military drills, South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha said that it is a matter for the South Korea-US alliance and it should be coordinated between the allies' military authorities. Moon met with Pompeo to discuss the summit in Singapore before the secretary of state met with his diplomatic counterparts.

During the meeting with Pompeo in Seoul, Foreign Minister Kang said the alliance with the US remained strong. She would not say which issues were specifically raised.

Putin also welcomed the contacts between the leaders of North and South Korea.

"Those are literally the North Korean and Chinese talking points", said Christine Wormuth, the Pentagon's top policy official from 2014 to 2016.

Trump frequently salutes people he sees in a military uniform, and he saluted Singapore military officials while visiting there for the summit with Kim.

"Kim Jong Un must have won a number of major concessions from Trump in other sectors in return for destroying such a major facility", the source continued.

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