North Korea ‘No Longer’ a ‘Nuclear Threat,’ Trump Claims
President touted progress made in Singapore summit while lashing out at 'fake news' media trying 'to downplay the deal'
There “is no longer a threat from North Korea” following the historic summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un — even though the “Fake News” media “are fighting hard to downplay the deal,” Trump said Wednesday.
“So funny to watch the Fake News, especially NBC and CNN,” Trump tweeted. “They are fighting hard to downplay the deal with North Korea. 500 days ago they would have ‘begged’ for this deal – looked like war would break out. Our Country’s biggest enemy is the Fake News so easily promulgated by fools!”
Trump became the first U.S. president to meet with North Korea's leader since the communist nation was formed in 1948 when he met Kim Tuesday at the summit in Singapore. The two leaders signed a statement agreeing to establish new communications, support a "stable peace regime" in North Korea, work toward "complete denuclearization" of the Korean peninsula, and recover remains of Americans killed in North Korea during the Korea War. Trump also pledged to cease joint military exercises with South Korea.
After Trump returned to the U.S., he took to Twitter to summarize the summit, tout the global progress made, and defend his decision to end "war games," the joint U.S./South Korea military maneuvers held each year.
"Just landed - a long trip, but everybody can now feel much safer than the day I took office. There is no longer a Nuclear Threat from North Korea. Meeting with Kim Jong Un was an interesting and very positive experience. North Korea has great potential for the future!" Trump tweeted.
"Before taking office people were assuming that we were going to War with North Korea. President Obama said that North Korea was our biggest and most dangerous problem. No longer - sleep well tonight!" Trump added. "We save a fortune by not doing war games, as long as we are negotiating in good faith - which both sides are!"
Nevertheless, many in the media panned Trump's summit or gave it only scant praise. Democratic lawmakers also were loath to give the president any credit.
But White House counselor Kellyanne Conway insisted Trump's "moxie on the world stage cannot be overstated" during a Fox News "Fox & Friends" interview Wednesday.
"I think you cannot underestimate what it means to have a leader who makes good on the commitment to keep everybody more safe," Conway said. "Don't give too much attention to the angry people. Don't give too much credit to the critics, frankly. Almost who cares? You know they're skeptical, they're cynical."
Conway also mocked the mainstream media, saying they "exploded" in August 2017 when Trump posted his infamous "fire and fury" tweet targeting Kim and warning of the consequences if his quest for nuclear capabilities continued. Back then, the media worried that Trump's rhetoric would thrust the globe into World War III.
"Now [Trump's] de-escalating and denuclearizing the Korean peninsula, and they're still not happy," Conway said. "But the country sees it. The country sees the president's social media platform. They saw his leadership unfiltered, authentically on the world stage."
Conway also highlighted the differences between Trump's pledge with Kim and former President Barack Obama's Iran nuclear deal and normalization negotiations with Cuba.
"And unlike the one-sided Iran deals, Cuba deals, where we gave up everything and got nothing in return, quite embarrassingly, this president has made clear that he is the one looking for Kim Jong-un to denuclearize and to stabilize," Conway said. "Look, the last president was handed the Nobel Peace Prize — this president's actually going to earn it, and that's all we need to know from this."
The White House National Security Council (NSC) created a video, shown to Kim during the summit, that offered a message of peace while urging Kim to make wise choices for himself and his people.
"Seven billion people inhabit planet Earth," a male narrator read. "Of those alive today, only a small number will leave a lasting impact. And only the very few will make decisions or take actions that renew their homeland and change the course of history."
"Two leaders, one destiny: A story about a special moment in time, when a man is presented with one chance that may never be repeated," the voiceover continued. "What will he choose? To show vision and leadership? Or not?"
Conway confirmed that the NSC created the video and noted that Kim "has a decision to make."
"He can either continue being nuclear capable, or he can swiftly move towards complete, verifiable, irreversible denuclearization of the Korean peninsula and really stop the economic self-isolation that has marked his country for so long, the suffering of the people," Conway said.