Trump's press conference following the summit. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images
A classified report from Israel's foreign ministry raises doubts over President Trump's optimistic statements about his summit with Kim Jong-un, and determines the U.S. retreated from its positions on several issues relating to North Korea's nuclear program.
Behind the scenes: The classified report, which I obtained a copy of, provides an initial analysis of the summit. It was circulated yesterday by the research department of the Israeli foreign ministry to all Israeli embassies around the world and to many senior officials at the Prime Minister's office and other government agencies.
Two main points:
- The summit left many question marks. There are substantive gaps between U.S. policy statements before the summit on the need for "full, irreversible and verifiable" denuclearization and the joint statement signed at the end of the summit, which only referred to "complete denuclearization."
- Trump's readiness to accept Kim's demand to halt U.S. military exercises with South Korea is a retreat by the U.S. and an acceptance of China's "freeze-for-freeze" approach. The Israeli foreign ministry analysts note that the U.S. had previously rejected the Chinese position.
"Regardless of the smiles in the summit many in Japan, South Korea and the U.S. Congress doubt that North Korea is sincere in its intentions. Our assessment is that regardless of President Trump's statements about quick changes that are expected in North Korean policy, the road the real and substantive change, if it ever happens, will be long and slow."— From the classified report
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