Trump declares North Korea nuclear threat over, says Americans can 'sleep well'

The front page of a state-run North Korean newspaper is on display for commuters at a Pyongyang subway station

MINORU IWASAKI AP The front page of a state-run North Korean newspaper is on display for commuters at a Pyongyang subway station

As foreign policy analysts try to predict the next steps after President Trump's historic meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on Tuesday, they're running into a problem: the two leaders can't seem to provide a consistent account of what they agreed to in Singapore.

"Just landed - a long trip, but everybody can now feel much safer than the day I took office".

Trump, who returned to Washington early on Wednesday, hailed the meeting with Kim, the first between a sitting US president and a North Korean leader, as a success that had removed the North Korean nuclear threat.

Critics of Trump's opening to North Korea fear that Kim is playing to the ego of a gullible U.S. president yearning to look presidenty in order to drive a wedge between South Korea and the United States. The "most unsafe problem" outlined by former President Barack Obama was no longer a threat, he added.

But he said that was no longer the case, and everyone can "sleep well tonight".

But like everyone else, military chiefs in South Korea were caught off-guard by Trump's unilateral declaration of an end to joint exercises, which is likely to embolden conservatives calling for Seoul to develop nuclear weapons of its own.

Geng Shuang, the Chinese Foreign Ministry's spokesman, told reporters on Wednesday: "North Korea has stopped its nuclear tests, and the United States and South Korea are practising self-constraint on their military exercises".

But there was no mentioning the previous US aim of "complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization".

Several topics were discussed Tuesday during Trump and Kim's summit, including the "complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula."

"He trusts me, I believe, I really do", Trump said of Kim.

During his talk with Hannity, Trump said his inflammatory rhetoric helped spur this new meeting.

"The U.S. -South Korea joint exercises and U.S. forces in South Korea play significant roles for the security in East Asia", Japanese Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera told reporters Wednesday.

The move, long requested by Pyongyang, has been seen as a major concession to North Korea and has left one former South Korean military leader "speechless".

"I suppose we could argue semantics, but let me assure you it's in the document", Pompeo told reporters. "However we think that it is crucial to pursue various solutions for better dialogue".

In this handout photo released by the South Korean Defense Ministry, U.S. M270 Multiple Launch Rocket System firing an MGM-140 Army Tactical Missile during a U.S.

And when Stephanopoulos pressed Trump how how "he is going to know that [Kim] is keeping his word", all Trump could say is "we're going to be following things, we're going to be monitoring things".

Beijing immediately hinted that the United Nations could consider lifting the punishing sanctions on North Korea that Trump credits with bringing Kim to the table.

In a separate question, the BBC interviewer noted that Mr Kim is notoriously paranoid about his safety and asked what Singapore had to do to reassure him. He said he planned to continue sharing the view with Washington and Seoul.

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