nuclear weapons

North Korea Summit

Jun 13, 2018
Dan Scavino Jr / Wikipedia

At a historic meeting on Monday, President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un signed an agreement in a closed door session in Singapore. The U.S. agreed to remove troops from the Korean peninsula if North Korea committed to denuclearization. While Trump described the meeting as a huge victory that only his administration could have achieved, others are skeptical of the outcome of this meeting.

Today, we look at what the agreement contains and the reactions of foreign nations to the summit's outcome.

President Trump offered assurances that North Korea would benefit from any deal it reaches with the U.S. regarding its nuclear program, amid uncertainty about whether negotiations between the two countries will actually take place.

North Korea has threatened to cancel talks between its leader Kim Jong Un and Trump scheduled for next month. Pyongyang said it viewed the joint military exercises held by the U.S. and South Korea as a provocation and that it would not give in to one-sided demands to give up its nuclear weapons.

Updated at 6:36 p.m. ET

President Trump announced Tuesday that he has decided to exit a 2015 multinational agreement in which Iran agreed to limit its production of nuclear weapons material.

"I am announcing today that the United States will withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal," Trump said.

He said the U.S. will reimpose economic sanctions that were lifted as part of the U.S. commitments made in the deal.

Updated at 5:05 a.m. ET

Following a historic meeting between North Korea's Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in, the leaders appeared side by side to make an extraordinary announcement: The two nations — technically in a state of war for more than six decades — would work toward a permanent peace treaty and the elimination of nuclear weapons from the peninsula.

Updated at 2:50 p.m. ET

North Korea says it is willing to discuss denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula with the United States, a key requirement laid out by the Trump administration as a precondition for talks with Pyongyang.

South Korean officials who returned from a two-day visit to the North Korean capital reportedly brought back the communication. The North also said it was willing to send a delegation for dialogue with the South next month at the border village of Panmunjom.

The jitters over North Korea's missile tests have led Hawaii to bring back air raid sirens. The state already has sirens in place in case of tsunami, but starting this month the state will once again test the "wailing tone" meant specifically to warn of attack.

South Korean defense officials and the U.S. Strategic Command say North Korea test-fired a "medium- or intermediate-range" ballistic missile early Sunday morning local time, which flew eastward for about 300 miles from the west coast of North Korea, over the peninsula and landed in the Sea of Japan. This marks the first missile test by the Kim Jong Un regime since October, and the first during the new Donald Trump presidency.

The minute hand on the Doomsday Clock ticked closer to midnight Thursday, as the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists said it's seeing an increase in dangers to humanity, from climate change to nuclear warfare. The group took the "unprecedented" step of moving the clock 30 seconds closer to midnight, to leave it at 2 1/2 minutes away.

The setting is the closest the symbolic clock has come to midnight since 1953, when scientists moved it to two minutes from midnight after seeing both the U.S. and the Soviet Union test hydrogen bombs. It remained at that mark until 1960.

North Korea got 2017 off to a menacing start. In his New Year's address, supreme leader Kim Jong Un warned that the nation was in the "final stage" of preparations to test an intercontinental ballistic missile.

A day later, President-elect Donald Trump said the North would never develop a nuclear weapon capable of striking the U.S. "It won't happen!" Trump tweeted.

Washington's national security establishment is not used to this kind of spotlight.

From time to time, the players in what Sen. John McCain calls the "military-industrial-congressional complex" are hailed as heroes, praised for their sacrifice or occasionally dinged in committee testimony and the odd think tank white paper.

Mostly, however, the defense world tends to operate in locked rooms, out of sight from nearly everyone but lobbyists and trade reporters.

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