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News Brief — June 12, 2018

Prior to the summit between the President Trump and Kim Jong Un, Iran had warned that the U.S. was not to be trusted.
According to Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi:
“U.S. has a long history of broken promises of international treaties [and], we believe that the North Korean government should be cautious of U.S. repetitive failures to fulfill its obligations and pledges,” Ghasemi was quoted as saying.
Following Tuesday’s summit Iran again repeated its warning against trusting any deal with U.S. President Donald Trump:
“We are facing a person who backtracks from his signature as he travels on a plane”, Fars news agency quoted an official as saying.
“I do not know with whom the North Korean leader is negotiating. This person is not a wise representative for the US,” Mohammad Baqer Nobakht told reporters on Tuesday.
In a press conference following the summit President Trump described the U.S.-North Korean as a “very comprehensive” agreement that would “take care of a very big and very dangerous problem for the world”.
However, the deal does not differ greatly from the agreement forged by Kim and the South Korean president, Moon Jae-in, after their meeting on the southern side of the demilitarised zone at the end of April.
In other words, today’s agreement between the U.S. and North Korea didn’t really break any new ground. It simply followed-up the agreement between North and South Korea with U.S. participation.
Key points in today’s U.S.-North Korean deal include:
* A promise by President Trump that the US would cease participating in military exercises in South Korea.
* Crucially Trump says sanctions would remain in place for now so “we haven’t given up anything”.
* A pledge by Kim Jong Un to rid the Korean peninsula of nuclear weapons.
This latter point was the main aim of the summit and although it has apparently been achieved, it will still require regular inspections to ensure that North Korea is keeping its part of the agreement. Such inspections would probably be conducted by the United Nations and readers will recall how similar UN weapons in Iraq in 2002-2003 ended.
Despite being unveiled with much diplomatic fanfare those UN weapons inspections did not prevent the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003. So while the deal between Trump and Kim Jong Un seems good only time will tell if it will bear fruit.

 

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