Donald Trump said on Sunday it was “possible” that a deal he claimed ended the nuclear threat posed by North Korea would not “work out”.
A day after it was reported that Pyongyang has increased its production of enriched uranium at secret sites, Fox Business broadcast an interview with the president.
Trump was pressed on whether he trusted Kim Jong-un, whom he met last month in Singapore and with whom he said he had “a great chemistry”, to make good on promises to destroy Pyongyang’s nuclear program.
“I made a deal with him, I shook hands with him, I really believe he means it,” said Trump. “Now, is it possible? Have I been in deals, have you been in things where, people didn’t work out? It’s possible.”
Trump’s words reversed his declaration upon his return from Singapore that North Korea had ended its nuclear ambitons.
“Just landed – a long trip, but everybody can now feel much safer than the day I took office,” the president tweeted on 13 June. “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!”
“刚刚降落 - 这是一次长途旅行，但是每个人都可以感觉现在比我上任的那一天更安全了，”美国总统在6月13日发推文说。 “不再有来自朝鲜的核威胁了。与金正恩会面是一次有趣而非常积极的经历。朝鲜未来发展潜力巨大！”
Speaking to Fox, Trump also sought to shrink the perceived cost of the declared agreement falling through, seeking to frame his negotiations with North Korea as having been achieved without concessions.
“We gave nothing,” he said. “Think of this. What did I do, really, when you think of it? I went there. So the papers say, ‘He went’, oh, meaning I went to Singapore. So we had a meeting. We didn’t do anything.”
In fact, Trump agreed to end a range of joint military exercises with South Korea, meant to act as a deterrent against the North. In the interview with Fox, he said the exercises, “which I call war games”, were too expensive.
“They’re dropping bombs all over the place every six months,” he said, “it’s unbelievably expensive to do that. The planes fly in from Guam, these massive bombers. It’s crazy.”