North Korea would get protections if it gives up nuclear weapons – Trump

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President Donald Trump has tried to address North Korea’s concerns ahead of his potential summit with Kim Jong Un.

Mr Trump said that if the North Korean leader agrees to denuclearise, he will get what Mr Trump is calling “protections”.

The US president said: “He’ll get protections that would be very strong.”

The North has argued that it needs its nuclear weapons to preserve its security, and expressed concerns about giving up its nuclear programme.

The North cited the example of former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, who died at the hands of rebel forces amid a popular uprising in October 2011. He had given up his nuclear programme in the 2000s.

Mr Trump has made clear that he will not talk about US troop levels in South Korea during the planned meeting with Mr Kim on June 12 in Singapore.

South Korea Koreas Tension
A South Korean Air Force fighter jet takes part in military exercises (Park Chul-hong/AP)

But Mr Trump said North Korean officials are discussing logistical details about the summit with the US “as if nothing happened”.

Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White said the schedule of military exercises has not changed. She added the annual exercises are long-planned, defensive in nature and meant to ensure the readiness of US and South Korean forces.

Exercise Max Thunder began on Monday and concludes on May 25. It includes aircraft from across the US military services. Last year’s exercise included roughly 1,200 US personnel and about 640 South Koreans and this year’s drill is similar.

The North has said it will not return to talks with Seoul due to the exercises.

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