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Trump attacks Schumer over North Korea remarks, defends summit

Posted at 12:34 PM, Jun 17, 2018

President Donald Trump attacked Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer in a tweet Sunday morning over the New York Democrat's criticisms of the North Korea summit.

"Thank you Chuck, but are you sure you got that right? No more nuclear testing or rockets flying all over the place, blew up launch sites," Trump wrote. "Hostages already back, hero remains coming home & much more!"

The President said in a follow-up tweet that the summit with North Korea is viewed favorably abroad, adding that the talks could save "millions and millions of lives."

"The denuclearization deal with North Korea is being praised and celebrated all over Asia," Trump wrote. "They are so happy! Over here, in our country, some people would rather see this historic deal fail than give Trump a win, even if it does save potentially millions & millions of lives!"

Trump also defended his decision to ensure a halt to war games in the region, which he characterized as "VERY EXPENSIVE" and needlessly provocative.

Trump was responding to Schumer's speech on the Senate floor Wednesday in which the senator referenced the Texas saying "all hat and no cattle" to describe the results of the historic summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore.

"The summit was more show than substance, what the Texans call 'all cattle, no hat,'" Schumer said, mistaking the phrasing of the expression. "In past agreements with North Korea, the United States won far stronger language on denuclearization, and we won specific measures to ensure that North Korea was taking steps in that direction."

After their discussions in Singapore, Trump and Kim signed an agreement committing the United States to unspecified "security guarantees" in exchange for Kim's reaffirmation of commitment to a denuclearized Korean peninsula.

But there was no mentioning the previous US aim of "complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization." And Kim's commitments did not appear to go beyond what he already pledged to do in April when he met South Korean President Moon Jae-in along their countries' border.

The document also lacked specifics on the timeline or nature of denuclearization.

At the summit, Trump also announced the suspension of multilateral military drills on the Korean Peninsula, raising concerns that Trump had made a significant concession at his summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un without getting anything solid in return.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said Trump's move was based on the precedent of "productive, good-faith negotiations being ongoing, and at the point it's concluded that they're not, the President's commitment to not have those joint exercises take place will no longer be in effect." Pompeo said. "He was unambiguous about that."

Since the summit, Trump has repeatedly heaped praise on the North Korean leader and touted the results of his meeting with Kim. Trump has at various times called the North Korean leader "very talented," a "great negotiator," and someone who "loves his people."

The remarks drew criticisms from Democrats as as well as some Republicans, as Kim is accused of having family members murdered, sending citizens to work camps and torturing American hostages.

North Korea has perpetuated human rights abuses for decades, according to watchdog agencies, human rights groups and the US government. A 2014 report from a United Nations Human Rights Council commission found the country had committed violations including "arbitrary detention, torture, executions and enforced disappearance to political prison camps, violations of the freedoms of thought, expression and religion, (and) discrimination on the basis of State-assigned social class, gender, and disability."