North Korea-U.S. Relations
August 10, 2019

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un isn't happy with the United States and South Korea, but he apparently doesn't blame President Trump.

North Korea reportedly fired two projectiles off its east coast on Saturday, its fifth such launch in recent weeks, including the second this week. South Korea's military believes the projectiles are short-range ballistic missiles, which, if confirmed, would be a breach of 11 United Nations Security Council resolutions. Analysts believe the recent tests are meant to serve as retaliation for a U.S.-South Korea joint military drill set to begin on Sunday, as well as leverage in bilateral talks with Washington.

As for Trump? Well, Kim is cool with him it seems.

In fact, the most recent launches occurred just hours after Trump said he received another "very beautiful letter" from North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, which prompted Trump to say he thinks "we'll have another meeting." The president then shed a little more light on their exchange Saturday in a pair of tweets. Trump also seems to want to do away with the joint exercises, which he called "ridiculous and expensive."

Kim also reportedly offered a "small apology" for the weapons tests and told Trump they'd stop once the exercises end. Tim O'Donnell

June 30, 2019

President Trump's surprise meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Sunday has sparked a wide array of responses.

Many consider the event, during which Trump became the first sitting U.S. president to step foot on North Korean soil, another photo op or television ratings boost for the president, who, The Washington Post reports, has been criticized for emphasizing style over substance in his North Korea strategy. Trump's critics, therefore, see Sunday's meeting as little more than a way for Trump to exercise his prowess as a showman.

Trump has also faced continuous criticism for his penchant for speaking highly of Kim and reinforcing the idea that the two leaders have a strong relationship. But, others like Fox News' Tucker Carlson (who was reportedly at the DMZ with Trump), have praised the president for choosing the course of practicality. Carlson phoned in to Fox News on Sunday and called it "silly" for people to focus purely on North Korea's atrocities, while ignoring the larger picture.

"In the end, what matters is what's good for the United States," Carlson said, though he did call Kim's regime "monstrous" and "disgusting." But even those who agree with Carlson that diplomacy is superior to the alternative don't always appreciate the Trump administration's friendly tone toward Pyongyang. Tim O'Donnell

June 29, 2019

In a tweet on Saturday, President Trump invited North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to a brief meeting on the Korean Demilitarized Zone as part of his visit to Seoul where he is scheduled to meet with South Korean President Moon Jae-in. Trump wrote that he wanted to shake Kim's hand and say hello.

"All I did was put out a feeler if he'd like to meet," Trump said, adding that Kim was "very receptive to the meeting." Indeed, North Korea said Trump's offer is a "very interesting suggestion."

Trump is also not worried that it would be a bad sign if Kim fails to meet him, CNN reports. "No, of course I thought of that," he said.

If the meeting does happen, it would be the third face-to-face meeting between the two leaders, who have attempted to negotiate North Korea's denuclearization process in the past. Their last meeting, which took place in Hanoi in February, ended abruptly without a deal. Tim O'Donnell

May 26, 2019

President Trump is not worried about North Korea, even though some of his "people" might be.

Trump on Sunday dismissed the idea he was concerned about North Korea's recent ballistic weapons tests in an early morning tweet from Tokyo. Trump wrote that he was not disturbed by the weapons testing, although others in his administration were. The Washington Post reports the tweet was a "direct rebuke" of national security adviser, John Bolton, who said on Saturday that North Korea's tests "no doubt" violated United Nations Security Council resolutions.

Trump said he has confidence North Korean leader Kim Jong Un "will keep his promise" to Trump, referring to an agreement between the two heads of state in which Kim said North Korea would not test intercontinental-range ballistic missiles — the recent tests were reportedly short-range missiles.

Trump also cited Kim's recent criticism of former Vice President Joe Biden, who could face off with Trump in the 2020 presidential election, as further reason to trust him. "Perhaps that's sending me a signal?" Trump wrote. Tim O'Donnell

July 26, 2018

The White House announced Thursday night that North Korea has transferred the remains of an unspecified number of U.S. soldiers killed during the Korean War.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un agreed to return the remains during his summit with President Trump last month in Singapore. "Today, [Kim] is fulfilling part of the commitment he made to the president to return our fallen American service members," the White House said in a statement. "We are encouraged by North Korea's actions and the momentum for positive change."

More than 7,700 U.S. troops who fought in the Korean War never came home, and roughly 5,300 of those soldiers were lost in what is now North Korea, Reuters reports. The remains were transported on a U.S. military plane, which flew to the North Korean city of Wonsan and returned to the Osan air base in South Korea. A formal repatriation ceremony will be held Wednesday at Osan. Catherine Garcia

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