Donald Trump, already under fire for making significant concessions to North Korean strongman Kim Jong Un in their “summit” meeting in Singapore on Tuesday, as the news site Vox reported, appears to have given up even more than had been previously made public. Yet Trump seemed to receive almost nothing in return, especially compared to previous presidents who have made deals with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), as North Korea is officially known, the Washington Post reported.
According to reports by the Korean Central News Agency, the DPRK’s state-controlled media organization, Trump also promised to lift economic sanctions on North Korea. North Korea, as of 2014, held approximately 120,000 political prisoners in its harsh and brutal prison system, according to a United Nations report, which accused Kim and his North Korean regime of committing “crimes against humanity.”
Those atrocities include, according to a New York Times summary of the U.N. report, “extermination, murder, enslavement, torture, imprisonment, rape, forced abortions and other sexual violence, persecution on political, religious, racial and gender grounds, the forcible transfer of populations, the enforced disappearance of persons and the inhumane act of knowingly causing prolonged starvation.”
The United States administration had not commented on whether or not the North Korean state media report was accurate as of late Tuesday evening, according to the Reuters news agency. Trump said in a press conference following his face-to-face meeting with Kim on Tuesday that he was favorably disposed to lifting the economic sanctions, but had no timetable for doing so.
Even Chris Wallace of the Trump-friendly Fox News network, noted, “I think it is well to keep in mind that Kim Jong Un has given up nothing at this point.”
The United States fought a war against North Korea from 1950 to 1953 — a war that cost more than 36,000 American lives, according to facts compiled by CNN. Though an armistice was signed in on July 27, 1953, no peace treaty was ever signed to officially end the war which, officially, continues to this day.
Numerous U.S. troops have been killed while stationed at the Demilitarized Zone dividing North and South Korea since the conclusion of fighting in the Korean War, including two soldiers who were murdered by North Korean soldiers wielding axes in 1976, in a dispute over trimming a tree at the DMZ, as The Washington Post recounted.
But Trump required no serious conditions for the lifting of sanctions, other than a pledge to “work toward” the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula. South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency quoted the KCNA report.
“Trump expressed his intention to halt the U.S.-South Korea joint military exercises, which the DPRK side regards as provocation, over a period of good-will dialogue between the DPRK and the U.S., offer security guarantees to the DPRK and lift sanctions against it along with advance in improving the mutual relationship through dialogue and negotiation.”
The sanctions have placed a stranglehold on North Korea’s already-staggering economy, severely limiting the amount of fuel that the country may import, and cracking down on North Korean exports that cost North Korea about $3 billion per year, according to a CNN report.