Just nine days after returning from his Singapore summit with North Korea dictator Kim Jong Un and reassuring Americans that they could "sleep well" because the isolated, nuclear-armed country was "no longer a nuclear threat," as The Inquisitr reported, Donald Trump did a head-spinning 180 on Friday, issuing a statement that continued the ongoing, official national emergency over North Korea.
According to the statement posted to WhiteHouse.gov Friday morning, as well as sent to Congress, Trump will extend the state of national emergency that was declared on June 26, 2008, by President George W. Bush — and expanded four times by President Barack Obama and once by Trump last September — past its 10-year expiration date of June 26 of 2018.
In the statement, Trump calls North Korea "an unusual and extraordinary threat to national security," due to "the existence and risk of proliferation of weapons-usable fissile material on the Korean Peninsula; the actions and policies of the Government of North Korea that destabilize the Korean Peninsula and imperil United States Armed Forces, allies, and trading partners in the region, including its pursuit of nuclear and missile programs," as well as other "provocative, destabilizing and repressive actions."
The statement sounds an entirely different tune than statements made just on Thursday by Trump, in which he claimed falsely that North Korea had exploded four nuclear test sites and that "total denuclearization... has already started," according to a Reuters report.
According to a report by The New York Times, "there is no evidence that the North Koreans have blown up 'four of their big test sites,' whether nuclear or missile-related." In May, ahead of the June 12 Trump-Kim summit, North Korea set off some kind of explosion at the main nuclear test site where the country has conducted all of its six known nuclear test blasts. But no independent observers were present or permitted at any time to verify that the site was destroyed, the Times reported.
As Trump made his statements at a White House cabinet meeting on Thursday, claiming that North Korean denuclearization "has already started taking place," Defense Secretary James Mattis, who was present, also said that the U.S. had was "not aware" that the North Koreans had taken any steps to get rid of its nuclear weapons or capabilities, according to The Independent newspaper.
On June 12, the day of his summit with Kim, Trump declared that North Korea was "already destroying" a missile launching site known as Sohae Satellite Launching Ground, where North Korea launched satellites in 2012 and again in 2016. But commercial satellite images of the site showed no sign that the North Koreans were even taking steps to prepare for the destruction of the satellite launch site, according to The Associated Press.
"Commercial satellite imagery of North Korea's Sohae Satellite Launching Station from June 12 shows no apparent activity related to dismantlement of its rocket engine test stand," wrote the Washington D.C. based site 38 North, which monitors North Korean military and political activity. "This stand has been suggested as the probable location U.S. President Trump was referring to in his post-Singapore Summit statements that North Korea is 'destroying their engine site. They're blowing it up.'"
At the summit, Trump said that he would order joint military exercises between South Korea and the U.S. military to be canceled, and even promised to lift economic sanctions against the country, as The Inquisitr reported. But North Korea promised nothing specific in return for the major U.S. concessions made by Trump.
"The President of the United States spoke respectfully with the leader of an enemy state and signed a joint statement with him, then announced he was suspending joint military exercises with South Korea," 38 North wrote. "To Pyongyang, which had long conditioned denuclearization on the end of what it called US 'hostile policy,' these were disarming gestures."