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White House cites N.K. summits among Trump's top achievements

All News 07:42 January 01, 2020

By Lee Haye-ah

WASHINGTON, Dec. 31 (Yonhap) -- The White House on Tuesday cited Donald Trump's meetings with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un as among the U.S. president's top achievements in office.

In a press release reflecting Trump's first three years in office, the White House also noted that sanctions on North Korea have not been eased while the two countries have negotiated the dismantling of Pyongyang's nuclear weapons program.

The statement came shortly before Kim announced a hard-line stance toward Washington over the stalled denuclearization talks, saying the world will soon see a "new strategic weapon."

"President Trump has held two historic summits with North Korea and earlier this year became the first President to cross the DMZ into North Korea," the White House press release said, referring to the Demilitarized Zone separating the two Koreas.

"The Administration has maintained tough sanctions on North Korea while negotiations have taken place," it said.

North Korea has demanded relief from punishing sanctions as part of a deal on dismantling its nuclear program, but the U.S. insists the North first take concrete steps toward denuclearization.

The impasse led to heightened tensions, with North Korea threatening to send an unwelcome "Christmas gift" to the U.S., which was widely interpreted as a possible intercontinental ballistic missile test.

The White House also said Trump provided a boost to American auto exports by renegotiating the Korea-U.S. free trade agreement.

It said South Korea lifted its ban on American poultry and eggs, and agreed to provide market access for the "greatest, guaranteed volume" of American rice.

U.S. President Donald Trump (L) and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un cross the Military Demarcation Line into the southern side of the truce village of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized Zone, which separates the two Koreas, on June 30, 2019. Trump became the first sitting U.S. president to step onto North Korean soil. (Yonhap)

hague@yna.co.kr
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