During a news conference in Singapore following the signing of his agreement with Kim Jong Un, President Trump was repeatedly pressed about how he can be sure North Korea is serious about denuclearizing, given that the agreement doesn’t include any verification provisions. He had no answers.
At one point, a reporter asked Trump whether he and Kim discussed “methods to verify” the denuclearization process. Trump responded by saying, “Well, it’s gonna be achieved by having a lot of people there, and as we develop a certain trust.”
Asked later why he thinks North Korea will follow through on promises this time when they haven’t in the past, Trump said, “well, you have a different administration. You have a different president.”
Later, however, Trump had a moment of radical honesty. Asked by a reporter what he’ll do if Kim “doesn’t follow through” on his promises, Trump openly admitted that he’ll never admit he was wrong, but will instead obfuscate.
“Honestly, I think he’s going to do these things. I may be wrong,” Trump said. “I may stand before you in six months and say, ‘hey, I was wrong.’ I don’t know that I’ll admit that but I’ll find some kind of an excuse.”
As ThinkProgress detailed, there’s nothing in Trump’s agreement with Kim “that actually defines any of the goals or how they will be achieved, just a commitment, on both sides, ‘to work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.'”
In exchange, Trump has agreed to end joint U.S.-South Korean military exercises — though as is the case with denuclearization, it’s unclear how the process of ending those will be implemented.
South Korean and American military leaders were caught off guard by the agreement, which Trump admitted during the news conference was negotiated during a period where he hadn’t slept in more than a day.