Donald Trump responded after criticism that he “failed” in his encounters with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un.
Former US President Donald Trump responded strongly to criticism that his talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un “failed” to achieve denuclearization on the Korean peninsula.
In an extraordinary explosion, Trump hit the leader of the United States’ next ally, South Korea, and warmly praised the leader of his longtime opponent, North Korea.
Mr. Trump countered that South Korean President Moon Jae-in was “weak” and ungrateful for his work to pacify Kim Jong-un.
He comes after a lengthy interview with the New York Times published on Wednesday, in which President Moon Jae-in criticized Trump, saying he “went around and failed” to make progress with North Korea.
Despite his much-publicized meetings with Kim, President Trump stepped down without removing a single North Korean nuclear warhead.
North Korea has also resumed weapons testing.
Mr. Moon, who is due to meet with US President Joe Biden next month, hopes that the new president will be able to move forward.
“The most important starting point for both governments is to have a desire for dialogue and to sit face to face as soon as possible,” he said.
However, Mr. Trump countered, saying that Mr. Moon was “weak” and ungrateful for his work to pacify Mr. Kim.
He accused his South Korean counterpart of stealing the United States, while continuing to highlight his alleged friendship with Kim.
“North Korea’s Kim Jong-un, who I met (and liked) in the most difficult circumstances, never respected South Korea’s current President Moon Jae-in,” Trump said in a statement.
“President Moon was weak as a leader and negotiator, except when it came to the continuing and enduring US military fraud … We have been treated like fools for decades, yet I made them pay billions more for military protection and services. that we provide.
“The Biden administration is not even going to ask for the additional billions that South Korea has agreed to pay us,” added Trump, referring to current President Joe Biden.
During his presidency, Trump positioned himself as one of the main negotiators in peace negotiations on the Korean peninsula.
He first met Kim in Singapore in June 2018, the first summit among countries still technically at war, and later said the two leaders “fell in love”.
The pair met twice more during Trump’s term, and North Korea has postponed nuclear and missile tests – but analysts say Pyongyang continues to advance its weapons programs.
In March, South Korea agreed to pay 13.9 percent more to cover the cost of the presence of American troops on the peninsula, in a six-year deal that resolved an issue that got worse under the Trump administration.
The financial dispute plagued the security alliance of the two allies after Trump – who took a transactional approach to foreign policy – has repeatedly accused South Korea of being a profiteer.
Washington deploys about 28,500 troops in South Korea to defend it from North Korea with nuclear weapons, as well as to protect US interests in Northeast Asia.
Under the new deal, Seoul agreed to pay 1.18 trillion won ($ 1.03 billion) for 2021, with annual increases thereafter linked to its defense budget.
The sum represents a 13.9 percent increase over the nearly $ 920 million that Seoul was paying under the previous deal, which expired in 2019 – but it is a far cry from the Trump administration’s initial demand of $ 5 billion a year .