US President Donald Trump, who on Friday, April 20, said North Korea's decision to suspend its nuclear ambitions was "good news", aired caution on Sunday, April 22, saying that the North Korean nuclear crisis was far from over.
"...We are a long way from conclusion on North Korea, maybe things will work out, and maybe they won't - only time will tell...But the work I am doing now should have been done a long time ago!" Trump tweeted.
On Saturday, April 21, North Korea, which is in the middle of diplomatic engagement with South Korea and is gearing up for a meeting between its supreme leader Kim Jong-un and Trump sometime in end May and early June pledged to end its nuclear tests and focus more on economic growth and peace. Kim is also due to meet South Korean President Moon Jae-in on April 27, which is also being seen as a major milestone in the relation between two hostile neighbours.
The international community heaved a sigh of relief with Kim's announcement as he was unwilling to budge from his position of pursuing nuclear ambitions even a few months ago. Trump, in another tweet on Sunday, also lashed out at a media channel for accusing Washington of conceding more to North Korea than the latter and said North Korea "agreed to denuclearization" even as the US didn't give up anything.
But why did Trump air the caution even after Kim making his crucial announcement?
According to a Reuters report, Kim did not say anything about his commitment to abandon the nuclear weapons and there were doubts that he would ever part ways with the nuclear weapons Pyongyang has been steadily developing over the decades.
North Korea has a history of making U-turns on promises on controlling its nuclear programme and perhaps that has kept the US leadership unconvinced yet. In the past, multilateral talks on North Korea's nuclear programme had collapsed after Pyongyang suddenly refused to cooperate with international observers by not granting them access to its nuclear facilities.