WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump hailed on Sunday the absence of ballistic missiles at the military parade held by the North Korean government on the 70th anniversary of that country’s founding.
“North Korea has just staged their parade, celebrating 70th anniversary of founding, without the customary display of nuclear missiles,” wrote Trump on his Twitter account.
The US president added that “Theme was peace and economic development.”
He added, citing Fox News, that “Experts believe that North Korea cut out the nuclear missiles to show President Trump ... its commitment to denuclearize.” @FoxNews This is a big and very positive statement from North Korea.”
Trump, who met with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Singapore on June 12, went on to thank Kim for the gesture, adding that “We will both prove everyone wrong! There is nothing like good dialogue from two people that like each other! Much better than before I took office.”
The North Korean leader presided at the parade but did not deliver a speech there and authorities opted not to display any intercontinental or medium-range ballistic missiles among the military hardware in the procession.
Since their June 12 meeting, which many in the US and around the world have criticized as being merely a photo op without any substance, the two sides have held several meetings but also engaged in mutual recriminations over failing to make sufficient progress on the points ostensibly agreed to in Singapore.
In late August, Trump decided to cancel the trip of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to Pyongyang due to the lack of such progress.
Kim has reiterated his commitment to dismantle his atomic weapons program, with officials of his government adding that that should occur during Trump’s first term in office, which is scheduled to end in January 2021.
Trump said on Friday that Kim had sent him another letter, which he expected to receive soon, adding that he trusted it contains a “positive” message that will help to unblock the bilateral dialogue.