Donald Trump left this week's summit with North Korea's Kim Jong-un having granted a huge last-minute concession: promising to stop what he called "war games" with South Korea. She reported in April on the first summit between North and South Korea in a decade, and then on Trump's meeting with Kim.
"I don't think it would be the end of the world, because it's the world we already live in", he said. "My worry is that the president keeps promising that Kim will give up his weapons". "You used the term major, major disarmament, something like that?" Things were given to me that were not even part of the agreement.
The mercurial Trump could also quickly shift his approach if he determines sufficient progress isn't being made.
The lack of a definitive timeframe or verification mechanism for North Korea's nuclear disarmament prompted some former United States diplomats to question the utility of the summit and suggested Trump's tactics could undermine Washington's alliances with Seoul and Japan.
USA critics of the deal said it was short on details and that Trump had made too many concessions to Kim, especially the US leader's unexpected announcement that the United States is ending its military exercises with South Korea, long an irritant to North Korea. Pinkston said the move was "anti-American treachery".
North Korean seafood - a lucrative specialty export - is already beginning to appear in Chinese markets, and Chinese firms are reportedly beginning to re-employ North Korean laborers, said Sue Mi Terry, a former Central Intelligence Agency analyst and Korea specialist.
This article first appeared at the South China Morning Post.
Denuclearization or the "complete, verifiable, and irreversible dismantlement" of North Korea's nuclear weapons - long the hallowed and increasingly unrealistic United States objective - was present only in name. India, in particular, faced years of USA sanctions for its nuclear program before Washington accepted that continued opposition was useless and that it needed to do more to court the world's biggest democracy. Israel's acquisition of nuclear weapons received tacit support from Washington, which saw it as providing a guarantee of safety in a volatile region.
After North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il died in 2011, his son, Jong Un, was named the head of the nation and went on to purge other family members from the party.
Moon later said South Korea would be flexible when it comes to military pressure on North Korea if it is honest about denuclearization. In agreeing to the summit, Trump risked granting Kim his long-sought recognition on the world stage in hopes of ending the North's nuclear program.
The problem with the summit ultimately wasn't the optics or the legitimisation of the regime, though these are certainly points that count against the U.S. ledger of concessions.
Whether or not the succeeding negotiations lead to fruition, Cabalza said North Korea will still have its nuclear weapon. But any anti-Trump talking point suits the resistance and if it creates fear among the gullible, so much the better.
With the test of an intercontinental ballistic missile with the range to strike anywhere in the United States, "the state nuclear force" was complete, she gushed.
There were worries, especially in Tokyo and Seoul, which have huge US military presences, about Trump agreeing to halt USA military exercises with South Korea, which the North has long claimed were invasion preparations.
But he also said he would love to bring the U.S. military out of South Korea because of the cost, adding that while it was not now part of the discussion, "at the appropriate time, it will be".
"Only then will there be relief from the sanctions", he added. "And indeed President Trump should be congratulated for taking that step".