Trump pushes back against U.S. spy chiefs on North Korea for breaking news today ,
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump dismissed assessments by top U.S. spy chiefs of the threat
posed by North Korea on Wednesday, offering a more optimistic view that there was a “decent chance of denuclearization” on the Korean Peninsula.
The Republican president has repeatedly clashed with leaders of the U.S. intelligence community, most strikingly in
disputing their finding that Russia intervened in the 2016 presidential election to help him win the White House.
Leaders of the U.S. intelligence community told a Senate panel on Tuesday that the threat from North Korea remained unchanged from a year ago and said Pyongyang viewed its nuclear program as vital to the country’s
survival and was unlikely to give it up. He broke with decades of U.S. policy when he agreed to meet with North
Korean leader Kim Jong Un last June and planned a second summit in February.
“North Korea relationship is best it has ever been with U.S. No testing, getting remains, hostages returned. Decent chance of Denuclearization,” Trump said in a Twitter post, drawing a comparison to the “horrendous” relationship with his Democratic predecessor Barack Obama.
A number of North Korea analysts agree. “There is absolutely no reason or sufficient incentives for North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons. North Korea wants to play Trump and get sanctions off its back,” said Srinivasan Sitaraman, a political science professor at Clark University.
Trump has given the military about four months to withdraw the troops in Syria, backtracking from his abrupt order
last month that the military pull out within 30 days.
Intelligence committee member Senator Angus King, an independent who caucuses with Democrats, said he was disturbed by Trump’s comments.