Start GRASP/Korea President Trump Just Sidelined His Own Top Negotiator on North Korea

President Trump Just Sidelined His Own Top Negotiator on North Korea

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President Donald Trump has rejected the conclusions of the CIA, State and Defense Departments on North Korea’s nuclear weapons.
President Donald Trump has taken increased control of negotiations over North Korea’s nuclear weapons program, sidelining his own top negotiator and dismissing the warnings of top intelligence and foreign policy advisors in the wake of last month’s failed summit in Vietnam, officials familiar with the developments tell TIME.
In recent days, Trump shut down an effort by Stephen Biegun, nominally the Administration’s lead negotiator with Pyongyang, to reestablish a back channel through the North’s United Nations mission in New York, according to four U. S. and South Korean officials.
At the same time, Trump continues to dismiss the conclusions of the CIA, State and Defense Departments and other agencies that North Korea will not abandon its nuclear weapons program, continuing to insist that he and Kim can negotiate a deal, according to two U. S.officials.
Trump has long said that he believes he can negotiate a deal himself to relieve economic sanctions on North Korea in exchange for a pledge by North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to abandon the nuclear program begun by his grandfather, Kim Il-sung, North Korea’s founder, and continued by his father, Kim Jong-il.
“The President’s constant refrain is that Kim is his ‘friend’,” said one of the officials, who has tried to present Trump with the unanimous assessment by multiple agencies that Kim remains wedded to his nuclear program, both as a family mission and as a deterrent to any U. S.-led effort to overthrow his regime.
Read More:‘Willful Ignorance.’ Inside President Trump’s Troubled Intelligence Briefings
In response to questions about the warnings the President has received, the White House said that Trump supports his advisors. “The President has said repeatedly he values his national security and intelligence teams, and that the North Koreans have a major opportunity for a strong economic future if they denuclearize,” said White House spokesman Hogan Gidley.

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