The deal on nuclear disarmament made between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un doesn’t go far enough, last year’s winner of the Nobel Peace Prize says.
Beatrice Fihn, executive director of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), which was awarded the prize last December, criticised the document signed by the US and North Korean leaders in Singapore on Tuesday.
She tweeted: “Reading the agreement now. We support diplomacy and peaceful solutions. But there is no agreement on nuclear disarmament and this all looked more like a big welcome party to the nuclear-armed club.”
Critics of the deal signed by the two men say it lacks clarity on how exactly North Korea’s nuclear disarmament will be achieved.
The document said Mr Kim “reaffirmed his firm and unwavering commitment to complete denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula”, but many political observers wanted more details about what exactly this will mean.
The document signed by Mr Trump and Mr Kim said their countries would work towards creating “new relations”, while the US would give “security guarantees” to North Korea.
In a press conference after the meeting, Mr Trump expanded on the deal, saying the US would suspend what he called its “provocative” war games with South Korea.
He said Mr Kim had agreed that denuclearisation will be “verified”, as demanded by the US before the meeting.
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In addition, Mr Trump said Mr Kim had agreed to destroy a “major missile engine testing site”.
After criticising the lack of detail in the document, Ms Fihn tweeted: “To be clear, this is better than nuclear war.
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“But we cannot keep nuclear weapons forever (and add new nuclear armed states), because they will eventually be used one day. So, we need actual nuclear disarmament before a bomb goes off.”
And, surprisingly, she also defended Mr Trump from accusations that the summit demonstrated his weakness.
She tweeted: “I’m not a fan of Trump but let’s not promote the idea that stopping to practice mass murdering millions of civilians with weapons of mass destruction is weak and bad.”
During a free-flowing press conference, Mr Trump said Mr Kim has “an opportunity like no other” to bring his country back into the community of nations if he agrees to give up his nuclear programme.
The president announced he will freeze US military war games with ally South Korea while negotiations between the two countries continue.
He cast the decision as a cost-saving measure, but Pyongyang has long objected to the drills as a security threat.
Mr Trump acknowledged that the timetable for denuclearisation is long, but said: “Once you start the process it means it’s pretty much over.”
However, Ms Fihn warned: “Trump says that he has read that denuclearization can take a long time. We know.”
Mr Trump acknowledged that US intelligence on the North Korean nuclear stockpile is limited, “probably less there than any other country”, but added: “We have enough intelligence to know that what they have is very substantial.”