As President Trump declared his summit with Kim Jong Un a smashing success, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo quickly began the hard part: negotiating the complex details for a deal to eliminate North Korea's nuclear threat.
Pompeo went straight to Seoul after the summit in Singapore to confer on Wednesday with South Korean allies and top U.S. military commanders in the region. He said that dismantling Pyongyang’s nuclear arsenal could take 2½ years, the most concrete timeframe yet ascribed to what would undoubtedly be a long process.
Pompeo also had to explain to both the allies and American commanders the unexpected announcement from Trump in Singapore that he is halting annual joint U.S.-South Korea military exercises, which the president described as provocative war games, using the lexicon of North Korea and China. Allies, including in Japan, were blindsided by the decision, which triggered sharp criticism from Congress, including Republicans, and from former and current U.S. officials.