North Korea Analyst Accuses Trump of Lying Over Claim Kim Jong Un Signed Nuclear Weapons 'Contract'

An expert on North Korea accused President Donald Trump of lying about the denuclearization agreement he signed with Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un.

Speaking at his Mar-a-Lago resort on New Year's Eve, Trump claimed Kim had signed a "contract" on denuclearizing North Korea.

But Professor Robert E. Kelly of Pusan National University in South Korea called this "a lie."

"This is just not true," Kelly, a Korean affairs analyst, wrote on Twitter. "Kim signed nothing binding regarding nukes or missiles. No Kim ever has.

"And Republicans used to know that the Kims shouldn't be trusted. But now the GOP's a cult of personality, right? So if the great leader says it's true, it must be so...

"All this does is make the job of serious people working on NK even harder. It would be best if Trump just stayed away from Korea altogether."

Trump's comment came after Kim said "the world will witness a new strategic weapon to be possessed by the DPRK in the near future," the official Korean Central News Agency reported, and accused the U.S. of "gangster-like acts."

A Pyongyang-set deadline for progress in its talks with Washington had passed following months of stalling.

Washington wants North Korea to end its weapons development program and denuclearize while Pyongyang is seeking an end to economic sanctions.

Now, Pyongyang will cease its moratorium on weapons testing, a move that threatens to plunge the peninsula into a new period of nuclear crisis.

"If the U.S. persists in its hostile policy towards the DPRK, there will never be the denuclearization on the Korean peninsula and the DPRK will steadily develop necessary and prerequisite strategic weapons for the security of the state until the U.S. rolls back its hostile policy towards the DPRK and lasting and durable peace-keeping mechanism is built," Kim said.

The two leaders had signed an agreement on nuclear weapons in June 2018 at the culmination of a historic summit in Singapore.

They agreed to establish new relations between Washington and Pyongyang and to work towards denuclearizing the Korean peninsula.

But critics at the time said Trump had gifted Kim a major diplomatic and propaganda gift by meeting him—raising the despot's international status—and got little of substance in exchange.

"He likes me, I like him, we get along. He's representing his country, I'm representing my country. We have to do what we have to do," Trump told reporters at Mar-a-Lago on Tuesday night, Bloomberg reported.

"But he did sign a contract. He did sign an agreement talking about denuclearization. And that was signed, number one sentence: Denuclearization. That was done in Singapore. And I think he's a man of his word. So we're gonna find out. But I think he's a man of his word."

Newsweek asked the White House for comment by email and will update this story if one is provided.

Kim Jong Un Donald Trump North Korea
North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un (L) and US President Donald Trump meet on the south side of the Military Demarcation Line that divides North and South Korea, in the Joint Security Area (JSA) of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized zone (DMZ) on June 30, 2019. BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images