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AP FACT CHECK: Trump distorted history about North Korea

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump celebrated his historic summit with North Korea’s leader, Tuesday, with the comments that twisted history and raised a false hope that the remains of all the missing Americans from the Korean War come home.

A look at some of his statements at a press conference after his meeting in Singapore with Kim Jong-Un and how do they compare with the facts:

TRUMP: “President Kim and I have signed a joint statement in which he reaffirms his unwavering commitment to the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. We have also agreed to vigorously negotiations on the implementation of the agreement as soon as possible, and he wants to do that. This is not the past. This is not a other government, which never began and so never did it.”

THE FACTS: He is wrong in suggesting his administration is the first to start on the denuclearization with North Korea. The Bill Clinton and George W. Bush administrations both did so.

Clinton reached an aid-for-disarmament deal in 1994 that halted North Korea’s plutonium production for eight years, freezing, what was then a very small atomic arsenal. Bush took a harder stance towards North Korea, and in 1994 the nuclear deal collapsed because of the fear that the North was running a secret uranium program. But Bush also, ultimately, negotiations. That led to a temporary blocking of a number of nuclear installations, but the talks fell apart because of disagreements over the verification.

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TRUMP: “He’s actually on the fact that they went along a path in the past and finally if you know that nothing was done. In one case, it took billions of dollars during the Clinton regime. … Cost billions of dollars and nothing happened.” He said of Clinton: “He spent $3 billion and has nothing.”

THE FACTS: there Are figures are incorrect. The Clinton administration, which he calls a “regime” and the Bush administration combined, provided that a number of $1.3 billion in assistance from 1995 to 2008, says the Congressional Research Service, a nonpartisan arm of the Congress. Slightly more than half was for food aid and 40 percent for energy assistance.

He is also wrong to say “nothing happened” in back. North Korea stopped production of plutonium for eight years, under the 1994 agreement. Only how much has been achieved, however, is in question, because the presumption, that came later, that North Korea was looking for the secret to enrich uranium.

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TRUMP, on the families of missing soldiers from the War in korea: “They want the remains of their fathers and mothers, and all the people who are caught in that is really a brutal war that took place in large part in North Korea. And I asked it today. And we have the. … So, for the thousands and thousands, I think way more than 6,000 that we know of in terms of the remains, will they all be returned.”

THE FACTS: He has the exaggeration of the number of missing service personnel and condone it especially impossible chances of the remains of “all people” more than six decades after the Korean War. Of the nearly 7,800 AMERICAN troops unaccounted for from the war, about 5,300 lost in North Korea. Several thousands are still missing in South Korea despite the close alliance and the history of the cooperation with the USA.

North Korea and the United States remain technically at war because the 1950-53 fighting ended with a truce, not peace. But between 1996 and 2005, joint U.S.-North Korea military search teams conducted 33 joint recovery operations and recovered 229 sets of American remains.

The document is signed by Trump and Kim included an agreement to work to repatriate the remains of prisoners of war and those missing in action from the conflict.

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TRUMP: “I remember a nuclear event has occurred, 8.8 on the Richter scale, and they announced — I heard it on the radio, they announced that there is a huge, you know, an earthquake took place somewhere in Asia. And then they said it was in North Korea, and then turned out to be a nuclear test, I said, I’ve never heard of a magnitude in the high eights.”

THE FACTS: North Korea had no earthquake of last year, is approaching that level of severity. This is not the first time that he has misrepresented the episode.

North Korea tested what it called a hydrogen bomb in September, causing an underground explosion so big it registered as a 6.3 earthquake. Other nuclear tests last year were associated with smaller events.

An 8.8 earthquake would be 316 times greater — and release 5,623 times more energy than a 6.3.

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Foreign assistance to North Korea: https://fas.org/sgp/crs/row/R40095.pdf

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