Trump's Deal With North Korea Was Anemic, Sen. Menendez Says

Trump's Deal With North Korea Was Anemic, Sen. Menendez Says


By:  Noel King
NPR

Noel King talks to Sen. Robert Menendez of New Jersey, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, about the Trump administration's approach to North Korea's denuclearization.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is in Tokyo today. He's on his way to Pyongyang to meet with North Korean officials on Friday. Earlier this week, President Trump tweeted that they'd been having many good conversations with North Korea and that only the opposition party, which includes the fake news, is complaining. If not for me, President Trump tweeted, we would now be at war with North Korea.

We reached out to Senator Robert Menendez, the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. And I asked him about that tweet.

ROBERT MENENDEZ: Well, I mean, it's self-congratulatory and not based on reality. I mean, you don't get points for not threatening a nuclear holocaust when you were the one earlier threatening to create it. This agreement that came out of the summit was actually one of the most anemic communiques I have seen in our history dealing with North Korea. It basically was a document that promised to make more promises. It did not even define what denuclearization is of the Korean Peninsula.

And, if anything, Kim Jong Un got everything he wanted in Singapore. He went from international pariah to being recognized as a legitimate leader of his country and a statesman. We stopped our military exercises with South Korea without even telling South Korea that we were doing it. Our ally Japan is also critically interested in the region. And already we have China advocating at the U.N. to begin to relieve some of the sanctions on North Korea because supposedly we're on a different path.

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