Decries report that Trump administration is considering “outside help” on North Korea after purposely decimating State Department resources, personnel necessary for any negotiations to succeed
Washington (March 8, 2018) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Ranking Member of the East Asia Subcommittee of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, blasted the Trump administration for a media report that it is considering turning to an outside expert to negotiate with North Korea in response to the dwindling roster of senior State Department diplomats.
“Foreign policy is not a Trump-branded licensing arrangement,” said Senator Markey. “Negotiations with North Korea require the collective expertise, experience, and credibility of a fully resourced and staffed State Department in order to succeed. Without the Trump administration’s efforts to recklessly slash the State Department’s budget, under-resource key offices, and leave crucial leadership roles on North Korea policy without seasoned diplomats, there would be no need to outsource diplomacy as we embark on one of the most crucial diplomatic negotiations in recent history. We have a unique opportunity to use North Korea’s overtures to talk – and the leverage we have created through economic pressure – to finally make progress on de-escalating tensions and eventually denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula. The Trump administration should take steps to immediately fill the key empty positions that will help direct this key foreign policy priority.”
Earlier this month, Senator Markey called on the State Department to explain how it is able to implement North Korea-related diplomatic and sanctions enforcement efforts in light of drastic budget cuts, high-level position eliminations, and staffing reassignments.