Washington (December 9, 2019) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Ranking Member of the East Asia Subcommittee of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, released the following statement after North Korea’s reported engine test at its Sohae missile facility on Sunday. Chairman Kim Jong Un had verbally committed to dismantling the facility after the Trump-Kim Singapore meeting but reconstructed it in Spring after the failure of the Hanoi summit. On Saturday, North Korea’s ambassador to the United Nations claimed that “denuclearization” is off the negotiating table, leading President Donald Trump to make new threats on Twitter.
“We need concrete progress to reduce the risk of a catastrophic war, not theatrics or attempts to remake our relationship with North Korea overnight,” said Senator Markey.“North Korea’s concerning new activities at its missile facility demonstrate yet again that Trump should have already codified the missile and nuclear testing freeze. Verifiably freezing North Korea’s nuclear program is the best first step towards reversing it.
“Any new violations of UN Security Council Resolutions must be met by renewed multilateral pressure and condemnation. But President Trump must not again return to the ‘fire and fury’ rhetoric that inflamed tensions in the first place. A new crisis will put U.S. allies at even greater risk because North Korea has continued to enhance its nuclear weapons and missile arsenal as Trump green-lit short-range tests.
“The Trump administration must not overreact to North Korean statements regarding ‘denuclearization,’ a concept that Trump has yet to define. Our strategy must anticipate the provocations that have long been part of the Kim family playbook.”