Senator questions Trump administration’s approach to North Korea, reiterates skepticism of Kim Jong Un’s intentions


Washington (June 27, 2018) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Ranking Member of the East Asia Subcommittee of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, released the following statement about reports that North Korea continues to make improvements to its nuclear facilities despite President Donald Trump’s recent meeting with Kim Jong Un.


“Reports that North Korea is rapidly improving its nuclear facilities at Yongbyon are incredibly worrisome and highlight the problems with President Trump’s ‘trust before verify’ approach to dealing with North Korea,” said Senator Markey. “This news is yet another piece of evidence that suggests that North Korea is not serious about denuclearization.”


“Despite his claims to the contrary, President Trump got a weaker deal with fewer commitments than any of his predecessors, and it is no surprise North Korea is already taking advantage of its ambiguity to continue its work on its nuclear program. The North Korean nuclear threat continues despite President Trump’s naïve assurances.”


“If Kim Jong Un is unwilling to denuclearize or appears to be negotiating in bad faith, we must continue to squeeze the regime so that it cannot access the resources necessary to maintain or expand its military capabilities. North Korea must understand that Congress is ready to step in to tighten the screws even if the President is not.  Only a combination of direct engagement, backed by pressure, can solve the North Korean threat to the United States, our allies, and the broader region.”