Boston (June 16, 2020) – 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 demolished a building in the border town of Kaesong that housed the joint liaison office where North Korean and South Korean officials had worked together prior to the coronavirus pandemic.
“As the Kim regime continues to escalate its campaign to inflame tensions on the Korean Peninsula, President Trump must make clear that the United States stands with our vital ally South Korea,” said Senator Markey. “The South Korean people desire the very peace and security that the destroyed office was meant to promote.
“The United States and our allies face an advancing North Korean nuclear arsenal. Kim Jong Un continues to rapidly expand his weapons programs, emboldened by President Trump’s repeated downplaying of North Korean missile tests and his unwillingness to enforce UN and U.S. prohibitions. Instead of truly addressing the deteriorating situation his photo-op diplomacy has overlooked, President Trump’s interest in the Korean Peninsula seems to be based on his damaging impulses to befriend autocrats and to shake down our close allies.
“Recognizing the serious divides that remain on the North Korean nuclear program, human rights, freedom of expression, and other core issues, there is no substitute for diplomacy given the catastrophic consequences of war.”