Lawmaker criticizes President Trump for unnecessary remarks about “burden sharing” at key moment of U.S.-South Korea alliance


Washington (June 30, 2017) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), the top Democrat on the East Asia Subcommittee of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, released the following statement today after the meeting between President Donald Trump and South Korean President Moon Jae-in.


“President Moon’s visit to Washington provides a historic opportunity for the United States and South Korea to demonstrate our joint commitment to exerting economic and diplomatic pressure to bring North Korea to the negotiating table. I commend President Moon’s willingness to pursue direct engagement with North Korea to address Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile programs. President Trump should firmly and unequivocally affirm his commitment to this same approach.


“Yesterday, the Treasury Department announced new sanctions against the Bank of Dandong to help increase the pressure on Pyongyang. But sanctions will only be effective when they are combined with a diplomatic track that includes direct negotiations between the United States and North Korea. There is no military solution to the problem of a nuclear North Korea, and the Trump administration should commit to a strategy of coercive diplomacy, backed by rigorous sanctions enforcement by China and a robust military deterrence posture in cooperation with our regional partners, especially South Korea.


“This unity of purpose between the United States and our South Korean allies was undermined today by President Trump’s discourteous remarks about so-called ‘burden sharing’ for the United States’ military commitment. The U.S.-South Korean alliance is a mutual defense commitment, not a protection racket.”