Administration needs to brief Congress to explain next steps to ensure continued engagement


Washington (February 28, 2019) – As the summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Hanoi came to an abrupt end, Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) called for the immediate resumption of strong and direct working-level talks with North Korea to address the threat of its nuclear and ballistic missile programs. This week, Senator Markey outlined several steps the President should take in order to make progress toward North Korean denuclearization, and has long called for strong and direct diplomacy with the Kim regime.


“The lack of working-level talks in the lead up to the Hanoi summit undermined the chances of reaching a successful deal,” Senator Markey, Ranking Member of the East Asia subcommittee of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. “I urge both sides to immediately continue their engagement so that we can reach an agreement that halts and rolls back North Korea’s nuclear weapons programs.


“Unfortunately, the summit’s abrupt end means that President Trump was not able to codify in writing North Korean missile and nuclear testing freezes, verifiably halt production of all fissile materials, or secure a roadmap detailing the steps each country would take over the course of negotiations. It also is a disappointment that President Trump had not spoken immediately with the leaders of South Korea and Japan, two of our closest allies.


“While it would have been a worse outcome for this summit had President Trump agreed to a deal that doesn’t promote and protect American interests, there is much work to be done to achieve real progress towards North Korean denuclearization. I urge the Administration to immediately bring U.S. negotiators to Congress to brief us so that we can fully understand the outcome of the summit and next steps.”