Washington (April 27, 2018) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Ranking Member of the East Asia Subcommittee of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, welcomed the direct talks between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un at the Peace House on the South Korean side of the Demilitarized Zone. Senator Markey has been the chief Congressional voice calling for direct negotiations with North Korea alongside tough sanctions and rigorous sanctions enforcement.


“While there are positive developments from this meeting at the Peace House and the Panmunjom Declaration, including a commitment to formally end the Korean War, we are at the beginning of a long diplomatic process,” said Senator Markey.


“Because there is a lack agreement on what ‘denuclearization’ means or how we will achieve it, we must be cautious. We have seen similar words before from North Korea, but answering the outstanding questions will be critical. What weapons and programs will be included in any denuclearization process? How will that be verified? What concessions will North Korea seek? We need a diplomatic solution to the crisis, but the details to such an agreement will determine success.


“As we approach the upcoming U.S.-North Korean summit, I urge the Trump administration to make every effort to stay in lockstep with our ally South Korea and help build on the foundation laid with this important meeting,” continued Senator Markey. “But if the Trump-Kim Summit does not go well, it cannot be an excuse to justify military action for a situation that has no military solution. To show its commitment to diplomacy and a productive upcoming Summit, I urge the Trump administration to immediately nominate or fill key State Department positions, including a Special Representative for North Korea, a U.S. Ambassador to South Korea, a Special Envoy for North Korean Human Rights Issues, and a Sanctions Coordinator.”