Senator urges Trump to secure commitment to credible, verifiable, and significant denuclearization steps from Kim before U.S. concessions are made


Washington (February 27, 2019) – As President Donald Trump meets with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Hanoi at their second leader-level summit, Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) outlined several steps the President should take in order to make progress toward North Korean denuclearization. Senator Markey has long called for strong and direct diplomacy with North Korea in order to address the threat of its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.


“Experts, including Trump’s own advisors, agree North Korea is still a serious threat. But since last year’s Singapore summit, nothing has changed except that President Trump is no longer threatening war,” said Senator Markey, Ranking Member of the East Asia subcommittee of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. “Unfortunately, it appears as if President Trump is more interested in claiming credit for a deal than in creating a strategy to achieve a real one. Mere engagement is not the same thing as robust diplomacy, and the President must not give something away for nothing.


“If Kim Jong Un truly is committed to relinquishing his nuclear weapons, we can’t miss this opportunity to engage in strategic diplomacy. At the Hanoi summit, President Trump must codify in writing North Korean missile and nuclear testing freezes. He must get North Korea to verifiably halt production of all fissile materials and begin opening its nuclear facilities to inspections. And he must secure a detailed roadmap with all steps each country will take over the course of negotiations, to include North Korea addressing its abhorrent gross human rights violations.


“The Hanoi summit will be a failure if President Trump offers significant U.S. concessions for mere promises of future North Korean actions. This is especially concerning given media reports that a UN investigation will find that Kim’s regime has continued to proliferate weapons around the world. If and only when Kim takes credible, verifiable, and significant denuclearization steps, should President Trump make additional, appropriate concessions. The President must not squander this opportunity, and he must not give away the store.”