Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Trump-Kim Summit Meeting

I commend President Trump for beginning direct negotiations.  But it is troubling that the President has agreed to unilaterally halt military exercises with South Korea without verifiable commitments from North Korea to denuclearize, while giving Kim the recognition he has long craved.  So far all we have seen is a photo op coupled with a few broadly worded commitments.

Clearly it will be months, if not years, before we know whether yesterday’s meeting achieves anything of lasting value, and I remain concerned that little has been done behind the scenes to translate soothing words into a workable agreement.  We should all remember Ronald Reagan’s famous caution, trust but verify.  Given what little we know about Kim Jong Un, that warning could not be more relevant today.

We must never harbor any illusions about the proven nature of a brutal and duplicitous regime that wantonly commits crimes and atrocities against its own people.  Now, more than ever, we need to work closely with our allies and partner nations in pursuit of peace.

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