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Donald Trump’s chaotic approach to North Korea nuclear talks

Trump under pressure over chaotic approach to North Korea nuclear talks, Guardian  Jon Swaine 12 Mar 18

  • Republicans: denuclearisation must be prerequisite for meeting
  • CIA director and White House spokesman contradict each otherDonald Trump faced criticism from Republican allies on Sunday after apparently agreeing to meet Kim Jong-un without demanding that North Korea start scrapping its nuclear program.North Korea talks: Trump praises own role but Washington frets over details

    Senators from Trump’s own party expressed scepticism and urged him to set tougher preconditions, amid growing concerns over the administration’s chaotic approach to nuclear diplomacy.

    Senator Cory Gardner of Colorado said Trump should not meet Kim until North Korea produces proof it has begun reversing its years-long pursuit of a nuclear weapon.

    “What we have to hear more of is how we are going to get to those concrete, verifiable steps towards denuclearisation before this meeting occurs,” Gardner told Face the Nation on CBS.

    Trump’s team has given a series of muddled statements on that precondition. No mention of it was made during an abrupt announcement on Thursday that Trump was willing to hold a summit with Kim by May, in what would be the first ever meeting of the two countries’ leaders…….

    The president has offered little clarity. After tweeting about conversations with world leaders on the issue he returned to it in a rambling speech to supporters in Pennsylvania on Saturday evening, saying of North Korean denuclearisation: “They are thinking about that – who knows what’s going to happen?”

  • The uneven public statements followed an eccentric unveiling of Trump’s historic acceptance of Kim’s invitation. The decision was announced to journalists on the White House driveway by a South Korean official, shortly after Trump’s secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, had said direct negotiations were a distant prospect.

    Having lambasted Barack Obama for what they deemed an overly conciliatory approach to Iran during nuclear talks, Republicanswere left struggling to defend Trump’s position.

    ……. Democrats, too, expressed concerns. “I am very worried that he’s going to go into these negotiations and be taken advantage of,” Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts said on CNN.Warren said Trump should urgently address a lack of senior diplomats who would probably be needed for successful negotiations. The US has no permanent ambassador to South Korea or assistant secretary of state for the region.

    That view was echoed by Ben Rhodes, a former senior aide to Obama, who was involved in the Iran deal and said the Trump administration appeared unprepared for discussions of similar gravity.

    “There’s nothing more complex than nuclear negotiations; there’s no place in the world more volatile than the Korean peninsula,” Rhodes told ABC. “You cannot just approach this like a reality show.”


March 12, 2018 - Posted by | politics international, USA

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