NATIONAL

N. Korea's Kim walked away with great deal: top Democratic senator

By Yonhap
  • Published : Jun 18, 2018 - 09:53
  • Updated : Jun 18, 2018 - 10:04
WASHINGTON -- North Korean leader Kim Jong-un got a "great deal" out of his historic meeting with US President Donald Trump last week, a top Democratic senator said Sunday, contradicting the president on his purported achievements.

Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI), the top Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee, said it was "preposterous" of Trump to claim that he largely resolved the threat of North Korea's nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs at Tuesday's summit in Singapore.

"North Korea has between 20 and 60 nuclear weapons. They have missiles that they can deliver those weapons to Japan, South Korea, Guam. They have an intricate infrastructure of nuclear laboratories, testing facilities, etc. This issue is just beginning to be dealt with. It has not been solved," he said in an interview with Fox News.

(Yonhap)

The summit was a "great victory" for Kim, Reed said.

"He got the prestige of the first leader of North Korea to be literally embraced by the president of the United States. His ... record on human rights, on mistreating his own people was not only ignored, but, frankly, contradicted in many respects by the president's comments," the senator claimed.

Adding to the concerns, Reed said the sanctions regime against North Korea will likely weaken as the US implements its side of a summit agreement to provide security guarantees to the regime.

Meanwhile, Trump's decision to suspend joint military exercises between South Korea and the US was a "mistake," according to the senator.

"And if this goes for a long period of time, operationally we'll lose the skills that we need to collaborate with our colleagues in the region," he said. "So, at the end of that summit, Kim Jong-un walked away, I think, with a great deal."

Trump's former chief strategist, Steve Bannon, defended the president as a "peacemaker" who was forced to deal with the nuclear issue when he came into office

"He hasn't given up anything," Bannon said in an interview with ABC. "All he was this week was vilified, vilified ... He got so many concessions from the North Koreans. And yes, there are some optics because he's trying to start a process. The process that will end with a verifiable denuclearization of the peninsula. It will take many, many years."(Yonhap)