by Julia Manchester · June 12, 2018
Democratic leaders and lawmakers slammed President Trump on Tuesday after his denuclearization summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, citing U.S. concessions to Kim and North Korea’s human rights record.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) accused Trump of handing his North Korean counterpart vague concessions.
“Apparently, the President handed Kim Jong-un concessions in exchange for vague promises that do not approach a clear and comprehensive pathway to denuclearization and non-proliferation,” Pelosi said in a statement.
She went on to hit North Korea’s human rights record and accused Trump of elevating North Korea to the level of the U.S.
“In his haste to reach an agreement, President Trump elevated North Korea to the level of the United States while preserving the regime’s status quo,” Pelosi said.
“The millions of families currently living in fear of nuclear weapons in the region deserve strong and smart leadership built on diplomacy and engagement with our regional partners and allies.”
Trump announced after the meeting that U.S.-South Korean military exercises would end during negotiations with North Korea.
The president also said that Pyongyang agreed to destroy a “major” missile testing site after he and Kim signed a joint statement making a broad commitment for the U.S. to provide North Korea with “security guarantees” in return for denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.
However, Democrats continued to hit Trump for his praise for Kim during the summit, which included saying the North Korean leader loves his country.
“This is an abdication of American leadership. Just embarrassing,” Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) wrote in a tweet.
This is an abdication of American leadership. Just embarrassing. https://t.co/G6uCVSvj2E
— Brian Schatz (@brianschatz) June 12, 2018
Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) slammed the president’s comment, citing North Korea’s poor human rights record.
“Loves it so much that he has them impoverished and enslaved except for those he murders. Loves his country?” Cohen said.
Loves it so much that he has them impoverished and enslaved except for those he murders.Loves his country? https://t.co/i762TPmKxT
— Steve Cohen (@RepCohen) June 12, 2018
Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) said in a tweet that Kim’s human rights abuses had been legitimized on the global stage.
“U.S. gives up one of our biggest negotiating chips – military exercises. North Korea ends up BACKTRACKING on previous promises on denuclearization. What the hell?” Murphy tweeted.
Kim’s gulags, public executions, planned starvation, are legitimized on the world stage.
U.S. gives up one of our biggest negotiating chips – military exercises.
North Korea ends up BACKTRACKING on previous promises on denuclearization.
What the hell?
— Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) June 12, 2018
The president called Kim a “very talented man” who “loves his country very much,” adding that it was an “honor” to meet the North Korean leader.
“A worthy negotiator…a very worthy, very smart negotiator. We had a terrific day and we learned a lot about each other and our countries,” Trump said.
North Korea is notorious for having a poor human rights record against its own people and foreigners, including Americans.
U.S. college student Otto Warmbier died last year after being detained for 17 months in North Korea.
When asked about human rights abuses in North Korea, Trump said abuses happen in “a lot of places.”
“I believe it’s a rough situation over there,” Trump said during a press conference. “It’s rough in a lot of places, by the way, not just there.”
The Hill · by Julia Manchester · June 12, 2018