Four Objectives President Must Achieve With North Korea

Jun 11, 2018

PAWTUCKET – U.S. Congressman David N. Cicilline (RI-01), a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, issued the following statement today ahead of President Trump’s meeting with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un:


“Like all Americans, I hope that the President’s meeting with Kim Jong Un tonight proves successful. The North Korean regime is one of the most brutal on the face of the earth. They have repeatedly promised to destroy the United States and our allies with nuclear weapons. It’s critical that the President succeed in advancing our national security goals and not hand the North Koreans huge, one-sided concessions just so he can say he got a deal.”


“First, the President needs to negotiate an agreement that results in North Korea giving up their nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons programs.  Any agreement must include strong provisions for weapons inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency to have full access to ensure North Korea’s compliance. North Korea’s nuclear weapons are a grave threat to the United States. We cannot continue to live under the shadow of a nuclear threat from North Korea.”


“Second, any agreement should include a framework for punishing North Korea for its widespread human rights abuses and ultimately bringing them to an end. There are as many as 130,000 people languishing in North Korea’s gulags today. People are tortured for their religious faith. Pregnant women are violently forced to have abortions by having motor oil injected into their wombs. The United States cannot normalize relations with a government that systemically starves, tortures, and brutalizes its own people.”


“Third, North Korea continues to pose an urgent threat to our country in the field of cyberspace. Nearly four years ago, they hacked and released private messages between employees at Sony Pictures. Last year, they used ransomware to attack more than 200,000 computers across 150 countries, causing as much as $4 billion in lost economic activity. These attacks are a growing threat to the world. If North Korea wants to come in from the cold, they cannot continue these aggressive activities.”


“Finally, any agreement must be achieved within the context of the United States’ continued support for our regional allies, who face the most immediate threat from North Korean aggression. Our commitment to our allies – South Korea, Japan, and others in the region – must be clear and unwavering.”


“The President decided to hold this summit without meaningful concessions from the North Korean regime, giving Kim Jong Un a huge propaganda victory, so far with nothing in return. I sincerely hope that the President will be able to achieve an agreement that will lead to a safer, more peaceful world for all Americans. However, a deal that leaves North Korea with nuclear weapons capabilities is no deal at all, and the President must be willing to walk away if necessary.”