Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden slammed President Trump’s deal with North Korea on denuclearization Tuesday, saying Mr. Trump got taken to the cleaners by Kim Jong-un.
“Talking to dictators is one thing; embracing them is another,” Mr. Biden said. “So far, this is not a deal that advantages the United States or makes us safer.”
Mr. Biden said it was “troubling” that the president “has given the North Korean regime many sought-after wins up front without getting anything in return.”
“North Korea gained the legitimacy of a meeting with the American president; the easing of the international economic and sanctions pressure, carefully built over the last two administrations; and the suspension of our military readiness exercises with South Korea—a decision apparently made without consulting our ally,” he said.
Mr. Trump said after the summit Tuesday that U.S. sanctions will remain in place while negotiations continue with Pyongyang on the elimination of its nuclear weapons.
The president has criticized the Obama administration, and other previous administrations, for failing to stop North Korea’s development of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles dating back to the 1990s. He has said he is pressing harder for a solution because previous administrations left the U.S. in a dangerous position, within possible range of Pyongyang’s missiles.
Mr. Biden, who hasn’t ruled out a bid for the presidency in 2020, said Mr. Trump’s deal has “reduced our leverage and signaled a weakening of our alliance in return for vague promises to begin nuclear negotiations—the same kind of promises that the North Korean regime has made to American presidents of both parties in the past—and broken repeatedly.”
“While we should never refuse to speak with our adversaries, neither can we ignore the horrendous human rights abuses North Korea’s leaders perpetrate against their own people,” he said.
Mr. Biden said he welcomes “efforts to de-escalate tensions and pursue diplomacy.”
“But proof of success will only come when we see substantive and verifiable evidence that North Korea is eliminating its nuclear arsenal,” he said. “The summit declaration is very light on details and, at best, is the beginning of a long negotiation process.”
He also said Mr. Trump, “by his own admission … did not prepare for the Singapore meeting — an inexcusable and irresponsible approach to a high-stakes negotiation.”
Actually, Mr. Trump said he had prepared at length and didn’t feel the need for further preparation in the days leading up to the summit.
“Going forward, I hope that the president and his team will focus on what’s necessary for our safety and security — the complete, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearization of the Korean peninsula. That is a goal we all share,” Mr. Biden said.
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