US senators warn against US-NK summit without tangible denuclearization steps

By Ock Hyun-ju
  • Published : Dec 6, 2018 - 16:19
  • Updated : Dec 6, 2018 - 16:23

US senators who are influential in shaping Washington’s North Korea policy advise tying the second US-North Korea summit to more tangible steps toward denuclearization from Pyongyang, Voice of America reported Thursday. 


Republican Senator Cory Gardner said President Donald Trump should “walk away” from the summit if there are any signs that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is using it as an excuse to buy time, according to the report.

“As I said from the last one, if the complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization is not going to be the … purpose of the meeting, then you shouldn’t have it,” Gardner was quoted as saying.

In a vaguely worded joint statement, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un committed to work toward the “complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula” at his summit with Trump in June in Singapore.

Trump said he wishes to hold a summit with Kim in January or February, as the countries’ denuclearization talks have been at a standstill over who should make concessions first.

Pyongyang demands that Washington take “corresponding measures” such as sanctions relief before moving forward with talks, while the US wants the North to take more tangible, irreversible denuclearization steps first.

“My preference would be that the North Koreans demonstrate tangibly … that they are committed to complying with the spirit of the first agreement. Thus far, that has not happened,” Democratic Senator Edward Markey was quoted as saying.

“So, I would hope that the promise of a new summit is tied to the North Koreans fulfilling their promises that they are going to begin to make tangible steps towards denuclearization.”