Sen. Booker on Singapore Summit: ‘Lot of Concerns,’ But ‘All Americans Should Hope for the Best’

By Natalia Mittelstadt | June 12, 2018 | 6:01 PM EDT

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) (Screenshot)

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) expressed concerns Tuesday that President Donald Trump’s denuclearization summit in Singapore this week lacked substance and was nothing more than “a nice press release.” Despite his skepticism, Booker said Americans should hope that Trump succeeds in his effort to disarm the North Korean regime.

Sen. Booker made the remarks at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., when CNSNews.com asked if Trump’s Singapore meeting constitutes “a step forward”:

CNSNews.com: “At their summit in Singapore, President Trump and Kim Jong-Un signed a joint statement in which Kim said North Korea was committed to, quote, ‘work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula,’ end quote. Is this a step forward?”

Sen. Booker: “So, I have a lot of concerns right now about a lot of sizzle in those steaks. I mean, we’ve heard a nice press release, but where’s the substance of it? How do you make sure that complete denuclearization has ways of—is verifiable—um, ….you know, he’s made a lot of concessions before real negotiations have even started, like ending joint—ending sort of joint exercises with the South Koreans, which is a stunning revelation to our critical allies in the region—like Japan and South Korea.

“So, this is one of those moments where—where’s the substance? And here you have this brutal dictator that’s killed family members, oppressed tens and tens of thousands, that has now been treated to a greater grace from the United States of America than leaders from Canada, Germany, England—critical allies—to do things like put sanctions on—on North Korea.

“And so here, North Korea got their moment in the sun—on equal footing, visually, with the United States of America. China, who we rely on to try to not make—to honor the sanctions that are on the country now…

“So I have a lot of concerns, a lot of alarms, there’s no talk of human rights issues—so we have a lot of work to do. All Americans should hope for the best, all Americans should hope that we can resolve this nuclear crisis, but this, again, is—is a lot of talk from two leaders who are known for their impetuousness, known for saying one thing and doing another, and this is an agreement—and you just said, it’s not even an agreement, and really a press conference—that is not as strong as we’ve seen in the past years—2005, I think, 1994, I think—when you had the North Koreans coming to the table. So, a lot to be seen.”


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Natalia Mittelstadt
Natalia Mittelstadt
Natalia Mittelstadt