Washington—Representative Eliot L. Engel, Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, today made the following statement.

“We all want to see diplomacy succeed and peace and stability prevail on the Korean peninsula. But the quick collapse of these talks underscores that this summit wasn’t ready for prime time. Clearly, North Korea isn’t yet ready to commit to meaningful steps toward denuclearization, and the White House rushed prematurely into another presidential summit.

My chief concern leading up to this meeting was that the Trump Administration would ease sanctions in response to some inadequate, superficial commitment from Pyongyang. I haven’t yet been fully briefed, but I’m relieved that there were no major announcements on sanctions relief given there were no major commitments by North Korea about its nuclear program. However, I am concerned about what this means for next steps diplomatically, including how to address our allies’ interests.

“Hopefully, North Korea will be willing to engage in working-level negotiations on these complex issues. Regardless, the President needs a more clear-eyed view of North Korean intentions, as presented by our intelligence experts, and should stop with the pageantry and photo-ops that have lacked substance. It’s too bad that this meeting provided Kim Jong-Un, a dictator and egregious human rights abuser, with another opportunity to stand on a stage with the President of the United States.

“And for President Trump to side with Kim about the murder of Otto Warmbier is outrageous and builds on the President’s bizarre record of cozying up to strongmen and tyrants. It sends the wrong signal to North Korea and to the world about American priorities, values, and leadership.”

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