Skip to main content

Charles Schumer
  U.S. Senate Sens. Mc Connell and Schumer on North Korea Talks  CSPAN  June 13, 2018 2:22am-2:32am EDT

2:22 am
foulest toxins on the planet and it brutally impresses, imprisons, tors and kills its own citizens. so weusdd these myriad threats. and as it turns out, negotiating with north korea is harder than the presidentught. so we muste to squeeze the regime so that it cannot access the resources necessary to maintain our expand its military capabilities. after all, the combination of direct engagement backed by pressure is the only solution to the north korean threat to the united states, our allies, andp. the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. mcconnela few hoursgo, president trump, secretary of state pompeo, security advisor bolton and the rest of the delegation ended their meeting with north korean officials. this was an historic first step
2:23 am
in negotiations. in the words of the joint statement agreed to by the united states and north korea, both ses cmitted to pursuing a lasting and robust peace regime and complete denuclearization of the korean peniula. the next steps in negotiations will test whether we can get to a verifiable deal which enhances our relationship with northeast asia and our allies. this challenge will take a great deal of hard work. as president trump explained a few hours ago,oday is the beginning of the arduous process. our eyes are wide open. i support the goals contained in the statement and i remain supportive of the administration's mission as secretary pompeo reiterated, the goal of the united states is the, quote, complete and
2:24 am
verifiable denuclearization of the korean peninsula. if north korea doe not prove willing to follow through,e and our allies must be prepared to restore the policy of maximum pressure. today i congratulate the president on this major step and share his hope that this is a now, on north korea, in the early hours of the morning, president trump and chairman kim met in singapore for the first meeting between a sitting u.s. president and the leader of north korea. it was a welcome improvement to see the two of them having a dialogue rather than enging in name calling and saber rattling. certainly, americans feel better about talking than name calling and threats of war, which had characterized the relationship up until now. though we are all rooting for diplomacy to succeed, we must be clear-eyed about what a diplomatic success with north
2:25 am
korea looks like. a diplomatic success would be the complete, verifiable, irreversible denuclearization of the korean peninsula. nothing less. and why do we say that? it's not to make any political points. but a nuclear north korea with icbm's probably presents a greater danger to the united states and the safety and well-being of our country than any other in the world. so it's imperative that we actually get action here, not just photo ops. previous negotiations have sought the same goal with good reason. and in 1994 and 2005, those negotiations yielded agreements that were in fact much more rigorous than the initial communique issued by president trump and chairman kim. this communique lists denuclearization as a far-off goal, but includes no details about a pathway to achieving it.
2:26 am
no details about how the united states might verify that north korea has disarmed when they repeatedly lied in the past. no detail about stopping enrichment o plutonium or uranium. no details, even about the definition of complete denuclearization, which has been a main point of contention in previous negotiations. unfortunately, the entire document is short on details. as we have learned in the wake of the collapse the 1994 and 2005 agreements, north korea is liable to backtrack on vague commitments as soon as it's in its interest. chairman kim, like his fatherbef backing away from agreements. there is a great fear now that chairman kim having won a major concession from the united states, meeting with our president, may not go any
2:27 am
further. now, as then we must be weary of this probability. trust lacking, it is best not to dive in head first and hope for the best. but rather to work slowly, transparently, and verifiably to build trust and lock in concessions. it is worrisome, very worrisome, that this joint statement is so imprecise. what the united states has gained is vague and unverifiable at best. what north korea has gained, however, is tangible and lasting. by granting a meeting with chairman kim, president trump has granted a brutal and repressive dictatorship, the international legitimacy it has long craved. the symbols that were broadcast all over the world last night have losting consequences for the united states -- lasting consequences for the united states, north korea, and for the entire region. for the united states, it's
2:28 am
permanent proof that we have legitimatized a brutal dictator who has starved his own people. for north koreans to have their flags atried, those of the united states, it's a clear symbol they're to be respected and that they belong among the community of nations and that their sins at home and abroad are beginning to be forgiven. if the united states is unable to win concrete, lasting concessions from north korea, the meeting alone will be a victory for kim jong-un and a defeat for president trump. even more troubling, only an hour ago president trump agreed to freeze joint military exercises with south korea, a legal activity in exchange for the mere hope that north korea will freeze its illegalar testin regime. alarmingly, president trump called our military exercises with south korea provocations. that's something north korea
2:29 am
would say, not south korea or the united states. again, it seems the president has undercut our foreign policy by drawing a false equivalency between joint military exercises with our allies and the nuclear testing of a rogue regime. ultimately, if this is the result, it will have failed president trump's own standard. the president has said that, quote, if north korea doesn't denuclearize, that will not be acceptable, unquote. president trump has not made much proess toward that goal yet and has given up substantial leverage already, the leverage of joint military exercises, the leverage of an audience with the president of the united states. imagine for a moment if a democratic president had gone to north korea in similar circumstances and came away with little more than a hand shake and a photo op.
2:30 am
imagine if a democratic president had placed the flag of the united states next to the flag of north korea and met a dictator on equal terms. the common tators of the right wing media and in fact the entire republican party would be shou grave warnings about the end of americaneadership and the belittling of our country about selling out an appeasement. we democrats do not see it this way. we remain supportive of american diplomatic efforts in general, but are focused on significant, substantive concerns with president trump's preliminary arrangement with north korea. we want to see these efforts succeed and ensure that what has just transpired was not purely a reality show summit. here in the senate we democrats believe that means five things. first, north korea must dismantle or remove every single one of its nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons. second, north korea must end the
2:31 am
production and enrichment of uranium and plutonium for military purposes and permanently dismantle its nuclear weapons infrastructure. that means test sites, all nuclear weapon reseand development facilities, and enrichment facilities have to be destroyed. third, north korea must continue to suspend all ballistic missile tests. fourth, north korea must commit to any time, anywhere inspections for both its nuclear and ballistic missile programs, including all nondeclared suspicious sites. if inspectors reveal any violation, wet be pertted to implement snapback sanctions. and lastly, any agreement between the united states and north korea must be permanent. let us hope this isn't theal chapter in diplomacy with pyongyang. president trump and his team must take stock of what's happened, what north korea has achieved, what we have yet to achieve, and pursue again a
2:32 am
tougher course. for the sake of our national security, our interest abroad, and the safety of the american people, the united states can settle for no less than the setter final -- mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from tennessee. mr. corker: mr. president, i rise to speak