Washington, D.C. — Following the announcement that President Donald Trump will meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un for talks by the end of May, Kelly Magsamen, vice president for National Security and International Policy at the Center for American Progress, issued the following statement:
We welcome the news that President Trump has endorsed direct U.S. diplomacy with North Korea. This is a long-overdue and necessary first step toward addressing the threat from North Korea and avoiding what Secretary of Defense James Mattis has said would be a “catastrophic” war. Only diplomacy—along with continued pressure and deterrence—can effectively advance America’s national security interests on North Korea and put the region on a more sustainable, long-term path to peace.
Now the hard part begins. The Trump administration needs to develop a diplomatic strategy and field a negotiating team that will advance America’s interests. Diplomacy with North Korea will be long and difficult, and based on North Korea’s track record, we must be clear-eyed about the challenges ahead and prepared for possible setbacks. We need to work hand in glove with our allies in South Korea and Japan and empower our diplomats to get to work. Rather than being in a position of responding to North Korean overtures, the Trump administration must use this announcement as a starting point to seize the initiative in diplomacy and put in motion a plan to get real, verifiable progress with North Korea.
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