6/12/2018 — 

WASHINGTON, DC - U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI), the Ranking Member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, issued the following statement in reaction to President Trump's nuclear summit with Kim Jong Un of North Korea:

"It’s too early to judge the Trump-Kim summit a success or failure.

“President Trump took a risk in meeting with Kim Jong Un.  The summit conferred legitimacy on Kim Jong Un and it is not clear the United States received sufficient assurances in exchange for giving North Korea’s dictator the brightest of spotlights on the global stage.  

“Clearly, this engagement marks a departure from the overheated and bellicose rhetoric we previously heard.  But we didn’t hear a lot of new nuclear pledges or commitments beyond President Trump’s offhanded remark that he will host Kim Jong Un for a White House visit.  In addition, President Trump agreed to forgo joint exercises with the South Koreans, which has been a bulwark of our defense policy for decades, without significant concessions like a concrete timeline for denuclearization from the other side.  

"Given the lack of details we have right now, a careful review of any security assurances or agreement to denuclearize are needed to make sure they align with the best interests of the American people and our long-term security.  We must also not lose sight of the horrendous human rights record and atrocities using other weapons of mass destruction committed by the North Korean regime. 

"Any agreement must ensure that North Korea is verifiably living up to its obligations.  However, it is worth noting that the complete, verifiable, irreversible disarmament of North Korea's nuclear arsenal would require cooperation and involvement from the international community.  And President Trump's tendency to alienate our loyal allies and undermine the strength of democratic partnerships does not bode well for achieving that goal. 

"Going forward, we must ensure that our alliances with South Korea and Japan do not suffer during this process and that we listen to our allies.  

"I remain concerned that President Trump doesn't have a North Korea strategy.  His admission that he wasn't prepping much for this meeting indicates that this summit was more about the optics than substantive, sustainable progress.  

“This is very early in the process.  Only time will tell if optimistic words and a historic photo-op will be matched with concrete actions and historic change.”