After Disastrous Pompeo Visit to North Korea and with No Sign that Nuclear Program is Slowing, Will Trump Impose New Sanctions or Resume Military Exercises?
Washington, DC – Today, Reps. Gallego (D-AZ), Moulton (D-MA), Hannabusa (D-HI), Speier (D-CA), Panetta (D-CA) and Shea-Porter (D-NH) wrote to President Trump requesting details of the Administration’s supposed strategy to achieve the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula within the next year, including whether Trump will consider the imposition of new sanctions or the resumption of military exercises with South Korea following reports that the Kim regime’s nuclear program has continued unabated.
President Trump continues to tout his progress in reigning in North Korea, stating today that President Kim Jong-un is “blowing up another [missile] site” and curtailing his propaganda efforts. However, since the Singapore Summit, news reports indicate that the regime has persisted in producing fissile material for nuclear weapons and taken no steps to reduce its current stockpiles. In addition, it was reported yesterday that Kim ignored Secretary Pompeo during his visit this past weekend in favor of a trip to a potato farm. North Korean officials also reportedly failed to turn up today at a meeting today to discuss the repatriation of the remains of American war dead.
In their letter, the Members site the comments of a senior administration official that, “There is absolutely unequivocal evidence that [the North Koreans] are trying to deceive the US,” and request “clarification on whether, and under what circumstances, the Administration would consider the resumption of military exercises with South Korea.”
The signed letter can be viewed here. Full text below.
July 12, 2018
Dear President Trump:
Contrary to your assurances following the Singapore summit that there is “no longer a nuclear threat” posed by North Korea, according to news reports, the regime’s nuclear activities appear to have continued unabated. In addition, a senior Administration official informed NBC News that “there is absolutely unequivocal evidence that [the North Koreans] are trying to deceive the US.” This is alarming and calls into question the wisdom of your abrupt decision to end joint military exercises with South Korea. Given these developments, we write to request a briefing on the Administration’s plan, touted in public comments by National Security Advisor John Bolton, to achieve the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula within the next year.
For decades, North Korea has made vague pledges to curb its nuclear program while continuing these activities in secret. It appears that this pattern is repeating itself. Indeed, it was reported this week that the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) assesses that the regime has no intention of giving up its nuclear weapons.
According to the Washington Post, North Korea sought to deceive your Administration regarding the extent of its capabilities, both before and after the Singapore summit, including by attempting to conceal the existence of an underground uranium enrichment site. In addition, following the talks, the Kim regime has reportedly persisted in producing fissile material for nuclear weapons, taken no steps to reduce its current stockpiles and may be expanding a key missile-manufacturing facility.
We request to be apprised of the details of your Administration’s denuclearization plan, including what additional forms of pressure – including the imposition of any new sanctions – you intend to apply; what, if any, inducements you may offer the Kim regime; and how you will seek to monitor compliance with any agreement. Further, in light of North Korea’s non-compliance to date with the commitments it made in Singapore, we seek clarification on whether, and under what circumstances, the Administration would consider the resumption of military exercises with South Korea.
While in Congress, Secretary Pompeo repeatedly emphasized the importance of robust Congressional oversight of the Iran nuclear negotiations. We believe the same principle should apply to dealings with North Korea.
Please provide a response to this letter within 30 days of transmission.