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Rep. Hanabusa Comments on the North Korea Agreement

June 12, 2018, 10:04 AM HST (Updated June 12, 2018, 10:06 AM)
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Trump-Kim meeting, June 11, 2018. Wikimedia Commons

Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa issued the following statement on President Donald Trump’s meeting on June 11, 2018, with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un:

“For Hawai‘i, this should assuage fears of a possible nuclear attack from North Korea. My belief has always been that our greatest nuclear adversary remains Russia. There is no doubt that this is a historic moment in the relationship between the countries and the region.

“The two leaders agreed ‘to build a lasting and stable peace regime on the Korean peninsula’ and ‘the DPRK commits to work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.’ They put that in writing.

“My hope is that this meeting is not the end, rather the beginning of a means to the end.

“We must remember the two individuals leading these negotiations. They both have a history of backing out of big deals and making false promises.

“It will take significant negotiations and diplomatic maneuvering to define the details of this vague agreement. How will we enforce it? It is also concerning that there was almost no mention of North Korea’s atrocious human rights records and whether it would be a condition required in any agreement.

“In March, I had the privilege of attending the Aspen Institute’s Congressional Program titled ‘Finding a Diplomatic Solution to the North Korea Crisis’ at Stanford University. The conference featured three days of round table discussions with scholars, soldiers, and diplomats, including former U.S. Ambassador to South Korea Christopher Hill and Sue Mi Terry, a former North Korea analyst for the CIA.

“Ambassador Hill attended the six-party talks that occurred intermittently starting in 2003 between China, Japan, North Korea, Russia, South Korea and the United States. All the experts in attendance, including the delegation from China, were unanimous in their belief that peace and diplomatic relations could not be restored if the leaders of United States and North Korea could not meet and speak.

“I was concerned the president was going to go there and sign a peace treaty and make a show of it. That would have put us in a precarious position because it would have paved the legal pathway for the removal of U.S. troops from South Korea.

“Remember, we are technically not at peace with Korea, there is an armistice in place. The details of this agreement are critical to defining the way forward and only time will tell.”

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