Hastings’ Statement on the North Korea Summit
Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL) released the following statement on the summit in Singapore between President Donald John Trump and North Korean Dictator Kim Jong-un:
“North Korea poses a significant risk to our national security and the security of our allies in the region and across the globe. While diplomacy is our best chance at staving off crisis on the Korean Peninsula, our efforts must be carried out through a united front with global leaders. That is not what happened in Singapore.
“In meeting face-to-face with North Korean Dictator Kim Jong-un, President Trump legitimized a known criminal. In exchange for elevating Kim, the President asked for nothing and received nothing in return. This was political theater, plain and simple.
“Our purpose must be clear: the complete and permanent denuclearization of North Korea. On this issue, there can be no middle-ground, and we are no closer to stabilizing the region today than we were before the summit. Rather, the President capitulated to Kim by ending joint military exercises, sidelining our South Korean and Japanese allies, and endangering the tens of thousands of American troops stationed in the region.
“I am deeply alarmed that the joint statement issued by the President and Mr. Kim ignored the systemic human rights abuses that have occurred in North Korea since its founding and continue today on a daily basis. The Kim regime is responsible for the systematic imprisonment, murder, torture, rape, starvation, and enslavement of hundreds of thousands of people, and the death and imprisonment of American citizens. These are crimes against humanity – a fact that President Trump wantonly ignored while smiling for the cameras with his arm around the man responsible.
“Finally, I strongly object to the manner in which the President departed the G-7 prior to arriving in Singapore. It is unconscionable that the President would spurn our greatest allies while cozying up to strongmen like Kim and Putin. There must be no light between us and Western leaders. The President’s disdain for those who have stood by our country for decades is a remarkable abdication of American exceptionalism that should concern every person in this country.”
Congressman Alcee L. Hastings serves as Senior Member of the House Rules Committee, Ranking Democratic Member of the U.S. Helsinki Commission, and Co-Chairman of the Florida Delegation.