Ambassador Bill Richardson recognizes the historical significance of President Trump's meeting with Kim Jong-un in North Korea, but also calls for substance in Trump-Kim meetings, not just show Watch on Fox News.
Quotes from the interview:
“This was a very historic day. It was the first summit arranged by tweet within one day. Secondly the first sitting American President to set foot in North Korea. But my worry is the substance. North Korea has done nothing to denuclearize like they said they would. Hopefully his visit will restart talks that have been stalled mainly by the North Koreans.”
“I hate to sound like a politician but I stand on both sides. We are legitimizing Kim Jong-un, we are putting him on the world stage. He used to be a pariah, now an American president has gone to him. On the other hand, it’s good that two leaders in a state of hostility have a personal relationship. The problem is that Kim Jong-un’s negotiators are not ready to meet Kim Jong-un’s initial concession which was we are going to denuclearize. In fact they’ve done very little, hardly anything. So I think if we get talks started again, the President should let his team lead. Not have another summit and have the North Koreans start denuclearize and then the compromise is we give them some sanctions relief. They curb the use of their nuclear missiles and we don some sanctions. And then we continue negotiating, that’s a good outcome. But right now I worry there is too much showmanship.”
“[Kim Jong-un] is willing to reduce his nuclear weapons if he gets U.S. investment, international assistance, because it’s the poorest nation on earth. They are hurting a lot by sanctions not just by the U.S., but almost the entire international community. So Kim Jong-un after Hanoi looked very bad when the talks broke up. But I think the President has to be firm. He has to say, you promised to denuclearize, take some serious steps because you have done nothing so far. It’s good that they have a personal relationship, that the talks are going to resume I think in July, but there has to be concessions on both sides so that talks have some significant, positive, bearing. Not just handshakes and a lot of show, yes it’s a historic day, but let there be substance not just show.
Kim Jong-un visiting the White House, good idea or bad idea?
“Well not a good idea right now, let him deliver on denuclearization. Let him do something. That would be another historic thing, but dangle that out here, don’t give it up early.”
Ambassador Bill Richardson served as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations from 1997 to 1998, Secretary of Energy from 1998 to 2000, and Governor of New Mexico from 2003 to 2011.