Senator Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) is concerned about President Trump referring to the North Korea’s dictator as “very honorable”. Flake said that Trump’s comment about Kim Jong Un “surpasses understanding.”
During a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron, taking place at the White House, Trump declared that Kim Jong Un is “very open” and “very honorable.”
Trump said, “We have been told directly that they would like to have the meeting as soon as possible. We think that’s a great thing for the world.” Yet, President Trump stated that he would walk away if the talks do not seem fruitful.
“Unlike past administrations, I will leave the table. But I think we have the chance to do something very special,” said Trump. “We’ll see where that will all go”.
Trump later on again emphasized on his plans to “leave the table”, if he feels that the negotiations were not be fruitful or if felt that North Korea had a hidden agenda.
“We’ll see where that all goes,” said Trump. “Maybe it will be wonderful or maybe it won’t.”
When pressed for specifics, Trump elucidated that, “denuclearization… means they get rid of their nukes. Very simple.”
“It would be easy for me to make a simple deal and declare victory. I don’t want to do that,” said Trump, revealing more about his intentions.
However, Trump’s remarks were not that well received by everyone, especially by Flake who was concerned about Trump’s opinion of Kim Jong Un.
“I am concerned by the language used by the President today when discussing the North Korean regime. To say that Kim Jong Un has been very open or very honorable, as the President did, surpasses understanding,” declared Flake.
Flake further stated that the President’s remarks about the dictator, give a negative impression of the U.S. it undermines the “moral authority” of the country and can become a “part of a larger pattern of excusing dictatorial behavior.”
“We cannot pretend that Kim Jong Un of today is somehow different from the authoritarian who has ruled over one of the most violent and repressive regimes on Earth,” said Flake.
“For the President to describe a leader who stands incredibly accused of starving his own people, violently executing his political opponents and murdering members of his own family as very open and very honorable is beyond comprehension,” he stated.
Trump plans to meet the Korean dictator most probably next month to attend a summit, where North Korea’s abandoned nuclear program will be under discussion.
Although Flake has been deeply critical, he did admit that he was happy with progress thus far, but warned that Trump, “[needs] to enter these negotiations with our eyes wide open.”
“The pursuit of these negotiations does not require that we surrender the values we stand for as a nation. We cannot pretend the atrocities of the North Korean regime are a thing of the past,” stated Flake.