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Trump’s Historic Summit Stands In Contrast To Obama’s North Korea Failures

- June 11, 2018

Obama's Failed Policy Of "Strategic Patience" Gave North Korea Breathing Room To Advance Its Nuclear Weapons Program


TOP TAKEAWAYS

  • By the end of his administration, President Obama's policy of "strategic patience" with North Korea was widely criticized and deemed a failure.
    • The New York Times: "Mr. Obama hoped that the North would eventually feel it had reason to negotiate and make a good-faith effort at talks. Instead the North pursued its weapons program and launched a series of cyberattacks on American businesses…"
  • "Strategic patience" gave North Korea the room it needed to grow its nuclear arsenal.
    • In April 2009, North Korea launched a multistage rocket which some foreign policy analysts believed could reach the western United States.
    • In May 2009, North Korea announced it had successfully conducted a second nuclear test.
    • In December 2010, the Obama administration concluded that North Korea's newest plant to enrich nuclear fuel used technology "significantly more advanced" than Iran's program.
    • In November 2011, North Korea "reported brisk progress in building a new nuclear reactor and producing enriched uranium."
    • In April 2012, North Korea conducted a rocket launch attempt that "marked the end of the Obama Administration's year-long effort" to engage with the rogue state.
    • In November 2012, North Korea began construction on a nuclear reactor.
    • In December 2012, North Korea launched a long-range rocket.
    • In January 2016, North Korea claimed to have successfully carried out a hydrogen bomb test.
    • By March 2016, intelligence analysts believed North Korea possessed a miniaturized nuclear warhead.
  • Since taking office, President Trump's get-tough attitude towards North Korea has led to tangible results and positive developments.
    • Under President Trump, the United States introduced rigorous sanctions against North Korea aimed at forcing the end of their nuclear program.
    • On May 9, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo negotiated the release of three American prisoners being held in North Korea.
    • On June 12, President Trump will meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un for a historic nuclear summit in Singapore.

PRESIDENT OBAMA'S FOREIGN POLICY TOWARDS NORTH KOREA WAS WIDELY SEEN AS A FAILURE FOR ALLOWING NORTH KOREA TO GROW AND STRENGTHEN ITS NUCLEAR PROGRAM

By The End Of His Administration, President Obama's Policy Of "Strategic Patience" Towards North Korea Was Widely Criticized And Deemed A Failure

Upon Entering Office, The Obama Administration Said The U.S. Would Pursue "Multiple Means To Increase [North Korea] Isolation And Bring Them Into Compliance With International Nonproliferation Norms." "Present a Clear Choice to Iran and North Korea: The United States will pursue the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula and work to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon. This is not about singling out nations-it is about the responsibilities of all nations and the success of the nonproliferation regime. Both nations face a clear choice. If North Korea eliminates its nuclear weapons program, and Iran meets its international obligations on its nuclear program, they will be able to proceed on a path to greater national security strategy political and economic integration with the international community. If they ignore their international obligations, we will pursue multiple means to increase their isolation and bring them into compliance with international nonproliferation norms." (President Barack Obama, "National Security Strategy," The White House , 05/2010, pg. 23)

Secretary Of State Hillary Clinton Defined the Administration's Policy Towards North Korea As "Strategic Patience." QUESTION: "Madame Secretary, Ambassador Bosworth said today that he reached a, quote, 'common understanding,' unquote, with the North Koreans on denuclearization, but they did not agree to return to the Six-Party Talks. So my question is: What was really accomplished? It didn't sound like very much. And could you also bring us up to date on the START renewal talks?" SECRETARY OF STATE HILLARY CLINTON: "Well, Bob, I have before me the transcript of Ambassador Bosworth's remarks in Seoul, and I think it's a very fair characterization that he made that the conversations were very useful, that this is the first official meeting on behalf of this Administration with the North Koreans in Pyongyang. It does remain to be seen whether and when the North Koreans will return to the Six-Party Talks. But the bottom line is that these were exploratory talks, not negotiations. They were intended to do exactly what they did: reaffirm the commitment of the United States to the Six-Party process, to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula; and to discuss with the North Koreans their reactions to what we are asking them to do in order to move forward. I think that for a preliminary meeting it was quite positive. The approach that our Administration is taking is of strategic patience in close coordination with our Six-Party allies, and I think that making it clear to the North Koreans what we had expected and how we were moving forward is exactly what was called for." (Secretary Of State Hillary Clinton, Remarks With Croatian Foreign Minister Gordan Jandrokovic After Their Meeting , Washington D.C., 12/10/09)

  • Strategic Patience Encompassed Pursuing Denuclearization With A Willingness To Engage North Korea While Working Within A Multilateral Framework . "While enforcing sanctions, the Obama administration has continued to exert what it calls strategic patience and extend an open diplomatic hand to North Korea, contingent on North Korea's return to the six-party framework and the path of denuclearization. Following Special Representative Stephen W. Bosworth's December 2009 meetings in Pyongyang, Secretary Clinton stated that 'the approach that our administration is taking is of strategic patience in close coordination with our six-party allies.' This is characteristic of the current U.S. policy approach: a continued commitment to denuclearization, dedication to the six-party process, willingness to engage (with conditions), and efforts to work within multilateral frameworks to sanction and pressure North Korea." (John Tilelli Jr., Scott Snyder, and Charles Pritchard, "U.S. Policy Towards The Korean Peninsula," Council On Foreign Relations , 06/10)

By 2012, The New York Times Had Already Reported That The Obama Administration Was "Outmaneuvered" By North Korea. "Under the deal with the United States announced on Feb. 29, the North agreed to suspend nuclear weapons tests, missile launches and uranium enrichment. Critics now say the Obama administration was outmaneuvered by North Korean negotiators and should have gotten a specific written assurance that satellite launches were covered. American officials insist they explicitly told the North that a satellite launch would fall under the category of a long-range missile test and would be a 'deal breaker.'" (Editorial, "Frightening Fizzle," The New York Times , 4/13/12)

According To CNBC's Natasha Turak, President Obama Followed The Diplomatic Route With North Korea To "No Avail." "Finally, Barack Obama stuck with the diplomatic route, first employing a conciliatory approach and later implementing sanctions, but similarly to no avail." (Natasha Turak, "North Korea's Nuclear Development Can't Be Blamed On Trump, Says Former Clinton Advisor," CNBC , 03/06/18)

Obama National Security Adviser Susan Rice Said You Could Call The Obama Administration's Attempts To Curb North Korea's Nuclear Ambitions As "A Failure ." "Obama national security adviser Susan Rice said Thursday that the U.S. has consistently failed to curtail North Korea's nuclear ambitions, even during the Obama era. 'You can call it a failure,' Rice told CNN. 'I accept that characterization of the efforts of the United States over the last two decades.'" (Naomi Lim, "Susan Rice Concedes Obama-era Strategy To Curtail North Korea's Nuclear Program Was A 'Failure,'" The Washington Examiner , 03/14/18)

The New York Times : "Mr. Obama Hoped That The North Would Eventually Feel It Had Reason To Negotiate And Make A Good-Faith Effort At Talks. Instead The North Pursued Its Weapons Program And Launched A Series Of Cyberattacks…" "Mr. Obama hoped that the North would eventually feel it had reason to negotiate and make a good-faith effort at talks. Instead the North pursued its weapons program and launched a series of cyberattacks on American businesses, including Sony Pictures. Mr. Obama also talked tough with the North Koreans when he thought it necessary: In 2014, he warned that the United States 'will not hesitate to use our military might' to protect American allies." (Russell Goldman, "How Trump's Predecessors Dealt With the North Korean Threat," The New York Times , 8/17/17)

Former CIA Deputy Division Chief For Korea, Bruce Klinger, Said Obama "Was Flat-Out Wrong," Concerning The Effectiveness Of His Sanctions On North Korea. "'Obama talked a good game on sanctions, calling North Korea the most heavily sanctioned and the most cut-off nation on Earth, and he was flat-out wrong,' said Klingner, who is now at the Heritage Foundation's Asian Studies Center." (Jenny Lee, "Trump's North Korea Policy: Is It Different From Obama's?" VOA News , 03/28/17)

Sung-Yoon Lee, North Korea Expert At Tufts University, Characterized Obama's North Korea Policy As An Era "Of Half-Measures, Procrastination, On-And-Off Half-Party Diplomacy, Half-Party Of Sanctions." "'The era of half-measures, procrastination, on-and-off half-party diplomacy, half-party sanctions is now over, and we have entered a period of consequences,' the professor said. 'There's a consensus in Washington … there's a lot more that the U.S. could and should do to financially squeeze North Korea - to toughen up on sanctions against North Korea and also to go after North Korea's third-country partners.'" (Jenny Lee, "Trump's North Korea Policy: Is It Different From Obama's?" VOA News , 03/28/17)

Under President Obama's Watch, North Korea Accelerated Its Nuclear Program

President Obama Followed The Diplomatic Route With North Korea To "No Avail." "Finally, Barack Obama stuck with the diplomatic route, first employing a conciliatory approach and later implementing sanctions, but similarly to no avail." (Natasha Turak, "North Korea's Nuclear Development Can't Be Blamed On Trump, Says Former Clinton Advisor," CNBC , 03/06/18)

In April 2009, North Korea Launched A Multistage Rocket. "Defying weeks of international pressure, North Korea launched a multistage rocket today, a move that the U.S. and its allies fear masked a test of its ability to deliver nuclear weapons." (John M. Glionna, "North Korea Launches Rocket," Los Angeles Times , 4/5/09)

In May 2009, North Korea Announced It Had "Successfully Conducted" A Second Nuclear Test, "Defying International Warnings." "North Korea announced on Monday that it had successfully conducted its second nuclear test, defying international warnings and dramatically raising the stakes in a global effort to get the recalcitrant Communist state to give up its nuclear weapons program." (Choe Sang-Hun, "North Korea Claims To Conduct Second Nuclear Test," The New York Times , 5/24/09)

In December 2010, The Obama Administration "Concluded That North Korea's New Plant To Enrich Nuclear Fuel Uses Technology That Is 'Significantly More Advanced'" Than Iran's Program. "The Obama administration has concluded that North Korea's new plant to enrich nuclear fuel uses technology that is 'significantly more advanced' than what Iran has struggled over two decades to assemble, according to senior administration and intelligence officials." (David E. Sanger and William J. Broad, "U.S. Concludes N. Korea Has More Nuclear Sites," The New York Times , 12/14/10)

In January 2011, Former Secretary Gates Warned That North Korea Was Developing An ICBM Capable Of Reaching The United States . "Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates warned Tuesday that North Korea was within five years of being able to strike the continental United States with an intercontinental ballistic missile, and said that, combined with its expanding nuclear program, the country "is becoming a direct threat to the United States." (Elisabeth Bumiller and David Sanger, "Gates Warns Of North Korea Missile Threat To U.S.," The New York Times , 01/11/11)

In November 2011, North Korea "Reported Brisk Progress In Building A New Nuclear Reactor And Producing Enriched Uranium," Which Marked "The Latest Sign That North Korea [Was] Pressing Ahead With Its Nuclear Program." "North Korea reported brisk progress in building a new nuclear reactor and producing enriched uranium on Wednesday. Although the statement appeared to invite international inspectors to verify that the facilities are for peaceful purposes, it was the latest sign that North Korea is pressing ahead with its nuclear program." (Choe Sang-Hun, "North Korea Reports Progress On New Reactor," The New York Times , 11/30/11)

In April 2012, North Korea Had A Failed Rocket Launch Attempt, Which Marked "The End Of The Obama Administration's Year-Long Effort" To Engage The Rogue State. "North Korea's apparently unsuccessful launch of an Unha-3 rocket with a 'satellite' attached marks not only the 100th birthday of the country's founder Kim Il Sung, but also the end of the Obama administration's year-long effort to open up a new path for negotiations with the Hermit Kingdom. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned earlier Thursday that the promised launch by North Korea would scuttle the deal the Obama administration negotiated with Pyongyang and announced on Leap Day Feb. 29, which would have provided North Korea with 240,000 tons of U.S. food assistance over the next year. She lamented that the North Koreans had thrown away the progress made." (Josh Rogin, "North Korean Missile Launch Torpedoes Obama's Engagement Strategy," Foreign Policy , 4/12/12)

  • The Rocket Test Came Just Months After Obama Officials Announced "That Pyongyang Had Agreed To A Host Of Concessions, Including A Missile-Test Moratorium." "The Obama administration worked behind the scenes for months on the deal, and had been set to announce it last December, but North Korean leader Kim Jong Il died the day before the announcement was set to be made. In February, administration officials traveled to Beijing to try again and proudly announced on Feb. 29 that Pyongyang had agreed to a host of concessions, including a missile-test moratorium." (Josh Rogin, "North Korean Missile Launch Torpedoes Obama's Engagement Strategy," Foreign Policy , 4/12/12)
  • The Wall Street Journal Editorial Board: The Rocket Launch Humiliated Both Pyongyang And The Obama Administration. "Then again, more than the North Koreans should feel humiliated by the launch. It was only in February that the Obama Administration struck a deal with Pyongyang, offering 240,000 metric tons of food aid over the next year in exchange for the usual promises of good nuclear behavior. We warned at the time that the North was certain to break the deal. They did so within weeks." (Editorial, "A Pyongyang Joke," The Wall Street Journal , 4/13/12)

In May 2012, North Korea "Resumed Construction Of A Nuclear Reactor Used To Expand The Country's Nuclear Weapons Program." "North Korea has resumed construction of a nuclear reactor that can be used to expand the country's nuclear weapons program, an American-based institute said Thursday, citing the latest satellite imagery of the building site. In November, North Korea reported brisk progress in the building of a small light water reactor in its main nuclear complex in Yongbyon, north of Pyongyang, its capital. If completed and operational, the plant would give North Korea a new source of spent nuclear fuel from which plutonium, a fuel for nuclear weapons, can be extracted." (Choe Sang-Hun, "North Korea Said To Resume Work On Nuclear Reactor," The New York Times , 5/17/12)

In December 2012, North Korea "Surprised And Angered The International Community…By Launching A Long-Range Rocket." "North Korea surprised and angered the international community Wednesday by launching a long-range rocket that may have put an object in orbit. The secretive North Korean regime said the rocket had successfully blasted off from a space center on its west coast and claimed the satellite it was carrying had entered its intended orbit. The launch followed a botched attempt in April and came just days after Pyongyang suggested it could be delayed." (Jethro Mullen and Paul Armstrong, "North Korea Carries Out Controversial Rocket Launch," CNN , 12/12/12)

In January 2016, North Korea Claimed It "Successfully Carried Out A Hydrogen Bomb Test." "North Korea says it has successfully carried out a hydrogen bomb test, which if confirmed, will be a first for the reclusive regime and a significant advancement for its military ambitions. A hydrogen bomb is more powerful than plutonium weapons, which is what North Korea used in its three previous underground nuclear tests." (Euan McKirdy, "North Korea Announces It Conducted Nuclear Test," CNN , 1/6/16)

In March 2016, It Was Reported That Intelligence Analysts Believed That North Korea "Probably" Possessed A Miniaturized Nuclear Warhead. "Some U.S. intelligence analysts now believe that North Korea "probably" possesses a miniaturized nuclear warhead, several U.S. officials told CNN. The assessment has yet to become a formal consensus view of the U.S. government. But it reveals just how far along many in the U.S. believe the reclusive country has come to gaining a nuclear-tipped ballistic missile that could potentially strike the U.S. As North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's public rhetoric has escalated in recent weeks, concern has grown inside intelligence circles that he has made progress on several fronts." (Barbara Starr and Ryan Browne, "Intel Officials: North Korea 'Probably' Has Miniaturized Nuke," CNN , 3/24/16)

By The Time President Obama Left Office, Pyongyang Had Overseen Four Underground Nuclear Tests. "Pyongyang would oversee four underground nuclear tests by the time Obama left office." (Natasha Turak, "North Korea's Nuclear Development Can't Be Blamed On Trump, Says Former Clinton Advisor," CNBC , 03/06/18)

PRESIDENT TRUMP HAS TAKEN A TOUGHER STANCE AGAINST NORTH KOREAN NUCLEARIZATION AND HAS SUCCEEDED IN ARRANGING A HISTORIC PEACE SUMMIT

Under The Trump Administration, The United States Has Taken A Tougher Approach To North Korea

In His First Year In Office, President Trump Stated That The U.S. Was "Ready To Confront North Korea ." PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: "The U.S. is ready to confront North Korea. The United States has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea." (President Donald Trump, Remarks At The United Nations , New York, NY, 09/19/17)

In June 2017, The Trump Administration Announced Increased Sanctions Against Chinese Entities Accused Of Aiding North Korea's Nuclear And Missile Programs. "The Trump administration on Thursday announced sanctions against Chinese entities accused of aiding North Korea's illicit nuclear and missile programs. The action is a sharp turn in President Trump's approach to China and the beginning of a new and unpredictable effort to use sticks instead of carrots with Chinese President Xi Jinping." (Josh Rogin, "The Trump Administration Calls China's Bluff On North Korea," The Washington Post , 06/29/17)

In August 2017, The Trump Administration Unveiled Additional Sanctions On Ten Chinese And Russian Companies Suspected Of Trading Resources With North Korea. "Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in the announcement. Ten Chinese and Russian companies as well as six individuals were named, some of whom are trading coal, oil and mineral resources with North Korea. The Treasury Department says North Korea generates about a billion dollars a year from coal exports and singled out three Chinese companies, which it says imported almost half a billion dollars in North Korean coal between 2013 and 2016." (Jackie Northam, "Trump Administration Unveils Sanctions To Curb North Korea's Weapons Program," NPR , 8/22/17)

In September 2017, The President Unveiled Sanctions Targeting Banks And Other Companies Doing Business With North Korea. "President Trump ordered new economic sanctions Thursday against any bank or other company doing business with North Korea, in response to Pyongyang's renegade nuclear program. The move is designed to tighten the economic screws on North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, in hopes of halting his development of nuclear warheads and the missiles to deliver them." (Scott Horsley, "Trump Administration Orders New Sanctions On North Korea," NPR , 09/21/17)

Under President Trump, The United States Has Pushed Through Two Unanimous Security Council Resolutions Imposing "Ever More Draconian" Economic Sanctions On North Korea. "The first concerns the Trump administration's escalating pressure campaign against North Korea. On Tillerson's watch, of course, the United States has pushed through two unanimous U.N. Security Council resolutions imposing ever more draconian economic sanctions on Pyongyang." (John Hannah, "Two Cheers For Rex," Foreign Policy , 11/29/17)

Former Secretary Of State Rex Tillerson And The State Department Worked To Get Countries Across The World To "Tighten The Diplomatic And Economic Noose On Pyongyang." " At Trump's direction, Tillerson and the State Department have been methodically getting countries across the world to tighten the diplomatic and economic noose on Pyongyang." (John Hannah, "Two Cheers For Rex," Foreign Policy , 11/29/2017)

Ranking Member Of The Foreign Affairs Committee Ben Cardin (D-MD) Called President Trump's North Korea Resolution At The United Nations A "Major Accomplishment" And Praised The President's Policy. SENATOR BEN CARDIN (D-MD): "That was a good move. That was a major accomplishment and I give our team a lot of credit for getting that done. There are pretty strong additional sanctions to be imposed against North Korea because of their continued testing of ballistic missiles. So that was absolutely a strong move forward and it was great to see China and Russia join us in that." (Fox News', " Fox News Sunday," 12/24/17)

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Eurasia Group President Ian Bremmer Has Said President Trump Should Get "Credit" For North/South Korea Breakthroughs. CNN's ALISYN CAMEROTA: "The idea that North Korea and South Korea are talking is huge, yes?" EURASIA GROUP PRESIDENT IAN BREMMER: "Yes, it's a breakthrough. No Question. Another breakthrough. Big sanctions supported by everyone including the Chinese." CAMEROTA: "They've worked?" BREMMER: "They've had some impact in my view absolutely and give Trump credit for some of that stuff." (CNN's " New Day," 01/03/18)

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The New York Times National Security Reporter David Sanger Stated That President Trump Deserved "Enormous Credit" For "Ratcheting Up The Pressure" And Noted "There Is No Reason The Obama Administration Couldn't Have Done That And They Didn't." THE NEW YORK TIMES' DAVID SANGER: "The imposition of truly deep sanctions that the U.S. has stepped out to enforce, I think probably gave an additional motivation to Kim Jong Un that he had to get into talks that would relieve that pressure. I think President Trump deserves enormous credit for ratcheting up that pressure and making sure the sanctions were real. There is no reason the Obama administration couldn't have done that and they didn't." (CNN's " New Day ," 03/06/18)

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In March 2018, North Korea Told South Korea It Was Willing To Begin Negotiations Concerning Abandoning Its Nuclear Weapons Program

On March 8, South Korean National Security Adviser, Chung Eui-Yong, Told Reporters That President Donald Trump Had Agreed To Meet With North Korean Leader Kim Jong-Un To Discuss A Path To Permanent Denuclearization. SOUTH KOREAN NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER CHUNG EUI-YONG: "President Trump appreciated the briefing and said he would meet Kim Jong-un by May to achieve permanent denuclearization." (Chung Eui-Yong, Remarks Following Meeting With President Trump , Washington D.C., 03/08/18)

  • Chung Added That President Trump's "Leadership" And Policy Of "Maximum Pressure" Helped Bring "Us To This Juncture." CHUNG: "I explained to President Trump that his leadership and his maximum pressure policy, together with international solidarity, brought us to this juncture." (Chung Eui-Yong, Remarks Following Meeting With President Trump , Washington D.C., 03/08/18)

The Los Angeles Times Called News Of The Talks A Potentially "Historic Breakthrough." "In a potential historic breakthrough, North Korea has offered to freeze its illicit nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs to engage in talks with the United States, South Korean officials said Tuesday. The surprise announcement came after South Korea's spy chief and its top national security official returned Tuesday night to Seoul from a meeting in Pyongyang with North Korea's leader, Kim Jong Un." (Matt Stiles, "North Korea Offers To Begin Talks With U.S. To Denuclearize, South Korea Says," Los Angeles Times , 03/06/18)

In May 2018, United States Secretary Of State Mike Pompeo Negotiated The Release Of Three American Prisoners From North Korea

The Trump Administration Pressured The North Korean Regime To Release Three Americans Held Hostage As A Gesture Of Good Will . "As both sides began laying the groundwork for the Trump and Kim's meeting -- which would be the first-ever between a sitting US President and North Korean leader -- the Trump administration made it clear that releasing the three Americans would be viewed as a gesture of good will." (Zachary Cohen and Joshua Berlinger, "Three Americans Held In North Korea Released 'In Good Health,'" CNN , 05/09/18)

On May 9, 2018, North Korea Release The Three American Hostages Who Flew Back To The US Accompanied By Secretary Of State Mike Pompeo. "Those are the names of three American hostages North Korea held for months - and just agreed to release. They're accompanying Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who was in North Korea for official meetings, back to the United States, according to President Donald Trump." (Alex Ward, "North Korea Has Just Released 3 American Hostages," Vox , 05/09/18)

President Trump Has Received Praise From Media Personalities And Foreign Policy Experts For His North Korean Strategy And His Breakthrough Summit

CNN's Erin Burnett: "If President Trump Can Truly Solve This Problem, That Would Be Going Down As A Great President And There's No Way Around That." CNN's ERIN BURNETT: "Of course owning the door to the big question, President Trump can truly solve this problem. That would be going down as a great President, and there is no way around that. That is the reality here. Thank you all." (CNN's "Outfront" 03/08/18)

CNN's Global Affairs Correspondent Elise Labott: President Trump, "Deserves Credit For This Maximum Pressure Campaign Working." CNN's ELISE LABOTT: "I think President Trump as we have said does deserve credit for this maximum pressure campaign working." (CNN's "Erin Burnett Outfront," 03/08/18)

MSNBC's Nuclear Arms Expert Joe Cirincione: "This Is Actually A Moment Very Few Of Us Thought We Would Ever See." MSNBC's JOE CIRINCIONE: "This is a moment that we very few of us thought we would ever see, the North Koreans agreeing to put denuclearization on the table, agreeing to talks with the South Koreans, inviting the President of the United States to have the talks." (MSNBC's "Hardball With Chris Matthews," 03/08/18)

Former Obama Secretary Of Defense Leon Panetta: "I Think This Is A Positive Step." FORMER SECRETARY OF DEFENSE LEON PANETTA: "I think this is a positive step. I think the world is breathing a sigh of relief as a result of having these negotiations, even having this kind of meeting. I think all of that is good news." (CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360," 03/08/18)

CNN's Chris Cillizza Tweeted That "Trump Has So Far Done Far More In Terms Of North Korea Than Anyone Thought He Would/Could." "Not sure where it ends up, but Trump has so far done far more in terms of North Korea than anyone thought he would/could." (Twitter Feed, Chris Cillizza , 5/9/18)

Joel Wit, Senior Fellow At The U.S.-Korea Institute At Johns Hopkins Called The Meeting "A Historic Opportunity To Turn The Corner" With North Korea. "Joel Wit, a senior fellow at the U.S.-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies who was involved in the negotiations for the 1994 deal, called the announcement on Thursday 'a historic opportunity to turn the corner away from not only the tensions of the past year but the 60 years of confrontation since the Korean War.'" (Jonathan Cheng, "North Korea Nuclear Talks: Breakthroughs, Disappointments," The Wall Street Journal , 03/09/18)

  • Wit Also Said That Trump Is "Doing Everything He Should Be Doing In The Run-Up To The Summit." "Joel Wit, co-founder of 38 North, an authoritative website that tracks North Korea, saw no reason for pessimism. 'My reaction is he's now doing everything he should be doing in the run-up to a summit,' Wit said of Trump." (Nicole Gaouette and Elise Labott, "Trump's North Korea Summit Raises Déjà Vu Concerns," CNN , 6/1/18)

Former CIA Operations Director Evan McMullin: President Trump Has Been "Increasing More Pressure On North Korea," And This Meeting Is A Sign That Kim "Is Becoming Uncomfortable With The Status Quo." FORMER CIA OPERATIVE EVAN MCMULLIN: "I think the President has spent his first year in office implying an increasing more pressure on North Korea. I think he's right to do that. He's done that through a variety of means including sanctions. I think what we see here with Mr. Kim now being open and calling for these negotiations with the President is actually a sign that he is becoming uncomfortable with the status quo. That's the good news." (MSNBC's "Live With Stephanie Ruhle," 03/09/18)


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