Local Congressmen See Big Risks, Rewards in Planned Trump Korea Summit

An unprecedented summit between the United States and North Korea is due to take place by May, but there's a growing debate over whether President Donald Trump should sit down with the Supreme Leader of one of most repressive authoritarian states in the world, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.

Congressman Will Hurd (R-Helotes) says talk is cheap.

"Having talks is not the goal.  The goal is a denuclearized Korean peninsula, and talks cannot get us there," he tells News Radio 1200 WOAI.

The former undercover agent with the CIA is urging the president to keep a tough stance against North Korea, even though they're sitting down at the bargaining table.

"One of the things I learned as an undercover officer in the back alleys of places like Afghanistan is that you be nice with nice guys and tough with tough guys."

He wants an increased naval presence around the Korean peninsula to keep the pressure on China, which he says does not want the United States in the region.

There is also increased worry about how the meeting with a dictator, which has never happened before, will be viewed on the world stage. 

Congressman Joaquin Castro (D-San Antonio), who sits on the House Select Intelligence committee, says the president needs to tread lightly, because it's likely the North Korean dictator will try to spin the meeting to meet his own narrative.

"I urge the President to prepare rather than rely on spontaneity. This includes listening to expertise within the State Department and the rest of the United States government rather than his self-proclaimed ‘deal-making skills.’

"He's urging the president to swiftly appoint an Ambassador to South Korea and a special representative for North Korea policy, and fully-fund the State Department-key actions that would ensure diplomatic success moving forward.

“We all know the costs of war on the Korean Peninsula. That’s exactly why the United States is and must pursue this diplomatic opening, so it is my hope that these discussions will begin a path towards denuclearization.”


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