US Democratic Candidates Dump on Trump Over North Korea Meeting

Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

U.S. candidates running for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination on Sunday criticized President Donald Trump’s latest overture to North Korean leader Kim Jung Un, saying the leaders’ meeting lacked substance and elevated a ruthless dictator.

The Republican Trump became the first sitting U.S. president to step into North Korea on Sunday, drawing on his penchant for showmanship and surprise to pull off talks with Kim in the Demilitarized Zone that divides the two Koreas.

The meeting, at Trump’s last-minute invitation, drew praise from some including Pope Francis as a step toward peace. Critics called it a publicity stunt and said Trump wasted an important symbolic move when there has been little sign that North Korea has taken meaningful steps toward denuclearization.

A number of Democrats vying to replace Trump in the White House in the 2020 election said there was nothing wrong with talking to U.S. adversaries including Kim. This round of talks, however, they said, should have followed intense preparations and substantive progress by North Korea on the nuclear issue.

“Our President shouldn’t be squandering American influence on photo ops and exchanging love letters with a ruthless dictator,” U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren said in a Twitter post.

Her 2020 rival and U.S. Senate colleague Bernie Sanders did not fault Trump for meeting with Kim.

“But I don’t want it simply to be a photo opportunity, the whole world’s media was attracted there,” Sanders said. “What’s going to happen tomorrow and the next day?”

Trump has weakened the State Department at a time when Washington needs to move forward diplomatically toward peace, Sanders said.

While there is nothing wrong with talking to adversaries, Democratic candidate Julian Castro said.

Trump has raised the profile of a dictator by meeting with Kim three times now with nothing to show for it, according to Julian Castro, U.S. housing secretary under President Barack Obama, and former U.S. Representative Beto O’Rourke.

North Korea has not lived up to commitments made in previous summits with Trump and intense preparations should be have been made before the leaders met again to ensure progress, they said.

“He’s doing it backward,” Castro said.

A spokesman for former Vice President Joe Biden said Trump was “coddling” dictators at the expense of U.S. national security.

North Korea launched missiles into the sea just last month, U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar noted, showing the need for the United States to go into such talks armed with a clear mission and clear goals.

“It is not as easy as just going and bringing a hot dish over the fence to the dictator next door,” she said.

The candidates spoke on CNN’s “State of the Union,” ABC’s “This Week” and CBS’ “Face the Nation.”

(Reporting by Doina Chiacu; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

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Joey
Guest
Joey

It would appear none of the candidates understand something called diplomacy.

william jackson
Member

D-RATs criticize everything Trump does—–we stopped listening to these idiots long ago!

mary
Member

They are just SO JEALOUS another feather in our wonderful POTUS’s cap!!

Pachucas
Guest
Pachucas

DemocRat candidate filled with scorn and envy!

Chris
Guest
Chris

Don’t these clowns realize the economic sanctions are still in place? And that the sanctions might get stiffer if the dear leader Kim refuses to negotiate?

Jim
Guest
Jim

You mean like Obama did with Iran?

D3F1ANT
Guest
D3F1ANT

If the Dems are upset…you know Trump is doing the RIGHT thing! MAGA! (Then again, the Dems are ALWAYS upset!)

Barbwin
Guest
Barbwin

The Democrat responses to whatever our President attempts to accomplish are absolutely predictable!

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