The U.S. should be wary of promises that North Korea makes during the upcoming meeting between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, a former secretary of defense said Friday on CNN’s “New Day.”
“Remember, they first made the promise not to have nuclear weapons to George Bush 1 in 1992,” said Ash Carter, who was defense secretary during Barack Obama’s administration.
“I think we need to wish the president well in these negotiations, but a new promise by North Korea isn’t really going to be anything new,” Carter said in the interview.
The U.S. needs to formulate a plan similar to the Iran nuclear deal that would ensure “step by step” monitoring of North Korea’s dismantling of nuclear weapons. He also said the president should not trade off U.S. troops or U.S. readiness in the region in the negotiations.
“That kind of thing may come down the road, but not upfront. Don’t give things upfront for promises sometime in the future,” Carter said in the CNN interview.
“We can do things for them, and the Chinese, and the Japanese, and the South Koreans, too, but only in return for specific steps,” Carter said.
Carter doubted that Kim Jong Un’s attitudes have changed. “You can’t be optimistc about North Korea on the basis of history,” Carter said.
“I’ve dealt with him, his father, and his grandfather. They were all different, but they all had in common the determination to make North Korea able to stand on its own. He’s the one who has intensified missile launches. He’s the one who has intensified the nuclear program. So it’s hard to say in his behavior you see a change of heart,” Carter said.
“Certainly we can hope for that, but again, I’d like to see concrete steps. I’ve heard promises from the North Koreans before,” Carter noted.
Another former Obama administration official, former CIA director Leon Panetta, also issued a warning about North Korea. “I start with the principle that I don’t trust North Korea. I think that is probably a good place for the president to be,” Panetta said Thursday on Fox Business’ “Mornings With Maria.”
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