- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 19, 2018

A Democratic member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee said Thursday the stakes will be “very high” if President Trump follows through with his plans to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

“There was a reason that prior presidents had rejected the idea of meeting with a North Korean dictator, his father and grandfather before him, because it elevates his standing in the international community right away by having the meeting,” Rep. David Cicilline, of Rhode Island, said on CNN. “The notion that it is historic, it is historic, but it may not be historic in a good way.”

Mr. Trump plans to meet with Mr. Kim in May or June. CIA Director Mike Pompeo traveled to North Korea in April to meet with Mr. Kim to suss out whether North Korea was serious about entering into talks about ending its nuclear weapons program.

Mr. Cicilline said he hopes the Trump administration is prepared and clear-eyed about North Korea’s pattern of behavior in which they’ve cheated on previous deals related to their nuclear program.

“We have to look at the history and behavior of the North Koreans who have been desperately trying to get a meeting with the U.S. president because it elevates the standing of the regime,” he said. “One of the dangers is if that meeting falls apart, what is left? Is the president then going to argue the only thing that is left is military action?”

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