- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Top congressional Democrats wasted little time in criticizing what they called U.S. concessions included in the deal made between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

At the historic summit between the two leaders on Tuesday, Mr. Trump said he agreed to halt all joint U.S. military exercises with South Korea and consider reducing U.S. forces there. In the joint statement between the two, however, Mr. Kim reaffirmed a previous commitment to denuclearization of the entire Korean peninsula and help in returning the remains of U.S. servicemen still missing from the Korean War.

Democrats said the end product fell far short of the goals set by Mr. Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, which included the complete, verifiable and permanent end to the North’s nuclear and missile programs.

“What the United States has gained is vague and unverifiable at best,” said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, New York Democrat.

“What North Korea has gained, however, is tangible and lasting. By granting a meeting with Chairman Kim, President Trump has granted a brutal and repressive dictatorship, the international legitimacy it has long craved.”

Sen. Robert Menendez, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, downplayed the impact of the agreement, citing similar deals with North Korea that had proven fruitless in the past.

Mr. Menendez claimed Mr. Trump gave up militarily valuable exercises with Seoul “in exchange for selfies in Singapore.”

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, California Democrat, said in a statement that the agreement was made in haste, and that “President Trump elevated North Korea to the level of the United States while preserving the regime’s status quo.”

Congressional Republicans were more measured in their comments, saying much still needs to be determined about what the two leaders had achieved.

“While I am glad the president and Kim Jong Un were able to meet, it is difficult to determine what of concrete nature has occurred,” said Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker, Tennessee Republican.

Mr. Corker said he looks forward to hearing from Mr. Pompeo before the Foreign Relations Committee.

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