- The Washington Times - Monday, July 1, 2019

Rep. John Garamendi on Monday said reports of the Trump administration considering accepting North Korea as a nuclear power is “not a good thing” for the region.

The New York Times reported that the White House may abandon its calls for complete denuclearization of North Korea, instead allowing a “nuclear freeze” that allows the nation to keep its current amount of nuclear weapons.

Mr. Garamendi, California Democrat, said this move would be a mistake.

“It would really set up a nuclear arms race in that entire region. You think for a moment that South Korea would accept that situation? Or Japan?” the congressman said. “The goal of denuclearization should remain. Not an easy thing, the president said it should remain.”

Mr. Garamendi added accepting North Korea as a nuclear power would mean South Korea would develop nuclear weapons as a precaution.



“Are there other ways to provide that assurance? Absolutely there are, and those are the ways that need to be pursued here. There needs to be a peace treaty on that peninsula, recognition that there really are two Koreas, probably for some years to come,” he said. “All of those things are possible without nuclear weapons.”

However, Mr. Garamendi praised President Trump for being the first sitting U.S. president to step foot in North Korea, saying diplomacy should always be encouraged.

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