Senators Request Briefing on Strategy for Nuclear Talks Prior to any Trump-Kim Summit
Washington, D.C. – Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet, with 27 Senate colleagues, this week sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), and Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Bob Corker (R-TN) and Robert Menendez (D-NJ), urging them to request a commitment from the Trump administration for sustained engagement with Congress throughout the upcoming direct negotiations with North Korea.
“We welcome the Trump Administration's pursuit of diplomacy to address the threat posed by a nuclear-armed North Korea, and we strongly hope for success,” the senators wrote. “The more the White House engages with Congress on its progress in negotiations, the more effective partner that Congress can be to support a peaceful resolution to this crisis.”
The senators requested that congressional leadership ask the administration to provide a briefing on its strategy for negotiation prior to any Trump-Kim summit, including senior officials from the Departments of Defense, State, Energy, and Treasury, and representatives from the Intelligence Community. They also asked for monthly subsequent briefings to ensure that Congress is fully informed as any potential negotiations proceed. The lawmakers emphasized that the White House’s steady and substantive communication with Congress is necessary for a successful diplomatic outcome with North Korea that ensures the security of the United States and its allies.
In the letter, the senators observed that Congress has played a significant role in shaping U.S. policy toward North Korea. Congress authored a series of tough sanctions on North Korea, notably the North Korea Sanctions and Policy Enhancement Act of 2016 and the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act of 2017. These measures, passed overwhelmingly and on a bipartisan basis, represent an effective non-military tool of American power that has imposed significant costs on the Kim regime and influenced its strategic calculus in favor of dialogue over its nuclear and missile programs. The senators also noted that Congress must remain well-informed throughout any talks with the Kim regime particularly if an agreement requires the removal of sanctions as an inducement to North Korea taking steps toward denuclearization.
A copy of the letter is available HERE.