California Democrat Ro Khanna came out in strong support of President Trump’s diplomatic efforts with North Korea on Friday, breaking with his party’s leadership.
“.@NickKristof is right that Democrats should support Trump’s efforts of engagement and diplomacy with North Korea. @SenSchumer is simply wrong on this issue. Democrats should learn from the blunder of the Iraq War,” he tweeted Thursday, along with an op-ed by New York Times columnist Kristof.
Kristof’s column was titled: “Democrats Childishly Resist Trump’s North Korea Efforts.”
.@NickKristof is right that Democrats should support Trump’s efforts of engagement and diplomacy with North Korea. @SenSchumer is simply wrong on this issue. Democrats should learn from the blunder of the Iraq war. https://t.co/5deBgorf5R
— Ro Khanna (@RoKhanna) June 7, 2018
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and other top Democrats are taking a hard line on the talks, ahead of the historic summit planned between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Singapore on June 12.
They sent Trump a letter on Monday threatening to oppose easing any sanctions on North Korea unless five conditions were met, including the shutdown of all of North Korea’s weapons of mass destruction programs, including biological and chemical.
Joel Wit, director of 38 North and a fellow at the Stimson Center, told Korean media outlet Kankyoreh that demanding a shutdown of chemical and biological weapons is unrealistic.
“We need to be measured and careful about what our standards are for success,” he told the outlet. “If you’re going to set a standard for success in terms of an agreement that somehow deals with chemical and biological weapons, you’re not going to have a success, because they’re not going to be dealt with right away.”
As the president left for the G-7 summit on Thursday, Schumer took an additional dig.
“With ICBMs and nuclear warheads in the hands of North Korea, the situation is far too dangerous for seat of the pants negotiating,” Schumer tweeted on Thursday.
Trump hit back in a later tweet, saying Schumer “failed with North Korea and Iran.”
“We don’t need his advice!” he tweeted.
The summit, depending on its outcome, could help notch Trump and Republicans a foreign policy win ahead of the 2018 midterm elections.
Democrats and Never Trumpers have argued since the 2016 election that Trump’s presidency would be dangerous and lead to nuclear war with North Korea.
On the contrary, the Trump administration has embarked on an intense diplomatically-led strategy aimed at exerting “maximum pressure” on North Korea.
As the Obama administration was leaving office, they warned Trump that North Korea was the most pressing national security issue, given its determination to obtain the ability to hit the U.S. with a nuclear weapon.
Months of meetings, including at least two visits to North Korea by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and with allies Japan and South Korea, preceded the summit.