Castro on Trump-Kim Jong-un Meeting: All Show, No Substance

Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union,” 2020 Democratic presidential hopeful and former HUD Secretary Julián Castro said the meeting with President Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un in North Korea was all show.

Castro said, “Well, look, I’m always for speaking to our adversaries, opening up diplomatic conversations. The problem is that this president seems bent on approaching this very erratically, very haphazardly. As you know, Brianna, he did this at the last minute and the problem is to be effective, this usually goes the other way around. There is a lot of staff work that goes into preparing a meeting like this so that concrete terms are on the table and you could get something out of the meeting. They had the first summit, the Singapore summit, just over a year ago, and North Korea has not abided by what it promised at that summit which was to produce an inventory of their weapons stockpile so there could be a baseline for further talks. So I’m not quite sure why this president is so bent on elevating the profile of a dictator like Kim Jong-un when Kim Jong-un has not lived up to his promise from the first summit. It is been a failure so far. We could always —and I will be hopeful that there is some progress that comes out of this.”

He added, “Usually that re-opening of discussion is done by lower level staff. And the reason for that is that you want to work up toward an agreement that the president can get, something that is concretely on the table. For the president this is what he’s about, it is all show,  it’s all symbolism, it is not substance. And right after the Singapore summit a year ago he told the American people and folks will help this, that North Korea was no longer a threat. But it turns out then they did weapons testing after that. So there is a problem here. He keeps telling us one thing but the realize is another and haphazardly meeting with Kim Jong-un raising his profile, strengthening him across the world with nothing for the United States. that is a problem.”

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