Fact Check: Biden Falsely Claims Trump Gave North Korea ‘Everything They Want’

ATLANTA, GEORGIA - NOVEMBER 20: Former Vice President Joe Biden speaks during the Democratic Presidential Debate at Tyler Perry Studios November 20, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. Ten Democratic presidential hopefuls were chosen from the larger field of candidates to participate in the debate hosted by MSNBC and The Washington Post. …
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President Trump has not withheld anything from North Korea, 2020 presidential candidate Joe Biden claimed Wednesday in Atlanta, Georgia.

“He has given North Korea everything they want,” he said during the Democrat debate hosted by MSNBC and the Washington Post, adding that President Trump gave the regime “legitimacy by having a meeting with Kim Jong-un, who’s a thug.”

“The fact is, we’re in a position where he has done this across the world, he’s embraced thugs,” he concluded.

However, the United States cosigned a letter with the United Nations this year, backing sanctions against North Korea, according to Breitbart News.

The article continued:

The Trump administration has insisted it will not ease sanctions on Pyongyang over its nuclear program until Kim can prove the nation has completely, irreversibly, ended it. The U.N. letter that offended the North Koreans – reportedly also signed by France, Germany, and the United Kingdom – reiterated that commitment and urged other nations to adhere to the sanctions.

In July, the U.S. State Department denied reports from South Korea that said President Trump might ease the sanctions on North Korea and called them “completely false.”

“[W]hile we don’t preview any sort of sanctions from the podium, whether it’s adding new ones or taking them away, I will say that I did actually speak to Steve Biegun about that, and he categorically denied that,” said State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus.

In fact, a July report by the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA) said that North Korea’s trade volume was cut in half last year as a result of the U.N. sanctions, according to Breitbart News.

The report stated:

The KOTRA report showed North Korea’s trade volume falling to $2.84 billion in 2018, a 48.8 percent decline from the previous year. Exports fell by a dizzying 86.3 percent, imports declined 31.2 percent, and the North Korean trade deficit rose by 17.5 percent.

In October, the North Korean government’s news agency called American officials “stubborn” for their refusal to ease the sanctions:

It is an undeniable reality that denuclearization and sanctions are misused as tools for meeting party interests and strategies of the political forces within the U.S., not to solve bottleneck problems between the DPRK and the U.S. to even a certain extent.

Finally, Trump did not cave to North Korean diplomat Kwon Jong Gun’s demands for the president to fire U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo after he refused to end the sanctions on the rogue nation.


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