February 28, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON - Today, Congressman Ted W. Lieu (D-Los Angeles County) issued the following statement after President Trump's summit with North Korea's Leader Kim Jong Un did not result in a peace agreement. 

“If reports are true regarding the North Korean demands, it was right for the President to walk away rather than strike a bad deal. We should want to see our nation succeed on the international stage, and we should never relish in the failure to reach a peace agreement.

However, the outcome of this summit demonstrates why it should never have happened this way to begin with. Diplomacy is hard work. It requires dedicated resources, an empowered envoy, preparation and strategy—all of which the Trump Administration apparently didn’t have coming into this summit. Without laying the groundwork on an agreement, a second leader-level summit was a chance for a photo op and little else. But Kim gained long-desired legitimacy by meeting with the leader of the free world. Trump also inexplicably said he believed that Kim was not responsible for the torture and murder of American student Otto Warmbier.

If we want to salvage this peace process, we have to let our diplomats take the lead. This requires empowering Special Representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun, and articulating clear objectives and strategy. We also need to coordinate closely with our allies in Seoul and Tokyo, as well as Beijing, North Korea’s benefactor. The House, now controlled by Democrats, will no longer give this Administration a pass on withholding critical information around these negotiations. Our national security relies on cogent diplomacy. It takes more than a photo op and flowery letters from North Korea to achieve a durable peace agreement.”