Sen. Elizabeth Warren says she's worried North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will "take advantage of" President Donald Trump in any face-to-face talks, especially given the current flux in the State Department.
“Let’s start with what the Trump administration has done,” the Massachusetts Democrat said in an interview aired Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press." “They’re moving toward diplomacy. I think that’s a really good move. There is no military-only solution to the problems presented by North Korea, and I’m not the only one who feels that way.”
But, she added, the U.S. is currently facing a “decimated” State Department and doesn't have an ambassador to South Korea or an assistant secretary for the region. And it’s critical to have officials who are familiar with the economy, history and language involved in any negotiations, she explained.
“I want to see our president succeed, because if he succeeds, America succeeds. The world is safer,” Warren said. “But I am very worried that they’re going to take advantage of him.”
North Korean leaders have been trying to meet with a U.S. president for decades, and this would-be meeting is “a win for them,” Warren said. But there are steps that can be taken before any meeting, she added, to ensure the U.S. also benefits.
“I would like to see the State Department do its job, and I’d like to see a president that works with the State Department so we can have a truly comprehensive response here that makes some sense,” Warren said.
“There are things we could ask North Korea before this meeting — to say, ‘show us, verifiably, show us how it is that you have frozen your nuclear program,'" she said. “Then you get to meet with the president of the United States.’”
The primary focus of these talks should still be on the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, she added, and reducing any threat North Korea poses to the U.S. and the rest of the world.