Statement from Congressman Denny Heck on U.S./North Korea Summit in Singapore
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today U.S. Representative Denny Heck (WA-10) released a statement following the meeting between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un:
“The first-ever meeting between a U.S. president and a North Korean dictator is done, but now the real work begins. Like all Americans, I seek lasting peace in the region and want to end the proliferation of nuclear weapons around the world, but we must continue to hold North Korea accountable for their actions and promises. The Trump Administration must ensure that North Korea is unable to possess or reconstitute nuclear weapons. A serious denuclearization effort must be complete, verifiable, and irreversible. In order to take Kim Jong-Un at his word, we must know everything possible about their current nuclear stockpile and ballistic missile arsenal, and their capability of developing more.
“The President must now submit this agreement to the Senate for approval. As I talk with my colleagues in the other chamber, I will be looking at the particulars to ensure that the desired outcome meets our standard of stopping North Korea from having, obtaining or developing nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles. In the meantime, I’m relieved that the economic sanctions against the North Korean regime remain in place, but if it is true that the president agreed to potentially withdraw our 28,000 troops on the Korean peninsula, that is a premature move that could have devastating effects in the region. Our troops in South Korea are doing a noble job of protecting our allies, as well as the world, and we must continue to have a strong presence there.
“I also can’t help but contrast our president’s friendly behavior and demeanor with Kim, a brutal dictator with numerous human rights abuses documented in his North Korean homeland, and our president’s standoffish and anti-social attitude towards the leader of our longtime ally and neighbor to the North, Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. We cannot alienate our allies while cozying up to dictators.”
Congressman Heck represents the 10th Congressional District, including Joint Base Lewis-McChord in the U.S. House of Representatives, and serves as co-chair of the Congressional Singapore Caucus. He is a member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and the House Financial Services Committee.
On August 17, 2015, Congressman Heck announced his support to stop Iran from developing nuclear capability, stating, “we must let the best diplomatic path towards peace prevail.” On May 8, 2018, Congressman Heck disapproved of President Trump’s withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), stating, “the path to global peace and prosperity is not through isolationism.”