Today, President Trump released a Joint Statement with North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un outlining a commitment to pursue a new relationship and take steps toward denuclearizing the Korean peninsula.
In reaction to the announcement, John Qua, senior campaigner for Beyond the Bomb, a grassroots campaign against nuclear war, issued the following statement:
“Today’s joint statement, though light on substance, leaves us in better place now than we were a few months ago. Diplomatic engagement between these two authoritarian men, even when it’s political spectacle, is major progress compared to recent threats of nuclear war.
“But photo-ops and pretty statements are no substitute for the real work that needs to be done. It will take serious ongoing negotiations by experts and diplomats to achieve the goals laid out in the Trump-Kim statement. Every effort must be made to carry this meeting into sustained dialogue.
“What’s more, this helpful step forward with North Korea should not distract us from the alarming steps backward the U.S. has taken on the nuclear front. Just a few short weeks ago, the same president who signed on to a vague commitment with North Korea violated a functioning and verifiable nuclear deal with Iran that is now at risk of collapse. This administration is also continuing its efforts to expand the bloated U.S. nuclear arsenal and actively plan for the first use of these WMDs.
“Meanwhile, the option for Trump to unilaterally start a nuclear war, without any limits on that power, is still on the table. This week’s spectacle in Singapore may have reduced the risk of nuclear war for now, but that could change just as suddenly as Trump’s reversal coming out of the G7 Summit. It’s crucial that our elected officials take concrete action to end our nuclear autocracy by supporting legislation that prohibits a nuclear first strike by this or any president.”