clear
Wednesday August 15th, 2018 8:55AM

Iran deal comparisons cloud Trump's North Korea summit

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump's triumphant assertions about the success of the unprecedented Singapore summit are being met with skepticism and outright derision from critics seizing on the contradiction between his withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal and his willingness to accept vague pledges from North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

White House officials have repeatedly stressed that this week's meeting in Singapore is the beginning, not the end, of a process that Trump's team argues could have only been jump-started with the face-to-face meeting. The Singapore summit set out broad goals to be met in the coming months while the Iran deal, signed by President Barack Obama in 2015 and approved by seven nations, was an imperfect end to 18 months of negotiations, they say. Criticism that Tuesday's commitment does not include specifics on denuclearization and verification is too early, they argue.

"While I am glad the president and Kim Jong Un were able to meet, it is difficult to determine what of concrete nature has occurred," said Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He said he wanted Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who will lead the follow-on negotiations, to explain details of what the administration has in mind.

The top Democrat on that panel, Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey, who also opposed the Iran deal, took issue with Trump's zeal as well as his announcement of the suspension of U.S.-South Korea military exercises.

"In exchange for selfies in Singapore, we have undermined our maximum pressure policy and sanctions," Menendez said.

For Iran deal proponents, though, the Singapore summit was evidence of Trump's lack of preparedness and poor negotiating skills. Iran deal opponents, meanwhile, seemed willing to wait and see.

Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., a Trump advocate and fervent Iran deal foe, urged patience and sought to dispel suggestions that the president had unwisely plunged into a meeting with a dictator after having withdrawn from the accord with Tehran. He noted, as did other Trump allies, that North Korea already had nuclear weapons and the capability to deliver them whereas Iran did not.

"There is a school of thought that ... the United States president should not sit down with two-bit dictators," Cotton told conservative commentator Hugh Hewitt. "I think there's some validity to that school of thought with the exception (of) once those dictators have nuclear weapons."

"You know, countries like Iran and Cuba and other two-bit rogue regimes don't have nuclear weapons, yet," he said. "They can't threaten the United States in that way. Once they have missiles that can deliver them to use, I would liken it to past presidents sitting down with Soviet dictators."

Victor Cha, a Georgetown University professor and former National Security Council director for Asia in President George W. Bush's administration, lamented that the summit results "left a lot to be desired." But he also maintained that the Trump-Kim meeting had reduced the chance of conflict even if it was only a "modest start."

"Despite its many flaws, the Singapore summit represents the start of a diplomatic process that takes us away from the brink of war," Cha wrote in The New York Times in the immediate aftermath of the summit. "Mr. Trump's unconventional approach leaves a lot to be desired in the foreign policy of the United States, but there was no other path to this less-than-satisfying but digestible outcome."

Kelsey Davenport, the nonproliferation policy director at the Arms Control Association, which supported the Iran deal, called the summit result "mediocre."

"The vague language on denuclearization is not a breakthrough, it is a boilerplate reiteration of past statements," she said, adding: "It is far too early in the process for Trump to declare success."

In the case of the Iran deal, even the most generous assessors of the Singapore summit sought to remind the White House that intense diplomacy preceded the agreement with Tehran.

"Pompeo will now have to undertake the kind of arduous, multiyear negotiations with Pyongyang that former secretary of state John Kerry undertook with Tehran," Cha and Koreas expert Sue Mi Terry said in a paper for the Center for Strategic and International Studies. "Trump has assailed Obama's deal with Iran as the 'worst ever,' but he now faces substantial challenges to achieve as much as Obama did."

Iran itself cautioned North Korea against taking Trump at his word.

"We are facing a man who revokes his signature while abroad," the semi-official Fars news agency quoted government spokesman Mohammad Bagher Nobakht as saying on Tuesday.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top General short headlines, AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online Congress News
© Copyright 2018 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Iran deal comparisons cloud Trump's North Korea summit
Trump's proclamations of historic success at his unprecedented summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un have drawn unflattering comparisons to his rejection of the Iran nuclear deal
1:10AM ( 34 minutes ago )
Made-for-TV summit puts Trump the Showman in spotlight
Made-for-TV summit puts Trump the Showman in spotlight
1:07AM ( 37 minutes ago )
Saudi-led forces begin assault on Yemen port city of Hodeida
A Saudi-led coalition backing Yemen's exiled government has begun an assault on Yemen's port city of Hodeida
1:06AM ( 38 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
North Korea lauds, and basks in, Kim's summit performance
The priority attention North Korea gave to the summit underscores just how much of a coup it saw in Kim Jong Un's meeting with President Donald Trump
12:29AM ( 1 hour ago )
The Latest: Trump thanks Kim for taking 'bold step'
Trump says summit proves real change is possible after signing a nuclear agreement with North Korea's Kim Jong Un, though it leaves details unsettled
12:20AM ( 1 hour ago )
Trump sees 'new future' for North Korea, but path unclear
Trump, Kim commit to 'complete denuclearization' amid questions about whether Trump gave away too much
12:10AM ( 1 hour ago )
AP National News
Trump contradicts US military stance on Korea war games
President Donald Trump's abrupt announcement that he will suspend U.S. military drills in South Korea appeared to catch the Pentagon and the Seoul government flat-footed
9:52PM ( 3 hours ago )
The Latest: Cramer wins North Dakota GOP Senate primary
U.S. Rep. Kevin Cramer has defeated a little-known opponent to win North Dakota's Republican primary for U.S. Senate
9:13PM ( 4 hours ago )
The Latest: Maine tries out ranked-choice voting for primary
History is being made, in slow motion, in Maine where ranked-choice voting is being used for the first time in a statewide primary election
9:06PM ( 4 hours ago )
AP Online National News
New wildfire erupts near Colorado ski resorts, houses
A new wildfire has erupted in an area of Colorado known for its ski resorts, forcing the evacuation of more than 1,300 homes
11:09PM ( 2 hours ago )
Seattle divided as leaders halt tax on companies like Amazon
A divided crowd chanted and booed as Seattle leaders rolled back a tax on large companies like Amazon and Starbucks that was meant to fund homeless services
9:25PM ( 4 hours ago )
Lawsuit: Justice Dept. failed to give McCabe info on firing
A new lawsuit accuses the Justice Department of failing to provide information to former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe about his firing
9:00PM ( 4 hours ago )
Top General short headlines
Sports betting to be focus at major US casino conference
A day before New Jersey's governor makes his state's first legal wager on a sporting event, sports betting will be the main topic at a major gambling industry conference in Atlantic City
12:06AM ( 1 hour ago )
GOP Rep. Amodei beats Angle, Democrats Lee, Horsford win
Nevada Republican Rep. Mark Amodei fended off a primary challenge from tea party favorite Sharron Angle Tuesday, while former Rep. Steven Horsford and Las Vegas philanthropist Susie Lee won Democratic primaries for 2 House seats up for grabs in November.
12:01AM ( 1 hour ago )
Top GOP aide: House to vote next week on 2 immigration bills
A top GOP aide says the House will vote next week on two Republican-written immigration bills
11:45PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
Lawmakers looking at what comes next after Trump-Kim summit
Confusion, skepticism and a bit of optimism are ricocheting around Capitol Hill after President Donald Trump's historic summit with North Korea's Kim Jong Un.
6:48PM ( 6 hours ago )
North Dakota's Cramer faces primary ahead of Heitkamp match
North Dakota Rep. Kevin Cramer carries the hopes of Republicans for a big Senate pickup this fall
6:13PM ( 7 hours ago )
House aims at campaign-season bills battling opioid abuse
The House is diving into a two-week vote-a-thon on dozens of bills aimed at opioids abuse
5:03PM ( 8 hours ago )
AP Online Congress News
Made-for-TV summit puts Trump the Showman in spotlight
Made-for-TV summit puts Trump the Showman in spotlight
1:07AM ( 38 minutes ago )
Saudi-led forces begin assault on Yemen port city of Hodeida
A Saudi-led coalition backing Yemen's exiled government has begun an assault on Yemen's port city of Hodeida
1:06AM ( 39 minutes ago )
House Republicans to offer 2 separate bills on immigration
House Republicans consider next steps on two immigration bills after GOP leaders persuade moderates to drop an effort to force votes on bills protecting young "Dreamer" immigrants with a path to citizenship
1:05AM ( 39 minutes ago )
Nominees set for 2 key, open swing House seats in NV
Democrats in Nevada have two open congressional seats to defend in November, and Tuesday's primary voting set the stage for what could be some of the most expensive, hard-fought House races in the country.
1:00AM ( 45 minutes ago )
With US-NKorea summit over, US envoy turns attention to ally
The United States' top diplomat is jetting to South Korea to brief the country's president as Asian allies try to parse the implications of an extraordinary nuclear summit in Singapore between President Donald Trump and North Korea's Kim Jong Un
12:48AM ( 56 minutes ago )