WASHINGTON, June 12: Six top lawmakers from the opposition Democratic party today demanded that any potential deal with North Korea be subject to Congressional oversight.
“Regardless of what happens in the hours ahead, the administration must consult with Congress on North Korea. Any potential deal must be subject to Congressional oversight,” the Democratic leadership in the US House of Representative said in a joint statement.
The Congress, they said, had insisted on robust monitoring under the Iranian nuclear deal and should demand nothing less with regard to North Korea. The Democratic Obama administration then had bypassed the Congress.
According to the Democratic lawmakers, the US–North Korea summit is a historic opportunity to build a more secure, stable Korean peninsula and to reassert American leadership in Asia.
“We all want to see diplomacy succeed with North Korea – indeed, diplomatic engagement is the only way to deal with this crisis,” they said.
“Support from our partners and an international consensus will be essential to a successful outcome to high-stakes nuclear diplomacy with Pyongyang,” the lawmakers said.
A deal that preserves the status quo in terms of North Korea’s nuclear capability while trading away US ability to counter their nuclear aggression and proliferation and allow them global market access by removing sanctions is unacceptable, they warned.
The lawmakers said that the tough negotiation necessary to achieve an agreement that leads to lasting peace will require the support of allies.
Democratic lawmakers also expressed deep concern over the administration’s sidelining of diplomacy and undermining of American leadership on the global stage.
“We have no confirmed Ambassador to South Korea, no Assistant Secretary for Asia, and no senior official focused on North Korea. The Administration has sought deep cuts to our international affairs budget and senior State Department officials have fled to the exits,” they said.
“Most recently, with his behaviour at the G-7 summit, the President alienated our closest friends at a time when the United States should be affirming the western alliance as the cornerstone of global security,” the Democratic leadership in the House said.
However, Democratic Senator Joe Donnelly, member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, supported Trump and his administration’s stated goal of “complete, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearization” of the Korean peninsula.
“I continue to believe we should utilise all available tools – economic, diplomatic, and military – in order to give our country the best chance for a successful outcome that makes Hoosier families and America safer,” he said.
Senator Orrin Hatch said that to achieve lasting peace in the region, the US must demand that North Korea not only surrender its nuclear weapons but also “cease its human rights abuses”. (PTI)