Senators Tell Trump: No North Korea Deals Without Their Approval

GOP Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina expressed the views of many of his Senate colleagues on Tuesday when he said that any deals made between the U.S. and North Korea at President Trump’s summit with Kim Jong Un must go through Congress for approval. 

Speaking on NBC’s Today Show Graham said:

“Not only do I want to see the details, I want to vote on them. So here’s what I would tell President Trump: I stand with you…but anything you negotiate with North Korea will have to come to the Congress for our approval. But I’m hopeful.”

Senator Graham also said that he had many doubts about the actual details that would come out of the reported denuclearization agreement Trump supposedly achieved with the North Korean dictator.

“I think he has convinced Kim Jong Un that he’s better off giving up his nuclear weapons than he is keeping them, and that’s the goal,” Graham continued. “And if he has failed to do that then we’re going to have a military conflict.”

Trump and Kim, after their summit concluded, signed an agreement which apparently committed the United States to “security guarantees” but the details of these guarantees have not been released.  The guarantees were given in exchange for Kim’s promise to “denuclearize” North Korea, but the details of that promise are vague also.

“I think both sides are going to be impressed with the result,” Trump said at a news conference. “We’re going to take care of a very big and very dangerous problem for the world.”

Trump also announced the U.S. would call off military exercises with South Korea while negotiations continue with the North.

Graham had previously written an authorization for the U.S. to use military force, and he has also expressed support for military use in North Korea as a last resort.  He said that eliminating military would not be a bad thing if it leads to North Korea getting rid of its nuclear weapons.

“The one thing that I would violently disagree with is removing our troops,” Graham said. “I can’t imagine I would vote for any agreement that requires us to withdraw our forces because that would destabilize Asia. That’s what China wants. That doesn’t make the world more peaceful, it makes it more dangerous.”

Last week Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer of New York said that any deal with North Korea, especially one eliminating economic sanctions, would have to be approved by the Senate.  He also had warned Trump before the summit to avoid any “quick bad deals” with North Korea.

On Tuesday House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi made scathing remarks about Trump’s deals made with Kim Jong Un.  “In his haste to reach an agreement, President Trump elevated North Korea to the level of the United States while preserving the regime’s status quo,” Pelosi said, expressing the views of many people inside Washington and around the country.