February 28, 2019

Moulton Statement on Hanoi Summit

WASHINGTON – Following today’s conclusion of the summit between North Korea’s Kim Jong Un and President Donald Trump in Hanoi, Vietnam, Representative Seth Moulton (MA-06) made the following statement:

“American foreign policy is only successful when our leaders have the moral courage to stand for what’s right. In the end, the Hanoi Summit was yet another world stage where the president demonstrated his continued willingness to believe the word of dictators and autocrats over the credible assessments of the American intelligence community. Despite clear evidence that Otto Warmbier was harmed--ultimately fatally--in North Korean custody, the president said he believed Kim Jong Un was not responsible even after information from Warmbier’s family and American officials emerged that was so compelling to the president that he brought Warmbier’s parents to the State of the Union last year. 

At the same time that the president was embracing Kim in Hanoi, his son-in-law was in Saudi Arabia calling for closer ties to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who ordered the torture and gruesome murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi in Turkey. The president has said repeatedly he believes the Crown Prince over our intelligence community’s conclusive and overwhelming assessment that Bin Salman orchestrated Khashoggi’s murder.

Publicity stunts that embrace dictators and discredit our intelligence community are not a winning diplomatic strategy. They broadcast to the world that America’s leaders will not hold repressive regimes accountable for attacks against our country, against our allies, and against human rights. The Helsinki Summit set this stage when the president told the world he believed Vladimir Putin when he said that Russia didn’t interfere in our elections, despite overwhelming evidence of Russia’s influence campaign.

Because the president will not say it, every American must make clear: There is no greater friend and no worse enemy than America. We do not stand for killing journalists and college students. We will always confront the nations that threaten our democratic process. And we will never stop demanding that our leaders have the moral clarity to embrace the Americans around the world who risk their lives to collect intelligence rather than Putin, Kim and Bin Salman.”

Prior to the summit, Moulton said that a good deal with North Korea would consist of a comprehensive nuclear agreement that includes plans for sequenced disarmament, rigorous inspection and verification requirements, and an end to ballistic missile development.

The president left Hanoi without progress on these areas.