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Springfield Republican: US Sen. Ed Markey condemns President Donald Trump’s ‘threatening rhetoric’ toward North Korea

By Shannon Young
syoung@repub.com

U.S. Sen. Ed Markey, D-Massachusetts, urged President Donald Trump Thursday against stoking further tensions with North Korea, following the White House’s decision to cancel a upcoming summit with Kim Jong Un.

Markey, who has been an outspoken critic of the Republican’s foreign policy, criticized Trump for using  “threatening rhetoric” in a letter announcing that he would not longer meet with Kim in Singapore next month, as scheduled.

The Massachusetts Democrat took specific issue with the president’s inclusion of language suggesting that the United States’ nuclear capabilities “are so massive and powerful.”

“I urge President Trump not to engage in the kind of threatening rhetoric that he used today in his letter as it only serves to enflame and destabilize the region,” he said in a statement.

Stressing that the summit was “going to be the beginning of talks between the nations, not a conclusion,” Markey contended that the U.S. should continue pushing for direct diplomatic negotiations that are backed by economic pressure.

“While the challenges to a lasting agreement with North Korea are great, we should not abandon diplomacy,” he said.

The senator further criticized the Trump administration’s handling of talks with Pyongyang, offering that “you cannot begin a negotiation with North Korea by advocating for the worst conclusion for its leader and expect that negotiation to succeed.”

He argued that Trump “has approached this summit from the outset with naivete and inconsistency” and should “learn from past negotiations and engage in sustained diplomacy that will overcome the trust deficits forged by war and hardened by decades of hostility.”

Trump announced earlier Thursday that while he was “very much looking forward to” attending the historic meeting with Kim, he felt the sit down would be “inappropriate at this time” given the North Korean leader’s recent “anger and open hostility.”

“Please let this letter serve to represent that the Singapore summit, for the good of both parties, but to the detriment of the world, will not take place,” Trump wrote. “You talk about your nuclear capabilities, but our are so massive and powerful that I pray to God they will never have to be used.”

The president later told reporters that while he hopes the U.S. and North Korea can “live together” in peace, “our military, which is by far the most powerful anywhere in the world and has been greatly enhanced … they are ready if necessary.”

“Hopefully everything will work out well with North Korea. A lot of things can happen. Including the fact that perhaps … it’s possible that the existing summit could take place, or a summit at some later date … We have to get it right.  Nobody should be anxious,” he added, according to White House pool reports.