WASHINGTON — Win Without War Director Stephen Miles released the following statement in response to news that Donald Trump agreed to meet with Kim Jong un:
Direct talks between North Korea and the United States are a necessary first step for two countries that have no formal relations with one another but whose leaders are often threatening and taunting the other with nuclear annihilation. We must be aware, however, that this is just the beginning — diplomacy is always a long and difficult process and there should be no expectation that North Korea will give up its nuclear weapons anytime soon.
The stakes are now higher than they have been since the beginning of Trump’s tenure and the question for all those who care about peace and security is whether he is up for the challenge. The State Department has been sidelined by this administration and is operating well below capacity. Traditional key positions remain unfilled, including the Ambassador to South Korea and the Special Representative for North Korea. We can only hope that the career experts remaining at State are providing influence and guidance in this process.
Thus, because this kind of extraordinary moment for diplomacy takes time, focus, capacity, and effort, we remain concerned that Trump has set up a false choice between diplomacy and war. Should this diplomatic process slow down, stall, or appear intractable, it’s likely that Trump, and particularly those who have recently been pushing for war, will claim diplomacy has failed, with no other option remaining but the military one.
As we’ve seen with recent diplomatic successes like the Iran nuclear deal, this kind of rush to war without letting diplomacy work would be a mistake.
Win Without War is a diverse network of national organizations working for progressive foreign policy in America.