Just a few short months ago, failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton had a lot to say about President Donald Trump’s approach to handling threats from North Korean despot Kim Jong-un.
“I am worried about some of the recent actions from the new administration that seem to raise tensions,” Clinton told Arab News last October. “Our allies are now expressing concerns about America’s credibility and reliability.”
Trump has repeatedly fired back at provocations from Pyongyang with displays of America’s military might, and comments delivered at both the United Nations and over Twitter designed to put “little rocket man” in his place.
“The situation with North Korea is very dangerous, and I think what we’ve had coming out of the president is incoherent, it attacks our ally South Korea. He doesn’t seem to understand or have the people around him who can lead a very focused diplomatic effort to try to get the Chinese, Japanese, and South Koreans all on the same page … ,” Clinton told CBS News.
“Sitting here, I don’t see a plan or a strategy other than the military talk …,” she said.
That was before North Korea suddenly decided to join with South Korea to participate in the 2018 Olympics in PyeongChang last month. Kim Jong-un sent his sister, Kim Yo Jong, to meet with South Korean officials, whom she invited to meet with North Korean leaders after the games.
That meeting produced an agreement this week for a sit-down between Trump and Kim Jong-un, something that won applause from the UK, Russia, Australia, and other countries around the world, according to the Daily Mail.
Chung Eui-yong, South Korea’s national security advisor, was at the meeting in North Korea and said the invitation to meet with Trump came directly from Kim Jong-un. Kim Jong-un also agreed to halt all nuclear and ballistic missile tests as officials work out a time and place for the meeting over the next few months.
White Press Secretary Sarah Sanders confirmed President Trump agreed to the meeting, but stressed that the U.S. plans to maintain its pressure on North Korea in the meantime.
“President Trump greatly appreciates the nice words of the South Korean delegation and President Moon. He will accept the invitation to meet with Kim Jong Un at a place and time to be determined,” Sanders said. “We look forward to the denuclearization of North Korea. In the meantime, all sanctions and maximum pressure must remain.”
Trump sent out an optimistic tweet about the planned meeting on Thursday.
“Kim Jong Un talked about denuclearization with the South Korean Representatives, not just a freeze,” Trump posted. “Also, no missile testing by North Korea during this period of time. Great progress being made but sanctions will remain until an agreement is reached. Meeting being planned!”
Clinton’s Twitter page, meanwhile, has been dormant since the meeting was announced.