MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow reacted with derision at the White House’s announcement that President Donald Trump plans to meet with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.
Meanwhile, CNN’s Erin Burnett conceded if Trump is successful in his talks and solves the North Korean problem, there no getting around the fact that he will go down as a “great president.”
South Korea’s national security adviser, Chung Eui-yong, stated at the White House on Thursday night that as part of the terms, Kim agreed the regime would not conduct any nuclear or intercontinental ballistic missile tests.
“I explained to President Trump that his leadership and maximum pressure policy together with international solidarity brought us to this juncture,” Chung said.
Maddow reacted to the announcement saying, “Now you might imagine another president in this circumstance. Kim Jong Un makes a request, ‘You want to meet?’ You might think another president in this circumstance, you can imagine a president asking himself or herself, ‘Why has no other American president ever agreed to do this?'”
She continued, “‘Why has no sitting American president ever met with a leader from North Korea? Why has that never happened in all the decades North Korea’s existed as a nation? Should I take that to mean that this might be particularly risky or even an unwise move?’ I think that’s how most presidents would approach the idea of a personal presidential meeting with the North Korean dictator.”
Maddow smugly surmised Trump had not asked himself these questions before agreeing to meet.
“But this is the president we have and he said yes to North Korea,” the liberal commentator said.
Meanwhile, CNN’s Erin Burnett was willing to give the president the benefit of the doubt.
“That is an incredible thing, and I don’t think anyone watching this or any expert on Korea expected that response at this time,” Burnett said after the surprise announcement.
“Just an extraordinary evening, and of course opening the door to the big question: If President Trump can truly solve this problem that would be going down as a great president. There’s no way around that, that’s the reality here,” she added.
Trump has indicated he will go into the meeting with eyes wide open, aware of North Korea’s history of entering into talks and then turning around and continuing to advance its nuclear weapons program.
In a tweet on Thursday, the president stated the economic sanctions will remain in place while the talks proceed.
“Kim Jong Un talked about denuclearization with the South Korean Representatives, not just a freeze,” Trump wrote. “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!”
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.