Tags: Donald Trump | North Korea | Trump Administration | cia | kim jong un | summit | denuclearization

Ex-CIA Official: Trump's Summit With Kim Was a Mistake

north korean leader kim jong un shakes the right hand of president donald trump
North Korea's Kim Jong Un and President Donald Trump (Getty Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 31 October 2018 02:29 PM

President Donald Trump made a "serious misstep" in holding the summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, as it harmed the world's determination to enforce sanctions against Pyongyang, top former Treasury official and former CIA Deputy Director David Cohen told CBS News.

"We had President Trump, I think quite prematurely, jump into this summit with Kim Jong un, and then on the way out of Singapore, declare that the problem has been solved," Cohen said, explaining "the effect of that was to weaken the resolve of the international community to apply pressure on North Korea."

The vague outcome of the summit, with a joint statement on disarmament that did not include a timetable or specifics on North Korea's obligations, "weakened the willingness of the Chinese to continue to work with us," Cohen said, adding "the effect has been that the sanctions are not nearly as powerful today as they were nine months ago."

Cohen, who from 2011 to 2015 was under secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence at the Treasury, and until 2017 served as the CIA's No. 2 official, explained secondary sanctions, which take aim at third parties that do business with a primary sanctions target, are a significant part of a sanctions regime.

In the case of North Korea, the key is China, Cohen said, but Trump's overtures toward Kim, as well as increasing trade tensions with Beijing, have led to lax enforcement of U.N. sanctions by China after previously the Trump administration did much work "to ensure that those sanctions were being adhered to."

This all makes "the diplomatic underpinnings of a good sanctions program . . . harder to stitch back together," Cohen said.

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President Donald Trump made a "serious misstep" in holding the summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, according to a former CIA official.
cia, kim jong un, summit, denuclearization, sanctions
Wednesday, 31 October 2018 02:29 PM
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