ABC 6: Local leaders react to historic summit

ABC 6: Local leaders react to historic summit

By: Rebecca Turco

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The historic summit between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is making waves around the world.

Monica Lee, the president of Rhode Island’s Korean-American Association, has dreamed for peace in the Koreas her entire life, so to see Kim promise denuclearization was a life-changing moment. She woke up around 3 a.m. to watch the summit in real-time. “I really hope for continued communication with a great outcome,” she said. “It’s not only Korean hope, and hope for the world. Who needs nuclear? No country needs that.”

Rhode Island’s congressional delegation remains skeptical over what will come of this peace agreement, pointing to the lack of a specific action plan for denuclearization.

“It was more of a photo opportunity than a substantive diplomatic agreement,” said U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D). Reed feels the U.S. is the only party making a concession by pulling out of military exercises in South Korea – an announcement the president made at a press conference afterward.

U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D) also feels the summit left more to be desired. “All of the items listed in the announcement have been echoed by past North Korean leaders,” he said in a statement. “I hope we can progress beyond this list to a meaningful accord that yields lasting peace.”

U.S. Rep. Jim Langevin (D) says it’s still not clear whether the summit was a publicity stunt from North Korea: “Both the President and Kim have a history of failing to honor their commitments, so we need to see verifiable, concrete steps if we are to achieve peace on the Korean peninsula,” Langevin said in a statement.

Rhode Island’s GOP Chairman Brandon Bell tells ABC6 News this summit is being made into a partisan issue when it’s not. “The biggest superpower and the isolated country North Korea getting together is a big thing.”