Democrats lay into Trump after Kim meeting
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Democrats lay into Trump after Kim meeting

Trump took the decision towards the end of a trip to South Korea and met with Kim in the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) on Sunday. He then walked many steps into the North’s territory to become the first-ever American president to do so. Both during the meeting and after follow-up talks on the southern side, Trump hugely praised the Korean leader and the countries’ “great relations.” The entire escapade was accompanied by much media pomp and a flurry of photography. Soon afterwards, a spokesman for leading Democratic candidate and former vice president Joe Biden, blasted Trump for “coddling” Kim “at the expense of American national security and interests,” The Hill reported. The move, Andrew Bates added, rated as one of the most dangerous ways, in which Trump was belittling Washington on the international stage. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), who enjoys the second strongest following among the aspirants, said the president was “squandering American influence on photo ops and exchanging love letters” with Kim. She was referring to a letter Trump sent Kim earlier in the month that the North extolled as an “excellent” message. “Instead, we should be dealing with North Korea through principled diplomacy that promotes US security, defends our allies, and upholds human rights,” she tweeted. Senator Bernie Sanders, almost next in popularity to Warren, said the move had “weakened the State Department.” ”I have no problem with him sitting down with Kim Jong-un in North Korea or any place else. But I don’t want it simply to be a photo opportunity, the whole world’s media was attracted there,” he said on ABC. Critics also pointed to the fruitless interactions between the two sides under Trump, while casting doubt on whether the most recent handshake could produce any real outcome at all. Against a backdrop of sheer hostility, marked by fiery exchanges between the two, Trump suddenly opened up to Kim last year and began voicing hope about the quality of potential relations between their countries. The two heads of state met for the first time in Singapore last year on Washington’s initiative, with a view to enabling the North’s denuclearization. They met for a second summit in Vietnam’s capital, Hanoi, in February. But that summit abruptly ended over disagreements on mutual compromises. Subsequent working-level talks also effectively snagged. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) said, “We’ve seen a history here, especially in this case where Donald Trump announces these summits and nothing really comes out of it.” Julián Castro, another hopeful, suggested that the meeting came with very little preparation. "It's worrisome that this president erratically sets up a meeting without the staff work being done. It seems like it's all for show, it's not substantive," he said. He also noted that North Korea had not kept an apparent pledge to the Trump administration to disclose its nuclear stockpile inventory. Hopeful Andrew Yang, however, praised the meeting, saying anything that improved the political climate on the Korean Peninsula -- his interpretation of the meeting’s objective -- was positive.

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