Diplomacy Isn't 'Bringing a Hot Dish Over the Fence to the Dictator Next Door': Klobuchar Scoffs at Trump-Kim Meeting

Minnesota senator and 2020 Democratic presidential contender Amy Klobuchar was not impressed by President Donald Trump's historic meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un on Sunday.

Trump and Kim arranged a last-minute handshake in the demilitarized zone separating North Korea and South Korea. The event marked the first time a sitting U.S. president entered North Korea.

After briefly setting foot in the North, Trump walked with Kim back to the demilitarized zone, where the two then spoke for about an hour with South Korean President Moon Jae-in and agreed to resume nuclear talks, which had collapsed in February during a summit in Hanoi, Vietnam, from which both parties walked away without reaching any agreement.

Both leaders offered positive statements about the meeting, which received praise from the pope. Klobuchar, however, was not as enthused.

"We want to see a denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, a reduction in these missiles. But it's not as easy as just going and, you know, bringing a hot dish over the fence to the dictator next door," Klobuchar said Sunday while speaking on CNN's State of the Union. "This is a ruthless dictator and when you go forward, you have to have clear focus and a clear mission and clear goals."

The senator predicted that, despite the positive remarks from the two world leaders, Trump would achieve little progress in discussions about denuclearization with North Korea.

"We've seen a history here, especially in this case where Donald Trump announces these summits and nothing really comes out of it," she explained.

Trump-Un
A handout photo provided by Dong-A Ilbo of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump inside the demilitarized zone separating the South and North Korea on June 30, 2019 in Panmunjom, South Korea. Handout/Dong-A Ilbo via Getty Images

The president has attempted to depict his meetings with Kim as historic events that can push North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons program. Yet his interactions with the North Korean leader have led to little progress, drawing scorn from political rivals and evoking rebukes about the signal that Trump is sending by meeting with the leader of a country with a dismal human rights record.

In May, North Korea conducted missile tests and fired ballistic missiles. Trump, however, said that he viewed the missile launches "differently" from his advisers and would not say that the launches violated United Nations Security Council resolutions.

His approach to diplomacy with the nation has generated ample criticism, including from the mother of Otto Warmbier, the 22-year-old who died in 2017 after being detained in North Korea.

Intelligence experts have questioned why North Korea would denuclearize. A May 2018 report from the CIA concluded that North Korea did not intend to end its nuclear weapons program in the near future, and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper on Sunday questioned why the nation would do so.

"It's their ticket to survival," Clapper said while talking with CNN's Brianna Keilar.

Analysts have further noted that Trump's decision to withdraw from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, also known as the Iran nuclear deal, would make the task of negotiating an agreement with North Korea more difficult.

Amy Klobuchar
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