Trump Must Meet With Kim Jong Un After Missile Strike False Alarm, Hawaii Rep. Says

Kim Jong-Un
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Getty

The false alarm this weekend about a missile attack on Hawaii shows the need for President Donald Trump to sit down one-on-one with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and negotiate with him on nuclear arms, an Aloha State Congress member said Sunday.

"I've been calling on President Trump to directly negotiate with North Korea, to sit across the table from Kim Jong Un, work out the differences so that we can build a pathway towards denuclearization, to remove this threat," Representative Tulsi Gabbard, a Democrat, told CNN's State of the Union.

She said Trump had to show that he is working "urgently to eliminate" the threat of a North Korean attack, and that he must meet with Kim even if the North Korean dictator won't agree to his calls to stop weapons testing.

North Korea sees its missile program as "the only deterrent against the U.S. coming in and overthrowing their regime there," Gabbard said. She called Trump's hopes for a North Korean disarmament "unrealistic."

Hawaii residents on Saturday morning awoke to an alert warning of an imminent missile attack on the islands. "BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL," it said. The message turned out to be an error and it took officials nearly 40 minutes to correct it. By then, thousands of Hawaiians had abandoned their cars or scrambled for shelter.

Hawaii Governor David Ige, a Democrat, said an employee overseeing the alerts "pressed the wrong button." The blunder is being investigated.

The false alarm spurred immediate disputes about the likelihood of an attack on Hawaii and the mainland United States, and the reliability of the systems the U.S. has in place to protect its citizens in such a crisis. Kim has several times threatened to launch a missile at Hawaii, Guam, and highly populated areas of the mainland. Defense experts who have analyzed North Korea's latest missile tests said the isolated nation now has weapons that are capable of striking anywhere in America.

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen told Fox News Sunday that Hawaii will have a new protocol in place for a potential missile attack.

President Donald Trump has not commented about the mistake or any plans that will follow it. Through 2017, he alternated between suggesting he is open to negotiations with North Korea and threatening to "totally destroy" the country if provoked.