Democratic Hawks Helped Scuttle the Hanoi Summit

I just wrote an editorial for The Nation on the US and North Korea, paying attention to the Democrats who are even more to the right than Trump. It will run in the magazine’s next print edition, which comes out tomorrow. Excerpts:

Even before Trump went to Singapore last year for the first-ever meeting between a US president and a North Korean leader, Schumer and six other senators warned that they would reject “any deal that explicitly or implicitly gives North Korea sanctions relief for anything other” than the complete dismantling of its nuclear and missile programs. In February, Senator Bob Menendez, the ranking Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee, sent another letter attacking South Korean President Moon Jae-in for seeking sanctions relief to aid his push for closer economic ties with the North. Joined by Republican Senator Ted Cruz, Menendez demanded that Trump must ensure “the integrity of the sanctions regime.”

As if this weren’t enough, a week before the Hanoi summit, Pelosi arrogantly lectured South Korean lawmakers seeking support for their engagement policy not to trust Kim. Worse, she urged them to end a nasty quarrel with Japan over its war crimes during World War II as part of a misguided attempt to create a united front against North Korea. That led the speaker of the National Assembly—Pelosi’s counterpart in South Korea—to accuse her of carrying water for Shinzo Abe, Japan’s right-wing leader. Abe, meanwhile, was just as chipper as the Dems at the collapse of the Hanoi summit.