North Korea is one of the most difficult and complex challenges facing the international community.
The Kim family has led the country into isolation through dangerous and violent policies including the pursuit of nuclear weapons, systemic human rights violations, and support of illicit activities such as narcotics trafficking and cyber attacks. While there have been moments of progress in limiting its nuclear activities over the decades, none have had lasting success. While it was encouraging that President Trump wanted to engage diplomatically with Kim Jong un, the meetings were all pomp and circumstance. There was little to no substance involved and both summits quickly became wasted opportunities.
The United States’ alliances with South Korea and Japan are critical components of the strategy to counter North Korea with approximately 28,500 U.S. troops stationed in South Korea and approximately 54,000 U.S. troops stationed in Japan. The Trump administration has undermined these alliances by belittling the strategic importance of multilateral efforts. As president, Delaney would reaffirm our treaty commitments to South Korea and Japan.
With the ultimate goal of nuclear disarmament of North Korea, Delaney would harness the power of his diplomatic, military, and economic teams to put forward a strategy for engagement with North Korea to deliver verifiable results. Progress will be incremental and we must not abandon prolonged diplomatic efforts that take meaningful steps toward the ultimate goal. This includes putting pressure on China to join efforts in demanding accountability in North Korea and upholding UNSC sanctions for both nuclear proliferation and human rights violations. Delaney would be firm in demanding verified progress before rolling back sanctions.