With the White House planning a direct meeting between President Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong-un “by May,” they are in a rush to get ready. That means a hastily assembled team of officials and “experts” on North Korea who can get the leadership prepared for negotiations.
Exactly what this team is ultimately going to look like is unclear, but Anthony Ruggiero from the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies is the first member announced. Ruggiero had worked for the Treasury Department, and most recently as an adviser to Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL).
Ruggerio’s recent writing has centered heavily on North Korea, with an eye toward advocating more and harsher sanctions against them, and pushing for moves against Chinese companies for “collaborating” with North Korea.
It’s not clear what positives he brings to the take, but Ruggerio was also harshly critical of allowing North Korea to participate in the Winter Olympics, dubbing it a “propaganda exercise.” This stands in contrast to President Trump, who praised North Korea’s behavior at the Olympics as a very positive sign.