During his news conference today, President Trump was pressed by reporters on why he hadn’t focused heavily on human rights issues during his summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Trump said this was because the focus was instead on the nuclear issue.
“Because I don’t want to see a nuclear weapon destroy you and your family,” Trump said, adding that he wants to have a good relationship with Kim, and believes avoiding a nuclear war that would kill millions is the priority.
White House officials confirmed that President Trump had brought up human rights issues, but did not elaborate on the details. This is perhaps unsurprising, as going into the summit it was clear that negotiating denuclearization was the goal.
Those who opposed the negotiations with North Korea largely did so on the grounds that the nation’s human rights record made them an inappropriate partner for talks.Continuing to push that narrative looks to be a priority for some, despite clear progress made on denuclearization.