WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito calls the denuclearization agreement signed Tuesday by President Donald Trump and North Korea leader Kim Jong Un a “step in the right direction” to peace in the region.
“Seeing the two leaders shake hands and sign an agreement that leads to denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula is fantastic news,” Capito told MetroNews. “Now we have to be vigilant on this and we have to see how things progress from here but initially I’d have to say, “Good job Mr. President.'”
In a statement released Tuesday, West Virginia Third District Congressman Evan Jenkins called the agreement a framework that’s a path toward peace.
“Sanctions and international pressure must continue to hold North Korea accountable while the process continues,” Jenkins said.
The agreement, which promises security from the U.S., is being criticized by other members of Congress. House Minority Nancy Pelosi said President Trump made concessions for vague promises. Capito disagrees.
“I would challenge those who are the detractors now, who are throwing cold water on this, where have we been over the last 60 years? We’ve been nowhere on this. So this is definitely a step in the right direction,” Capito said.
During a Tuesday news conference in Singapore, Trump said he discussed human rights issues with Kim and the discussion would continue. That’s important to all Americans, Capito said.
“It’s something that we as America expect our leaders to engage in all around the world because of our respect for human rights. So I would imagine if the President says this is going to part of the discussion in the future–that’s good news,” Capito said.
President Trump promised to end joint military exercises in the Korean Peninsula as part of the agreement. Capito said if Kim backs out of what was promised security must be strengthened.
“If the lofty words and the initial expressions of trust and shared goals does not move forward then we need to be ready here in the Senate to move aggressively back to our sanction regime and maintain a strong military presence in the area,” Capito said.