Ret. Admiral John Kirby: Trump’s Abrupt North Korea Reversal is ‘Dangerous Way to Do Diplomacy’
Ret. Rear Admiral John Kirby, a CNN military analyst and former spokesman for the Obama State Department, said this afternoon that President Donald Trump‘s surprise reversal on North Korea sanctions is dangerous and signals how “unpredictable” the U.S. is.
CNN’s Brooke Baldwin asked if the abrupt move is any way to conduct foreign policy. Kirby responded, “It is if you want to convince the world that we don’t have a cohesive foreign policy, and that we’re not interested in consulting allies, partners, or other federal agencies before we enact these kinds of policies.”
“But other than that, no big deal,” Baldwin said.
Kirby called it a “dangerous way to do diplomacy” because of how it conveys to the world that “these aren’t well-thought-out ideas” with a serious plan behind them:
“Kim might receive this as ‘Okay, maybe Trump’s willing to deal on sanctions and lighten up and maybe he is doing this to try to get me to do something at the table on my own side.’ The Chinese are going to look at this and also going to wonder what is going on in the context of the trade talks that are going on. So it’s unclear why he did this. Clearly he did it on a whim and without much strategy behind it. But it sends a message to both Kim and to President Xi that again the United States is unpredictable, we’re unreliable, and we don’t have a really cohesive set of principles guiding our way forward in either set of talks.”
You can watch above, via CNN.
UPDATE –– 6:47 pm ET: Per the Washington Post, sources are now saying Trump was reversing “a future round of unannounced large scale sanctions expected for next week”:
Sources say Trump did not withdraw the North Korea sanctions from Thursday, instead he’s canceling a future round of unannounced large scale sanctions expected for next week. It was a major communications failure as a result of his ambiguous tweet
— John Hudson (@John_Hudson) March 22, 2019
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