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Hillary Clinton warns of ‘diplomatic danger’ in US-North Korea nuclear talks

You cannot have diplomacy without diplomats, said Hillary Clinton on president Trump’s proposed talks with Kim Jong Un. Clinton was secretary of state during the Obama administration.

world Updated: Mar 10, 2018 23:42 IST
Agence France-Presse, The Hague
Hillary Clinton,North Korea,US-North Korea talks
People watch a television news report showing pictures of US President Donald Trump (left) and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at a railway station in Seoul on March 9, 2018. Trump agreed on March 8 to a historic first meeting with Kim Jong Un in a stunning development in America's high-stakes nuclear standoff with North Korea. (AFP Photo)

Hillary Clinton has warned that the Trump administration “was not recognising the danger” in discussing nuclear disarmament with Pyongyang, and said Washington lacked experienced diplomats to handle the talks.

“If you want to talk to Kim Jong Un about his nuclear weapons you need experienced diplomats,” Clinton was quoted as telling Dutch tabloid Algemeen Dagblad in an interview published Saturday.

“These are people familiar with the dossiers and who know the North Koreans and their language,” Trump’s presidential rival said in an interview conducted in Amsterdam and published in Dutch.

The former secretary of state said however that the US State Department was “being eroded” and that experienced diplomats on the North Korean issue were in short supply, with many having left.

“You cannot have diplomacy without diplomats,” she said, adding “the danger is not being recognised by the Trump government.”

Clinton’s words echo those of veteran diplomat and former US ambassador to the United Nations, Bill Richardson, who warned that negotiating with North Korea was not “reality television.”

“It’s a real opportunity... I worry about the president’s unpreparedness and lack of discipline. But I commend him for his very bold move in accepting the invitation,” Richardson told AFP on Friday.

“But this is not ‘The Apprentice’ or a reality TV event. It’s a negotiation with an unpredictable leader who has at least 20 nuclear weapons and who threatens the United States,” he said.

First Published: Mar 10, 2018 20:23 IST