The moment President Trump meets Chairman Kim at the DMZ and becomes the first sitting President to enter North Korea: pic.twitter.com/VwqGAEmmxz— The White House (@WhiteHouse) June 30, 2019
After becoming the first US president to set foot on North Korean soil, Trump met with leader Kim Jong Un in a surprise negotiation session that lasted just under an hour on the South Korean side of the Demilitarized Zone - a meeting which will improve future communication just one week after Trump sent Kim a "friendly" letter (probably telling him he'd swing by after the G20).
Unsurprisingly, Democrats threw shade at the US president, who suggested that the meeting was an achievement that former President Obama had strived for but failed.
Former Vice President Joe Biden's team slammed Trump for "coddling" dictators "at the expense of American national security and interests," and said "we urgently need a president who can restore our standing in the world, heal relationships with key allies Trump has alienated, and delivered real change for the American people."
🚨 NEW: @JoeBiden campaign statement on @realDonaldTrump's "coddling of dictators at the expense of American national security and interests," including fawning over Kim Jong-un and joking "with Vladimir Putin about our election security and 'getting rid' of journalists." pic.twitter.com/nTRIYx7aSz— Andrew Bates (@AndrewBatesNC) June 30, 2019
Bernie Sanders (I-VT), the democratic socialist candidate who honeymooned in Moscow, said that Trump's visit "weakened the state department," adding "The concern here is his incredible inconsistencies. I have no problem with him sitting down with Kim Jong-un in North Korea or any place else. But I don’t want it simply to be a photo opportunity, the whole world’s media was attracted there."
Sen. Elizabeth Warren went for the scalp, tweeting "Our President shouldn’t be squandering American influence on photo ops and exchanging love letters with a ruthless dictator."
Our President shouldn’t be squandering American influence on photo ops and exchanging love letters with a ruthless dictator. Instead, we should be dealing with North Korea through principled diplomacy that promotes US security, defends our allies, and upholds human rights. https://t.co/9ROpNfjYbY— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) June 30, 2019
Both Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Julián Castro also weighed in, with Klobuchar telling CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday "We want to see a denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, a reduction in these missiles but it’s not as easy as just going and, you know, bringing a hot dish over the fence to the dictator next door"
"This is a ruthless dictator and when you go forward, you have to have clear focus and a clear mission and clear goals," she added.
Castro sounded a lot like Sanders, telling ABC's "This Week": "It's worrisome that this president erratically sets up a meeting without the staff work being done. It seems like it's all for show, it's not substantive," adding 'I am all for speaking with our adversaries, what's happened here is this president has raised the profile of a dictator like Kim Jong Un and now three times visited with him unsuccessfully because he’s doing it backward"
Yang did not gang up
Democratic candidate Andrew Yang was the only 2020 Democrat to praise Trump's meeting with Kim, tweeting: "Anything that improves the political climate on the Korean peninsula and engages North Korea on its nuclear program is a good thing."
Anything that improves the political climate on the Korean peninsula and engages North Korea on its nuclear program is a good thing.— Andrew Yang (@AndrewYang) June 30, 2019