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Weighing The Pros And Cons Of A Meeting With North Korea

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People watch a TV screen showing file footage of CIA Director Mike Pompeo, left, and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during a news program at the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea.
Ahn Young-joon/AP
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041818-juliett_kayyem_01.mp3

President Trump sent CIA Director Mike Pompeo to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in secret, a move that has garnered both praise and criticism from analysts.

National security expert Juliette Kayyem says she’s skeptical of the benefits of a meeting between Trump and Kim.

“I find it hard to believe that Kim’s going to denuclearize, so if that’s not the case, then what’s the goal here except elevating Kim to the [president’s] level?” she told Boston Public Radio Wednesday. 

Kayyem explained that Trump, Pompeo and the rest of the administration have difficult choices to make about how they’re going to leverage the visit.

“We also still have Americans who are being held in North Korea, and why that’s not a quid pro quo for meeting, I don't understand,” she said. “I would make any meeting at that senior level conditional on getting our three americans out.”

The White House has not yet made clear what the conditions will be if Trump and Kim eventually meet.

Juliette Kayyem is the CEO of ZEMCAR, a member of the faculty at Harvard’s Kennedy School and a CNN and WGBH contributor.

WGBH News coverage is a resource provided by member-supported public radio. We can’t do it without you.
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